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[dood, dyood] /dud, dyud/
a man excessively concerned with his clothes, grooming, and manners.
  1. a fellow; chap.
  2. (a general term of address used to a man, woman, or group).
a person reared in a large city.
Western U.S. an urban Easterner who vacations on a ranch.
(an expression of shock, approval, sympathy, or other strong feeling):
Dude! That's one expensive sandwich!
Verb phrases, past and past participle duded up, present participle duding up.
dude up, Informal. to dress in one's fanciest, best, or most stylish clothes; dress up:
He got all duded up to go to the dance.
Origin of dude
An Americanism dating back to 1880-85; origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dude
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Thus a man who is noted for his dress is a "swell," a "dude," or a "sport."

  • I heard her kind of taking on before the dude hushed her up.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • But such terms are merely relative; every fairly dressed man is a dude to somebody.

    The Faith Doctor Edward Eggleston
  • Sylvane found, to his surprise, that the "dude" learnt quickly.

  • In business, a broker isn't considered a dude because he declines to be his own office-boy.

    Wanted: A Cook Alan Dale
British Dictionary definitions for dude


/duːd; djuːd/
noun (informal)
(Western US & Canadian) a city dweller, esp one holidaying on a ranch
(mainly US & Canadian) a dandy
(US & Canadian) a person: often used to any male in direct address
Derived Forms
dudish, adjective
dudishly, adverb
Word Origin
C19: of unknown origin
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 dude

1883, "fastidious man," New York City slang of unknown origin. The vogue word of 1883, originally used in reference to the devotees of the "aesthetic" craze, later applied to city slickers, especially Easterners vacationing in the West (e.g. dude ranch, first recorded 1921).

Now, "tenderfoot" is not to be construed as the Western equivalent of that much evolved and more abused specimen of mankind, familiarly styled "dude." For even the Montana cowboy recognizes the latter. Not that he has ever seen the true prototype of a class that was erstwhile so numerous among us. But he is convinced that a person caught in the act of wearing a white linen collar, and who looks as though he might have recently shaved or washed his face, must be a dude, true and proper. ["Random Notes and Observations of a Trip through the Great Northwest," "The Medical Record," Oct. 20, 1883]
Application to any male is recorded by 1966, U.S., originally in Black English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for dude



  1. A dapper man, esp one who is ostentatiously dressed; dandy •In earliest use, to quote an 1891 source, a dude was ''not a dandy; there is nothing gallant or dashing about him. He is soberness itself; he is as respectable as an undertaker. Yet your real dude is irresistibly comic'' (1883+)
  2. A guest at a Western or Western-style ranch (1883+)
  3. A man; fellow; cat, guy: I'm sittin' in the bus stop, just me an' these other three dudes (1918+)

[origin unknown; perhaps an invented word]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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