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    diversion (n.) — dogged (adj.)

    diversion (n.)

    early 15c., diversioun, "process of diverting," from Medieval Latin diversionem (nominative diversio), noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin divertere (see divert).ETD diversion (n.).2

    Meaning "act of turning aside from a course of action" is from c. 1600; that of "act of diverting (something) from its due or ordinary course" is from 1620s. Military meaning "act of drawing the attention and force of the enemy from the point where the principal attack is to be made" is from 1640s.ETD diversion (n.).3

    Sense of "amusement, entertainment" is attested by 1640s, on the notion of "that which diverts the mind." Hence, divertimento (1823), from the Italian form; originally "a musical composition designed primarily for entertainment."ETD diversion (n.).4

    diversification (n.)

    "act of changing forms or qualities," c. 1600, noun of action from Medieval Latin diversificare "to diversify" (see diversify). Economic sense, in reference to the spread of production over a variety of services or articles, is attested from 1939, later of the spread of investments over a variety of enterprises.ETD diversification (n.).2

    diversify (v.)

    arlye 15c., diversifien, "to make various in form or qualities," from Old French diversifier (13c.) "to make diverse," from Medieval Latin diversificare, from Latin diversus "turned different ways," in Late Latin "various," past participle of divertere "to turn in different directions," from assimilated form of dis- "aside" (see dis-) + vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend"). Economic sense is from 1939. Related: Diversified; diversifying.ETD diversify (v.).2

    divert (v.)

    early 15c., diverten, "change the direction or course of; change the aim or destination of, turn aside or away" (transitive), from Old French divertir (14c.) and directly from Latin divertere "to turn in different directions," blended with devertere "turn aside," from vertere "to turn" (from PIE root *wer- (2) "to turn, bend") with, in the first word, an assimilated form of dis- "aside," and in the second with de- "from."ETD divert (v.).2

    Sense of "draw off (someone) from a particular intention or state of mind" is from c. 1600, hence the meaning "amuse, entertain" (1660s). Related: Diverted; diverting.ETD divert (v.).3

    diverticulum (n.)

    "blind tube" (anatomical), 1728, from Modern Latin, from Latin deverticulum "a bypath," from devertere "to turn aside" (see divert). Related: Diverticulitis (1900).ETD diverticulum (n.).2

    divest (v.)

    1560s, devest (modern spelling is c. 1600), "strip of possessions," from French devester "strip of possessions" (Old French desvestir), from des- "away" (see dis-) + vestir "to clothe," from Latin vestire "to clothe" (from PIE *wes- (2) "to clothe," extended form of root *eu- "to dress").ETD divest (v.).2

    The etymological sense of "strip of clothes, arms, or equipage" is from 1580s. Meaning "strip by some definite or legal process" is from 1570s. Economic sense "sell off (a subsidiary company, later an investment) is by 1961. Related: Divested; divesting.ETD divest (v.).3

    divestiture (n.)

    c. 1600, "act of stripping or depriving," from divest on analogy of investiture. Economics sense is by 1955.ETD divestiture (n.).2

    divider (n.)

    1520s, "one who deals out shares to each," agent noun from divide (v.). Sense of "one who or that which separates into parts" is from 1590s; specifically, "partition or screen," especially in a room, from 1959. Sense of "one who disunites or keeps apart" is from 1640s.ETD divider (n.).2

    divide (n.)

    1640s, "act of dividing," from divide (v.). Meaning "watershed, separation between river valleys" is recorded by 1807, American English.ETD divide (n.).2

    divide (v.)

    early 14c., "separate into parts or pieces," from Latin dividere "to force apart, cleave, distribute," from assimilated form of dis- "apart" (see dis-) + -videre "to separate," which, according to de Vaan, is from PIE *(d)uid- "to separate, distinguish" (source also of Sanskrit avidhat "allotted," Old Avestan vida- "to devote oneself to"). He writes: "The original PIE verb ... (which became thematic in Latin) meant 'to divide in two, separate'. It lost initial *d- through dissimilation in front of the next dental stop, and was reinforced by dis- in Latin ...." Also compare devise.ETD divide (v.).2

    It is attested from late 14c. as "sever the union or connection with," also "disunite, cause to disagree in opinion." Intransitive sense of "become separated into parts" is from 1520s. Mathematical sense "perform the operation of division" is from early 15c. Divide and rule (c. 1600) translates Latin divide et impera, a maxim of Machiavelli. Related: Divided; dividing.ETD divide (v.).3

    dividend (n.)

    early 15c., divident, "that which serves as a barrier;"c. 1500, "act of dividing;" from Latin dividendum "thing to be divided," neuter gerundive of dividere "to force apart; to distribute" (see divide (v.)).ETD dividend (n.).2

    From late 15c. as "portion or share of anything to be divided." Sense of "sum to be divided into equal parts" is from 1620s, hence "portion of interest on a loan, stock, etc." Mathematical sense "number or quantity which is to be divided by another" is from 1540s (perhaps immediately from French dividende "a number divided by another"). Related: Dividends.ETD dividend (n.).3

    divinity (n.)

    c. 1300, "science of divine things, theology;" late 14c., "quality or character of being divine," also "a divine being, God," from Old French devinité (12c.), from Latin divinitatem (nominative divinitas), from divinus "of a god," from divus "of or belonging to a god, inspired, prophetic," related to deus "god, deity" (from PIE root *dyeu- "to shine," in derivatives "sky, heaven, god"). Figurative meaning "that which is divine in character or quality" is from 1640s.ETD divinity (n.).2

    divine (n.)

    c. 1300, "soothsayer, sorcerer, astrologer," from Old French devin "soothsayer; theologian" and directly from Latin divinus, "soothsayer, augur," noun use of an adjective meaning "of or belonging to a god," from divus "of or belonging to a god, inspired, prophetic," related to deus "god, deity" (from PIE root *dyeu- "to shine," in derivatives "sky, heaven, god").ETD divine (n.).2

    Meaning "ecclesiastic, theologian, man skilled in divinity" is from late 14c. Sense of "divine nature, divineness" is from late 14c.ETD divine (n.).3

    diviner (n.)

    "one who professes or practices supernatural divination," early 14c., from Old French devineor, from Late Latin divinator, from Latin divinare (see divine (v.)).ETD diviner (n.).2

    divine (v.)

    late 14c., divinen, "learn or make out by or as if by divination, foretell" future events (trans.), also intransitive, "use or practice divination;" from Old French deviner, from Vulgar Latin *devinare, a dissimilation of Latin divinare "foresee, foretell, predict," from divinus "of a god," from divus "of or belonging to a god, inspired, prophetic," which is related to deus "god, deity" (from PIE root *dyeu- "to shine," in derivatives "sky, heaven, god").ETD divine (v.).2

    Latin divinus also meant, as a noun, "soothsayer." English divine (v.) is also attested from late 14c. in the sense of "make out by observations or otherwise; make a guess or conjecture" without reference to supernatural insight. The earliest English sense is "to contrive, plot" (mid-14c.). Related: Divined; divining. Divining rod (or wand) is attested from 1650s.ETD divine (v.).3

    divination (n.)

    late 14c., divinacioun, "act of foretelling by supernatural or magical means the future, or discovering what is hidden or obscure," from Old French divination (13c.), from Latin divinationem (nominative divinatio) "the power of foreseeing, prediction," noun of action from past-participle stem of divinare, literally "to be inspired by a god," from divinus "of a god," from divus "a god," related to deus "god, deity" (from PIE root *dyeu- "to shine," in derivatives "sky, heaven, god"). Related: Divinatory.ETD divination (n.).2

    divinely (adv.)

    early 15c., "in a God-like manner;" 1580s, "excellently, in the supreme degree;" from divine (adj.) + -ly (2).ETD divinely (adv.).2

    divine (adj.)

    late 14c., "pertaining to, of the nature of, or proceeding from God or a god; addressed to God," from Old French divin, devin (12c.), from Latin divinus "of a god," from divus "of or belonging to a god, inspired, prophetic," related to deus "god, deity" (from PIE root *dyeu- "to shine," in derivatives "sky, heaven, god").ETD divine (adj.).2

    The weakened sense of "excellent in the highest degree, heavenly" had evolved by late 15c. The phrase divine right, indicating one conferred by or based on ordinance of God, is from c. 1600.ETD divine (adj.).3

    division (n.)

    late 14c., divisioun, "act of separating into parts, portions, or shares; a part separated or distinguished from the rest; state of being at variance in sentiment or interest," from Old French division and directly from Latin divisionem (nominative divisio), noun of action from past-participle stem of dividere "to divide" (see divide (v.)).ETD division (n.).2

    Military sense "portion of an army, fleet, or ship's company" is from 1590s. Mathematical sense of "operation inverse to multiplication" is from late 14c. The mathematical division sign supposedly was invented by British mathematician John Pell (1611-1685) who taught at Cambridge and Amsterdam.ETD division (n.).3

    divisive (adj.)

    c. 1600, "having a quality of dividing," from divis-, past-participle stem of Latin dividere "to divide" (see divide (v.)) + -ive. Meaning "creating division, producing discord" is from 1640s. Related: Divisively; divisiveness.ETD divisive (adj.).2

    divisible (adj.)

    "capable of being separated or disunited," early 15c., from Late Latin divisibilis "divisible," from divis-, past-participle stem of Latin dividere "to divide" (see divide (v.)). Related: Divisibility.ETD divisible (adj.).2

    divisional (adj.)

    "of or pertaining to division or a division," 1738; see division + -al (1).ETD divisional (adj.).2

    divisor (n.)

    "a number by which another number is divided," mid-15c., divisour, from Latin divisor, agent noun from dividere "to divide" (see divide (v.)).ETD divisor (n.).2

    divorce (v.)

    c. 1400, divorcen, "to put away or abandon (a spouse); to dissolve the marriage contract between by process of law," from Old French divorcer, from divorce (see divorce (n.)). Extended sense of "release or sever from any close connection" is from early 15c. Related: Divorced; divorcing.ETD divorce (v.).2

    divorcement (n.)

    1520s, "act or process of divorcing," from divorce (v.) + -ment. General sense of "severance of a close relation" is from 1550s.ETD divorcement (n.).2

    divorce (n.)

    late 14c., "legal dissolution of the bond of marriage," from Old French divorce (14c.), from Latin divortium "separation, dissolution of marriage," from divertere "to separate, leave one's husband, turn aside" (see divert). Not distinguished in English from legal separation until mid-19c. Extended sense of "complete separation, absolute disjunction" is from early 15c.ETD divorce (n.).2

    divorcee (n.)

    "divorced woman," 1764, from French divorcée, noun use of fem. past participle of divorcer (see divorce (v.)). It began to lose its italics by the 1880s. The male equivalent in French is divorcé.ETD divorcee (n.).2

    divot (n.)

    "piece of turf or sod with the grass growing on it," used for roofing material, etc., 1530s, Scottish, of unknown origin. Also divet, diffat, devot, etc. The golfing sense "slice of turf cut out by the club in playing a stroke" is by 1884.ETD divot (n.).2

    divulge (v.)

    mid-15c., divulgen, "make public, send or scatter abroad" (now obsolete in this general sense), from Latin divulgare "publish, make common," from assimilated form of dis- "apart" (see dis-) + vulgare "make common property," from vulgus "common people" (see vulgar). Sense of "to tell or make known something formerly private or secret" is from c. 1600. Related: Divulged; divulging.ETD divulge (v.).2

    divvy (v.)

    "to divide (up)," 1877, American English, originally a noun (1865), a slang shortening of dividend. The verb is primary now (the noun is not in "Webster's New World Dictionary"), leading some (such as "Webster's") to think the word is a slang alteration of divide. Related: Divvying. In early 20c. British slang the same word was a shortening of divine (adj.).ETD divvy (v.).2

    Dixie (n.)

    "the southern United States," 1859, of obscure origin, first attested in the song of that name, which was popularized, if not written, by Ohio-born U.S. minstrel musician and songwriter Dan Emmett (1815-1904); perhaps a reference to the Mason-Dixon Line, but there are other well-publicized theories dating to the Civil War. Popularized nationwide in minstrel shows. Dixieland style of jazz developed in New Orleans c. 1910, so called by 1919 (in the name of a band).ETD Dixie (n.).2

    Dixiecrat (n.)

    in U.S. politics, "Democratic politician from the South who seceded from the party over the extension of civil rights," 1948, from Dixie + ending from Democrat.ETD Dixiecrat (n.).2

    dizygotic (adj.)

    of twins, "not identical, from two different eggs," 1917, from di- + zygote + -ic.ETD dizygotic (adj.).2

    dizziness (n.)

    Old English dysignesse, "folly;" see dizzy + -ness. From c. 1400 as "giddiness, whirling in the head."ETD dizziness (n.).2

    dizzy (v.)

    Middle English dusien, from Old English dysigan "do unwise or foolish things," from the source of dizzy (adj.). Sense of "to make to have a whirling sensation" is from c. 1500. Related: Dizzied; dizzying.ETD dizzy (v.).2

    dizzy (adj.)

    Middle English dusie, from Old English dysig "foolish, stupid" (obsolete in the original sense except in dialect from 13c.), from Proto-Germanic *dusijaz (source also of Low German düsig "dizzy," Dutch duizelen "to be dizzy," Old High German dusig "foolish," German Tor "fool," Old English dwæs, Dutch dwaas "foolish"), perhaps from PIE *dheu- (1) "dust, vapor, smoke; to rise in a cloud" (and related notions of "defective perception or wits"). Old English used related dyslic to gloss Latin absurdum, which also seems to imply some defect of the senses (see absurd).ETD dizzy (adj.).2

    The meaning "having a whirling sensation" is from c. 1400; that of "giddy, thoughtless, heedless," is from c. 1500 and seems to merge the two earlier meanings. Used of the "foolish virgins" in early translations of Matthew xxv; used especially of blondes since 1870s. Related: Dizzily.ETD dizzy (adj.).3

    DJ (n.)

    also dee-jay, abbreviation of disk-jockey (see disk), attested by 1961.ETD DJ (n.).2


    consonant combination used in French orthography to represent the Arabic letter jim; it appears in some words from Arabic, Turkish, etc. taken into English via French.ETD dj-.2


    Proto-Indo-European root found in Celtic, Germanic, Slavic, and possibly Latin, meaning "to engage oneself, be or become fixed."ETD *dlegh-.2

    It forms all or part of: indulge; indulgence; play; pledge; plight (v.) "to pledge;" replevin.ETD *dlegh-.3

    It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit drmha-, drhya- "to fix, make firm;" Old Avestan derez- "fetter;" Gaulish delgu "to hold," Middle Welsh dala "to hold," Old Breton delgim "to hold;" Old Saxon plegan "vouch for," Gothic tulgjan "to fasten."ETD *dlegh-.4

    DNA (n.)

    also D.N.A., 1944, abbreviation of deoxyribonucleic acid (1931).ETD DNA (n.).2


    *dnghū-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "tongue."ETD *dnghu-.2

    It forms all or part of: bilingual; language; languet; lingo; lingua franca; Linguaphone; linguiform; linguine; linguist; linguistics; multilingual; sublingual; tongue; trilingual.ETD *dnghu-.3

    It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Latin lingua "tongue, speech, language" (from Old Latin dingua); Old Irish tenge, Welsh tafod, Lithuanian liežuvis, Old Church Slavonic jezyku "tongue;" Old English tunge "tongue; speech."ETD *dnghu-.4


    *dō-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to give."ETD *do-.2

    It forms all or part of: add; anecdote; antidote; betray; condone; dacha; dado; data; date (n.1) "time;" dative; deodand; die (n.); donation; donative; donor; Dorian; Dorothy; dose; dowager; dower; dowry; edition; endow; Eudora; fedora; Isidore; mandate; Pandora; pardon; perdition; Polydorus; render; rent (n.1) "payment for use of property;" sacerdotal; samizdat; surrender; Theodore; Theodosia; tradition; traitor; treason; vend.ETD *do-.3

    It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dadati "gives," danam "offering, present;" Old Persian dadatuv "let him give;" Greek didomi, didonai, "to give, offer," dōron "gift;" Latin dare "to give, grant, offer," donum "gift;" Armenian tam "to give;" Old Church Slavonic dati "give," dani "tribute;" Lithuanian duoti "to give," duonis "gift;" Old Irish dan "gift, endowment, talent," Welsh dawn "gift."ETD *do-.4

    doing (n.)

    "a thing done, a feat or action, good or bad," early 13c., verbal noun from do (v.). From early 14c. as "performance or execution of something." In the former sense, now usually in plural, doings. From c. 1600-1800 it also was a euphemism for "copulation."ETD doing (n.).2

    do (n.1)

    1590s, "commotion, trouble" (a sense now obsolete), from do (v.). From 1630s as "act of doing;" by 1824 as "something done in a set or formal manner;" by 1835 as "a cheat, a swindle." Phrase do's and dont's "things that out and ought not to be done" (variously apostrophed) is by 1899.ETD do (n.1).2

    do (v.)

    "perform, execute, achieve, carry out, bring to pass by procedure of any kind," etc., Middle English do, first person singular of Old English don "make, act, perform, cause; to put, to place," from West Germanic *doanan (source also of Old Saxon duan, Old Frisian dwa, Dutch doen, Old High German tuon, German tun), from PIE root *dhe- "to set, put, place."ETD do (v.).2

    Use as an auxiliary began in Middle English. Sense of "to put, place, lay" is obsolete except in phrases such as do away with. Periphrastic form in negative sentences (They did not think) replaced the Old English negative particles (Hie ne wendon).ETD do (v.).3

    Meaning "visit as a tourist" is from 1817. In old slang it meant "to hoax, cheat, swindle" (1640s). Slang meaning "to do the sex act with or to" is from 1913.ETD do (v.).4

    Slang do in "bring disaster upon, kill" is by 1905. To have to do with "have concern or connection with" is from late 13c. To do without "dispense with" is from 1713. Expression do or die indicating determination to succeed despite dangers or obstacles is attested from 1620s.ETD do (v.).5

    Compare does, did, done.ETD do (v.).6

    do (n.2)

    first (and last) note of the diatonic scale, by 1754, from do, used as a substitution for ut (see gamut) for sonority's sake, first in Italy and Germany. U.S. slang do-re-mi "money" is from 1920s, probably a pun on dough in its slang sense of "cash."ETD do (n.2).2


    "computer operating system using a disk storage device," 1967, acronym of disk operating system.ETD DOS.2


    also d.o.a., 1929, police slang abbreviation of dead on arrival.ETD DOA.2

    doable (adj.)

    "capable of being done, within one's power to perform," mid-15c., from do (v.) + -able.ETD doable (adj.).2

    dobbie (n.)

    also dobby, "household sprite," 1811, from playful use of the proper name Dob (variant of Rob) which is also represented in dobbin (q.v.). In Sussex, such apparitions were called Master Dobbs. It was used earlier in the sense "silly old man" (1690s).ETD dobbie (n.).2

    dobbin (n.)

    common name of a work-horse or farm horse, 1596 (in "Merchant of Venice"), probably from diminutive form of Dob (early 13c.), the common Middle English familiar form of the masc. proper name Robin or Robert; the personal name being applied to a horse.ETD dobbin (n.).2

    Dobermann pinscher (n.)

    breed of domestic dog, originally used in police work, 1911 (as pincher Dobermann from 1907), named for Ludwig Dobermann, 19c. German dog-breeder in Thuringia. Pinscher "fox terrier" seems to be a 19c. borrowing from English pinch (see Kluge).ETD Dobermann pinscher (n.).2

    dobro (n.)

    1952, American English, contracted from the name of its Slovakia-born inventors, the Dopera Brothers (John, Rudy, Emil). The word also happens to mean "good thing" in Slovak. Patent filed 1947, claims use from 1929.ETD dobro (n.).2

    dobson (n.)

    name for the predatory larva of a type of large insect of eastern North America, by 1870, of uncertain origin, originally a term among fishermen, who use it for bait. The adult male form is large and ferocious-looking but harmless to humans. It has been called dobson fly since at least 1906; the earlier name was hellgrammite (by 2868).ETD dobson (n.).2

    doc (n.)

    familiar form of doctor, attested from 1850.ETD doc (n.).2

    docent (adj.)

    "teaching," 1630s, from Latin docentem (nominative docens), present participle of docere "to show, teach, cause to know," originally "make to appear right," causative of decere "be seemly, fitting," from PIE root *dek- "to take, accept."ETD docent (adj.).2

    As a noun, "lecturer or teacher (usually a post-graduate student) in a college, not on staff but permitted to teach," by 1880, from German.ETD docent (adj.).3

    Docetism (n.)

    "the heresy of the Docetae," who held that the body of Jesus was a phantom or of real but celestial substance, 1829, from Greek Doketai, name of the sect, literally "believers," from dokein "to seem, have the appearance of, think," from PIE *dok-eye-, suffixed (causative) form of root *dek- "to take, accept." Related: Docetic.ETD Docetism (n.).2

    docile (adj.)

    late 15c. (Caxton), "easily taught, quick to learn," from Italian or French docile, from Latin docilis "easily taught," from docere "to show, teach, cause to know," originally "make to appear right," causative of decere "be seemly, fitting," from PIE root *dek- "to take, accept." Sense of "obedient, submissive, easily managed, tractable" is recorded by 1774. Middle English also had docible "ready or willing to teach" (c. 1400).ETD docile (adj.).2

    docility (n.)

    1550s, "readiness or aptness to learn," from French docilité (15c.), from Latin docilitatem (nominative docilitas) "teachableness," from docilis "easily taught," from docere "to show, teach, cause to know," originally "make to appear right," causative of decere "be seemly, fitting," from PIE root *dek- "to take, accept." Meaning "submissiveness to management" is from c. 1600.ETD docility (n.).2

    docimacy (n.)

    also docimasy, "art or practice of assaying metals or separating them from foreign matter," 1776, from Latinized form of Greek dokimasia "assay, proving, examination" (especially, in ancient Athens, "judicial inquiry into the character of aspirants for office or citizenship"), from stem of dokimazein "to test, prove," from dokimos "proven, genuine," literally "accepted," related to dekhesthai "to take, accept," which is probably from PIE root *dek- "to take, accept." Related: Docimastic (1730).ETD docimacy (n.).2

    dock (n.2)

    "where accused stands in court," 1580s, probably originally rogue's slang, from Flemish dok "pen or cage for animals," which is of unknown origin.ETD dock (n.2).2

    dock (n.1)

    "ship's berth, any structure in or upon which a ship may be held for loading, repairing, etc.," late 15c., dokke, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German docke, which is perhaps ultimately (via Late Latin *ductia "aqueduct") from Latin ducere "to lead" (from PIE root *deuk- "to lead"); or possibly from a Scandinavian word for "low ground" (compare Norwegian dokk "hollow, low ground"). The original sense was perhaps "furrow a grounded vessel makes in a mud bank."ETD dock (n.1).2

    dock (n.3)

    name for various tall, coarse weeds or herbs, Old English docce, from Proto-Germanic *dokkon (source also of Middle Dutch docke-, German Docken-, Old Danish dokka), akin to Middle High German tocke "bundle, tuft," and ultimately to the noun source of dock (v.1).ETD dock (n.3).2

    dock (v.2)

    "to bring or place (a ship) into a dock," 1510s, from dock (n.1). Intransitive sense of "to come into a dock" is by 1892. Of spaceships, by 1951. Related: Docked; docking.ETD dock (v.2).2

    docked (adj.)

    "cut off short," c. 1400, past-participle adjective from dock (v.1).ETD docked (adj.).2

    dock (v.1)

    "cut off or clip an animal's tail," late 14c., from dok (n.) "fleshy part of an animal's tail" (mid-14c.), which is from Old English -docca "muscle" or an Old Norse equivalent, from Proto-Germanic *dokko "something round, bundle" (source also of Old Norse dokka "bundle; girl," Danish dukke "a bundle, bunch, ball of twine, straw, etc.," also "doll," German Docke "small column, bundle; doll, smart girl").ETD dock (v.1).2

    The general meaning "deduct a part from," especially "to reduce (someone's) pay for some infraction" is recorded by 1815. Related: Docked; docking.ETD dock (v.1).3

    docket (n.)

    mid-15c., "a summary or abstract," of unknown origin, perhaps a diminutive form related to dock (v.). An early form was doggette. Meaning "list of lawsuits to be tried" is from 1709.ETD docket (n.).2

    docksider (n.)

    1969, "person who frequents docks;" 1974 as the name of a type of shoe ("a cheaper version of the topsider"); from dock (n.1) + side (n.).ETD docksider (n.).2

    dockyard (n.)

    "place for naval stores, timber, etc., near a harbor," 1704, from dock (n.1) + yard (n.1).ETD dockyard (n.).2

    doctor (n.)

    c. 1300, doctour, "Church father," from Old French doctour and directly from Medieval Latin doctor "religious teacher, adviser, scholar," in classical Latin "teacher," agent noun from docere "to show, teach, cause to know," originally "make to appear right," causative of decere "be seemly, fitting" (from PIE root *dek- "to take, accept").ETD doctor (n.).2

    Meaning "holder of the highest degree in a university, one who has passed all the degrees of a faculty and is thereby empowered to teach the subjects included in it" is from late 14c. Hence "teacher, instructor, learned man; one skilled in a learned profession" (late 14c.).ETD doctor (n.).3

    The sense of "medical professional, person duly licensed to practice medicine" (replacing native leech (n.2)) grew gradually out of this from c. 1400, though this use of the word was not common until late 16c. The transitional stage is exemplified in Chaucer's Doctor of phesike (Latin physica came to be used extensively in Medieval Latin for medicina).ETD doctor (n.).4

    Middle English also used medicin for "a medical doctor" (mid-15c.), from French. Similar usage of the equivalent of doctor is colloquial in most European languages: Italian dottore, French docteur, German doktor, Lithuanian daktaras, though these typically are not the main word in those languages for a medical healer. For similar evolution, compare Sanskrit vaidya- "medical doctor," literally "one versed in science." German Arzt, Dutch arts are from Late Latin archiater, from Greek arkhiatros "chief healer," hence "court physician." French médecin is a back-formation from médicine, replacing Old French miege, from Latin medicus.ETD doctor (n.).5

    Phrase what the doctor ordered "just the thing" is attested by 1914.ETD doctor (n.).6

    doctorate (n.)

    "the degree of a doctor," 1670s; see doctor (n.) + -ate (1).ETD doctorate (n.).2

    doctor (v.)

    1590s, "to confer the degree of doctor on," from doctor (n.). Meaning "to treat as a doctor, administer medical treatment to" is from 1712; sense of "alter, disguise for the purpose of deception, falsify" is from 1774. Related: Doctored; doctoring.ETD doctor (v.).2

    doctoral (adj.)

    "relating or pertaining to the degree of a doctor or to one who holds such a degree," 1560s; see doctor (n.) + -al (1).ETD doctoral (adj.).2

    Doctor Martens

    type of heavy walking boots, 1977 (use claimed from 1965), trademark name taken out by Herbert Funck and Klaus Martens of West Germany.ETD Doctor Martens.2

    doctrinal (adj.)

    "pertaining to doctrine or doctrines, dealing with precepts of conduct," mid-15c., from Old French doctrinal and directly from Late Latin doctrinalis, from doctrina "teaching, body of teachings, learning" (see doctrine).ETD doctrinal (adj.).2

    doctrine (n.)

    late 14c., "the body of principles, dogmas, etc., in a religion or field of knowledge," from Old French doctrine (12c.) "teaching, doctrine" and directly from Latin doctrina "a teaching, body of teachings, learning," from doctor "teacher" (see doctor (n.)) + -ina, fem. of -inus, suffix forming fem. abstract nouns (see -ine (1)).ETD doctrine (n.).2

    The notion is "whatever is taught or laid down as true by a master or instructor," hence "any set of principles held as true." In Middle English, it could be used generally for "learning, instruction, education." In U.S. history, the Monroe doctrine was put forward in a message to Congress Dec. 2, 1823; the exact phrase is attested by 1848.ETD doctrine (n.).3

    doctrinaire (n.)

    "one who theorizes without sufficient regard to practical considerations; one who explains things by one narrow set of theories, disregarding all other forces at work," 1820, from French doctrinaire "impractical person," originally "adherent of doctrines" (14c.), from Latin doctrina "teaching, body of teachings, learning" (see doctrine).ETD doctrinaire (n.).2

    At first used in the context of French politics, the French word having been contemptuously applied by rival factions to those who tried to reconcile liberty with royal authority after 1815. Hence, anyone who applies doctrine without making allowance for practical considerations (1831). As an adjective, "characteristic of an impractical theorist, insisting upon the exclusive importance of one narrow theory," from 1834. Related: Doctrinairism.ETD doctrinaire (n.).3

    docudrama (n.)

    "television drama based on real events," by 1957, American English, from documentary + drama. The first so-called appears to have been written as a stage play, "We Call to Mind," a "dramatic presentation of the development of education and its significance in American life," written by Philip C. Lewis and produced by the Tenafly, New Jersey, Citizens Education Council and the Tenafly Drama Workshop after the defeat of a school budget.ETD docudrama (n.).2

    document (n.)

    early 15c., "a doctrine;" late 15c., "teaching, instruction" (senses now obsolete), from Old French document (13c.) "lesson, written evidence" and directly from Latin documentum "example, proof, lesson," in Medieval Latin "official written instrument, authoritative paper," from docere "to show, teach, cause to know," originally "make to appear right," causative of decere "be seemly, fitting," from PIE root *dek- "to take, accept."ETD document (n.).2

    Meaning "written or printed paper that provides proof or evidence" is from early 18c., hence "anything bearing legible writing or inscription." Related: Documents.ETD document (n.).3

    documentation (n.)

    1754, "admonition, instruction, teaching," a sense now obsolete, noun of action from document (v.) or else from Medieval Latin documentationem (nominative documentio) "a reminding," from Latin documentum "example, proof, lesson," in Medieval Latin "official written instrument, authoritative paper" (see document (n.)). Meaning "preparation or use of documentary evidence" is by 1888. Scientific meaning "a collection and classification of informational papers" is from 1927.ETD documentation (n.).2

    document (v.)

    1640s, "to teach with authority," a sense now obsolete; see document (n.). Meaning "to support by documentary evidence" is from 1711. Related: Documented; documenting.ETD document (v.).2

    documentary (adj.)

    1788, "pertaining to or derived from documents," from document (n.) + -ary. Meaning "factual, meant to provide a record of something" is by 1921, originally in reference to film, from French film documentaire (by 1919). The noun (short for documentary film) is attested by 1935.ETD documentary (adj.).2

    dodder (v.)

    "to shake, tremble," 1610s, perhaps a variant of dadder, from Middle English daderen "to quake, tremble" (mid-14c.) a frequentative formation on a pattern similar to totter, patter, etc. Wedgwood points to a large group of similar words signifying motion to and fro, including dither, diddle, dandle, toddle, doddle ("shake the head," 1650s). Related: Doddered; doddering.ETD dodder (v.).2

    doddypoll (n.)

    also dotipoll, c. 1400, dotypolle, dodipoll, "stupid person," now obsolete in whatever spelling. The second element is poll (n.) in the original sense of "head." The first element is probably from Middle English dote (n.) "fool, simpleton, senile old man" (mid-12c.), from dote (v.). But it is sometimes said to be from Middle English dodden "to shear, shave."ETD doddypoll (n.).2


    before vowels dodec-, word-forming element used in technical compounds of Greek origin, signifying "twelve," from Latinized form of Greek dōdeka "twelve" (short for duodeka), from duo "two" (from PIE root *dwo- "two") + deka "ten" (from PIE root *dekm- "ten"). Compare dozen.ETD dodeca-.2

    dodecahedron (n.)

    "solid having twelve faces," 1560s, from Greek dōdeka "twelve" (see dodeca-) + hedra "seat, base, chair, face of a geometric solid," from PIE root *sed- (1) "to sit." Related: Dodecahedral.ETD dodecahedron (n.).2


    group of islands in the southeastern Aegean, from Latinized form of Greek Dodekanesa, literally "the twelve islands," from dōdeka "twelve" (see dodeca-) + nēsos "island" (see Chersonese).ETD Dodecanese.2

    dodge (v.)

    1560s, "go this way and that in speech or action," a sense now obsolete; from 1680s as "start suddenly aside, shift suddenly," as to evade a blow;" 1704 as "to move to and fro, shift about;" origin and sense evolution obscure. Perhaps it is from or akin to Scottish and Northern English dodd "to jog" (1570s).ETD dodge (v.).2

    Transitive sense of "to evade (something) by a sudden shift of place" is by 1670s. It is attested from 1570s, and common from early 18c., in the figurative sense of "to swindle, to play shifting tricks (with)." Photography sense of "use artifice to improve a print" is by 1883. Related: Dodged; dodging.ETD dodge (v.).3

    Dodge City, Kansas, was laid out in 1872 and named for U.S. military man Richard I. Dodge, then commander of the nearby army fort. It later was notorious in Wild West lore as the home of Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson.ETD dodge (v.).4

    dodge (n.)

    "a shifty contrivance or clever trick," 1630s, from dodge (v.). Revived or reformed in early 19c.ETD dodge (n.).2

    dodger (n.)

    1560s, "one who dodges or evades" in any sense, especially "one practiced in artful shifts," agent noun from the literal or figurative (especially underworld) senses of dodge (v.).ETD dodger (n.).2

    The U.S. meaning "corn cake" is recorded from 1831 (usually as corn-dodger) and is perhaps a different word: Compare Northern English dialectal dodge "lump, large piece" (1560s).ETD dodger (n.).3

    The Artful Dodger (Jack Dawkins), so called for his skill in picking pockets, leader of a gang of child criminals, is from Dickens' "Oliver Twist" (1837-39).ETD dodger (n.).4

    The U.S. baseball club the Dodgers, originally based in Brooklyn, N.Y., was so called from 1900, from trolley dodgers, a Manhattanites' nickname for Brooklyn residents, in reference to the streetcar lines that then crisscrossed the borough.ETD dodger (n.).5

    dodgy (adj.)

    "evasive, artful, cunning," 1855, from dodge (n.) + -y (2). Hence, "unreliable, potentially dangerous." Related: Dodgily; dodginess.ETD dodgy (adj.).2

    dodman (n.)

    "a snail shell," by 1540s, of uncertain origin.ETD dodman (n.).2

    dodo (n.)

    1620s, massive, flightless, defenseless bird (Didus ineptus) of Mauritius island, said to be from Portuguese doudo "fool, simpleton," an insult applied by Portuguese sailors to the awkward creatures. The last record of a living one is from July 1681. Applied in English to stupid persons by 1886. Compare booby.ETD dodo (n.).2

    doe (n.)

    "female of the deer" (the male is a buck), from Old English da "a female deer," which is of unknown origin, perhaps a Celtic loan-word (compare Cornish da "fallow deer," Old Irish dam "ox," Welsh dafad "sheep"). The native word is hind (n.). Similar words in continental Germanic and Scandinavian (such as Old High German tamo) appear to be from or have been altered by influence of Latin damma "a deer." Doe-eyed, of girls, is from 1845.ETD doe (n.).2

    does (v.)

    third-person singular present indicative of do (v.), originally a Northumbrian variant in Old English that displaced doth, doeth in literary English 16c.-17c.ETD does (v.).2

    doer (n.)

    "one who does something, one who performs or executes," c. 1300, agent noun from do.ETD doer (n.).2

    doeskin (adj.)

    also doe-skin, "made from the skin of a doe," mid-15c., from doe + skin (n.).ETD doeskin (adj.).2


    1680s in plays, a contraction of does not.ETD doesn't.2

    doff (v.)

    "put or take off" an article of clothing, especially a hat or cap, late 14c., doffen, a contraction of do off, preserving the original sense of do as "put." At the time of Johnson's Dictionary [1755] the word was "obsolete, and rarely used except by rustics," and also in literature as a conscious archaism, but it was saved from extinction (along with don (v.)) by Sir Walter Scott. However, dout and dup did not survive. Related: Doffed; doffing.ETD doff (v.).2

    dog (v.)

    "to track as a hunting dog does, keep at the heels of," 1510s, see dog (n.). Related: Dogged; dogging.ETD dog (v.).2

    dogged (adj.)

    "having the qualities of a dog" (mostly in a negative sense, "mean, surly, contemptible"), c. 1300, from dog (n.). Meaning "persistent, silently obstinate" is from 1779. Hence doggedly (late 14c.), "cruelly, maliciously;" later "with a dog's persistence" (1773). Related: Doggedness.ETD dogged (adj.).2

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