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[don] /dɒn/
verb (used with object), donned, donning.
to put on or dress in:
to don one's clothes.
Origin of don2
1560-70; contraction of do1 + on; cf. doff Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for donning
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Conquering her natural fears she rose, and donning a dressing gown, unconsciously tried the handle of her door.

    The Riddle of the Purple Emperor Mary E. Hanshew and Thomas W. Hanshew
  • In the morning, Stoltzfoos prepared for his trip into Datura by donning his Sunday-best.

    Blind Man's Lantern Allen Kim Lang
  • Therefore, instead of donning his official garb, he went down stairs to hunt up his badge and handcuffs.

    Shifting Sands Sara Ware Bassett
  • If monsieur feels that the cap fits him, I shall not stay him in the act of donning it.

    St. Martin's Summer Rafael Sabatini
  • donning it and a fine warm boat cloak, I accompanied the skipper to the deck and walked aft to take a look at the task before me.

British Dictionary definitions for donning


verb dons, donning, donned
(transitive) to put on (clothing)
Word Origin
C14: from do1 + on; compare doff


(Brit) a member of the teaching staff at a university or college, esp at Oxford or Cambridge
the head of a student dormitory at certain Canadian universities and colleges
a Spanish gentleman or nobleman
(in the Mafia) the head of a family
Word Origin
C17: ultimately from Latin dominus lord


/dɒn; Spanish don/
a Spanish title equivalent to Mr: placed before a name to indicate respect
Word Origin
C16: via Spanish, from Latin dominus lord; see don²


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)
a river in NE Scotland, rising in the Cairngorm Mountains and flowing east to the North Sea. Length: 100 km (62 miles)
a river in N central England, rising in S Yorkshire and flowing northeast to the Humber. Length: about 96 km (60 miles)
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
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Word Origin and History for donning



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).


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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for donning


dissolved organic nitrogen
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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