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90s Slang You Should Know


[duhn-juh n] /ˈdʌn dʒən/
a strong, dark prison or cell, usually underground, as in a medieval castle.
the keep or stronghold of a castle; donjon.
Origin of dungeon
1250-1300; Middle English dungeo(u)n, dongeoun, dungun < Middle French donjon < Vulgar Latin *domniōn- (stem of *domniō) keep, mastery, syncopated variant of *dominiōn- dominion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dungeon
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A jangle as of dungeon chains clanked heavily from each fresh revolution of its progress.

    Rainy Week Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
  • If she's in a dungeon cell, how are you going to get her out?

    The Lost Princess of Oz L. Frank Baum
  • He was imprisoned on account of his enthusiastic and chivalrous loyalty; but no dungeon could subdue his buoyant spirit.

  • I don't mind so much about my head, but don't put me in a dungeon.

    Cricket at the Seashore Elizabeth Westyn Timlow
  • His head snapped back against the dungeon wall and memory and desire and lust and life oozed out through his smashed skull.

    Quest of the Golden Ape Ivar Jorgensen
British Dictionary definitions for dungeon


a close prison cell, often underground
a variant of donjon
Word Origin
C14: from Old French donjon; related to Latin dominus master
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 dungeon

c.1300, "great tower of a castle," from Old French donjon "great tower of a castle" (12c.), from Gallo-Romance *dominionem, from Late Latin dominium, from Latin dominus "master" (of the castle; see domain). Sense of "castle keep" led to "strong (underground) cell" in English early 14c. The original sense went with the variant donjon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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