adjective, adverb, verb (used with object) Dialect. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dern

Contemporary Examples of dern

Historical Examples of dern

  • I wouldn't give a dern to know what's the matter of Phillips, I says to myself.

    Tom Sawyer, Detective

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • When they asked me if I was hurt, I says, 'He snapped my dern old leg like a 'tater.'

  • He's just too dern fat to do much more'n sit on a throne and eat grapes.

    Dream Town

    Henry Slesar

  • Dern me if I didn't plumb forgit about any chance of her showin' up.

    Rimrock Trail

    J. Allan Dunn

  • But dern him, he can't write it—which is all wrong, and not as it should be.

Word Origin and History for dern

"secret, hidden" (obsolete), from Old English derne "concealed, secret, dark," from West Germanic *darnjaz (cf. Old Saxon derni, Old Frisian dern, Old High German tarni "secret, concealed").

As a verb, "to conceal," from Old English diernan "to hide." Cf. Old High German tarnjan "to conceal, hide;" German Tarnkappe "cloak of invisibility." Related to dark (adj.). French ternir "to tarnish, to dull" is a Germanic loan-word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper