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don1

[don; Spanish, Italian dawn]
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noun
  1. (initial capital letter) Mr.; Sir: a Spanish title prefixed to a man's given name.
  2. (in Spanish-speaking countries) a lord or gentleman.
  3. (initial capital letter) an Italian title of address, especially for a priest.
  4. a person of great importance.
  5. (in the English universities) a head, fellow, or tutor of a college.
  6. (in the Mafia) a head of a family or syndicate.
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Origin of don1

1515–25; < Spanish, Italian < Latin dominus

don2

[don]
verb (used with object), donned, don·ning.
  1. to put on or dress in: to don one's clothes.
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Origin of don2

1560–70; contraction of do1 + on; cf. doff

don3

[dohn]
conjunction
  1. (in prescriptions) donec.
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Origin of don3

by shortening

Don1

[don; for 1 also Russian dawn]
noun
  1. a river flowing generally S from Tula in the Russian Federation in Europe, to the Sea of Azov. About 1200 miles (1930 km) long.
  2. a river in NE Scotland, flowing E from Aberdeen county to the North Sea. 62 miles (100 km) long.
  3. a river in central England, flowing NE from S Yorkshire to the Humber estuary. 60 miles (97 km) long.
  4. a male given name, form of Donald.
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Don2

[dawn]
noun Welsh Mythology.
  1. a goddess, the mother of Gwydion and Arianrod: corresponds to the Irish Danu.
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Schollander

[shoh-lan-der]
noun
  1. DonaldDon, born 1946, U.S. swimmer.
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Shula

[shoo-luh]
noun
  1. Donald FrancisDon, born 1930, U.S. football coach.
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Cherry

[cher-ee]
noun
  1. Donald EugeneDon, 1936–95, U.S. jazz trumpeter.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for don

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "Your bearing and your words, Don Martin, are such I should have looked for in you," he remarked.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • And whose death comes so opportunely for thy rise, Don Alvar?

    Calderon The Courtier

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Mr. Don looks into the greyness from which this voice comes, and he sees his son.

    Echoes of the War

    J. M. Barrie

  • Mr. Don rises, wincing, and Dick also is at once on his feet, full of compunction.

    Echoes of the War

    J. M. Barrie

  • Mrs. Don comes in, as beautiful as ever, but a little aggrieved.

    Echoes of the War

    J. M. Barrie


British Dictionary definitions for don

don1

verb dons, donning or donned
  1. (tr) to put on (clothing)
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Word Origin

C14: from do 1 + on; compare doff

don2

noun
  1. British a member of the teaching staff at a university or college, esp at Oxford or Cambridge
  2. the head of a student dormitory at certain Canadian universities and colleges
  3. a Spanish gentleman or nobleman
  4. (in the Mafia) the head of a family
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Word Origin

C17: ultimately from Latin dominus lord

Don1

noun
  1. a Spanish title equivalent to Mr : placed before a name to indicate respect
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Word Origin

C16: via Spanish, from Latin dominus lord; see don ²

Don2

noun
  1. a river rising in W Russia, southeast of Tula and flowing generally south, to the Sea of Azov: linked by canal to the River Volga. Length: 1870 km (1162 miles)
  2. a river in NE Scotland, rising in the Cairngorm Mountains and flowing east to the North Sea. Length: 100 km (62 miles)
  3. a river in N central England, rising in S Yorkshire and flowing northeast to the Humber. Length: about 96 km (60 miles)
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cherry

noun plural -ries
  1. any of several trees of the rosaceous genus Prunus, such as P. avium (sweet cherry), having a small fleshy rounded fruit containing a hard stoneSee also bird cherry
  2. the fruit or wood of any of these trees
  3. any of various unrelated plants, such as the ground cherry and Jerusalem cherry
    1. a bright red colour; cerise
    2. (as adjective)a cherry coat
  4. slang virginity or the hymen as its symbol
  5. (modifier) of or relating to the cherry fruit or woodcherry tart
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Derived Formscherry-like, adjective

Word Origin

C14: back formation from Old English ciris (mistakenly thought to be plural), ultimately from Late Latin ceresia, perhaps from Latin cerasus cherry tree, from Greek kerasios
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for don

n.

1520s, from Spanish or Portuguese don, title of respect, from Latin dominus "lord, master." The university sense is c.1660, originally student slang; underworld sense is 1952, from Italian don, from Late Latin domnus, from Latin dominus (see domain). The fem. form is Dona (Spanish/Portuguese), Donna (Italian).

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v.

early 14c. contraction of do on (see doff). "After 1650 retained in popular use only in north. dialect; as a literary archaism it has become very frequent in 19th c." [OED]. Related: Donned; donning.

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cherry

n.

c.1300, earlier in surname Chyrimuth (1266, literally "Cherry-mouth"); from Anglo-French cherise, from Old North French cherise (Old French, Modern French cerise, 12c.), from Vulgar Latin *ceresia, from late Greek kerasian "cherry," from Greek kerasos "cherry tree," possibly from a language of Asia Minor. Mistaken in Middle English for a plural and stripped of its -s (cf. pea).

Old English had ciris "cherry" from a West Germanic borrowing of the Vulgar Latin word (cf. German Kirsch), but it died out after the Norman invasion and was replaced by the French word. Meaning "maidenhead, virginity" is from 1889, U.S. slang, from supposed resemblance to the hymen, but perhaps also from the long-time use of cherries as a symbol of the fleeting quality of life's pleasures.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper