Dozen – Definition with Examples


A dozen is a grouping of twelve objects, shapes or numbers. It is abbreviated as doz or dz.


Dozen is one of the most primitive customary units of numbers. The number system with base number 12 is called duodecimal or dozenal. It is believed to have started with the counting of the finger bones using the thumb. It is connected to nature. A day has two cycles of 12 hours, and a year has twelve months or twelve moon cycles or zodiac signs. 

Dozen Example

Moreover, 12 is the number under 18 with most divisors – 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12, allowing most sub-divisions of the unit.

Twelve dozens are called a ‘gross’. Ten dozens are called a ‘small gross’ and twelve grosses are called a ‘big gross’. Merchants usually buy their goods in gross and sell them in dozens.

Many household goods are sold in dozens.

Example: Mary bought 3 dozens eggs. How many eggs did she buy?

Each dozen of eggs has 12 eggs. 

So, 3 dozens will have 3 × 12=36 eggs.

Example: Revin ordered 60 cupcakes for his birthday party. The cupcakes came in packets of dozens. How many packets of cupcakes were there?

Each packet has a dozen cupcakes, that is, 12 cupcakes.

To find the number of dozens in 60, divide 60 by 12.

60 ÷ 12=5 

Therefore, there were 5 packets of cupcakes.

Fun Facts
1. The word dozen comes from the French word ‘douzaine’ which means a group of 12.
2. A baker’s dozen is 13, one more than a proper dozen. Bakers started this custom to avoid a fine for serving less than the required weight for 12 items.