From the French verb dormir (to sleep), this word indicates when a match has effectively been settled to the extent that one player cannot win, but can only possibly force a draw e.g. three down with three to play.
A half-point in the Ryder Cup is still a cherished acquisition, so players will keep battling until the match has been completely lost.
Finding yourself trailing in a dormie situation may be a crucial psychological blow, but salvaging a half in those circumstances can often seem more like a victory.
Just ask Colin Montgomerie, who was dormie four down with four to play against Mark Calcavecchia in the 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island.
Monty won all of the closing holes following a dramatic collapse by Calcavecchia and a half was secured.