• synonyms


noun, plural dar·bies. Building Trades.
  1. a float having two handles, used by plasterers.
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Origin of darby

1565–75; perhaps after a proper name or Derby, England


  1. a city in SE Pennsylvania.
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plural noun British Slang.
  1. handcuffs; manacles.
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Origin of darbies

First recorded in 1565–75; probably from the phrase Darby's bonds a rigid bond, perhaps named after a noted 16th-century usurer
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for darby

Contemporary Examples of darby

Historical Examples of darby

  • From an Irish estate, my great-grandfather changed it to that of Darby.

  • "Miss Darby, or I am mistaken," said he, with a bow of marked civility.

  • The vessel of Captain Darby was the first that reached the rock by nearly an hour.

  • This is the atmosphere which must have attended the performance of Dunlap's "Darby's Return."


    William Dunlap

  • His name was—Darby;—that was his baptizing name; his other name I forgot.

    The Contrast

    Royall Tyler

British Dictionary definitions for darby


  1. Abraham. 1677–1717, British iron manufacturer: built the first coke-fired blast furnace (1709)
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pl n
  1. British short for handcuffsSee handcuff
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Word Origin for darbies

C16: perhaps from the phrase Father Derby's or Father Darby's bonds, a rigid agreement between a usurer and his client
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