- to make repeated and insistent demands upon, especially for the payment of a debt.
- a person, especially a creditor, who duns another.
- a demand for payment, especially a written one.
Origin of dun1
Examples from the Web for dunned
Twenty-five dollars, and, by heavens, he dunned me for it just after we started.The Daughter of a Magnate
Frank H. Spearman
I can stand to be dunned once in awhile, but I don't like to be frowned at.Old Ebenezer
Men are not dunned so rigorously when they have just fallen into their fortunes.Ralph the Heir
Bennoch has been dunned for his gas-bill at Blackheath (only a pound or two) and has paid it.Hawthorne and His Circle
The profanity fell upon Nevins from both the duns and the dunned.The Imitator
- (tr) to press or importune (a debtor) for the payment of a debt
- a person, esp a hired agent, who importunes another for the payment of a debt
- a demand for payment, esp one in writing
- a brownish-grey colour
- a horse of this colour
- an immature adult mayfly (the subimago), esp one of the genus Ephemera
- an artificial fly imitating this or a similar fly
- of a dun colour
- dark and gloomy
Word Origin and History for dunned
"to insist on payment of debt," 1620s, perhaps related to dunnen "to sound, resound, make a din" (c.1200, dialectal variant of din), or shortened from dunkirk (c.1600) "privateer," a private vessel licensed to attack enemy ships during wartime, from Dunkirk, French port from which they sailed. The oldest theory traces it to a Joe Dun, supposedly a London bailiff famous for catching defaulters. Related: Dunned; dunning. As a noun from 1620s.
Old English dunn "dingy brown, dark-colored," perhaps from Celtic (cf. Old Irish donn "dark;" Gaelic donn "brown, dark;" Welsh dwnn "brownish"), from PIE *donnos, *dusnos "dark."