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dick

[dik]
See more synonyms for dick on Thesaurus.com
noun Slang.
  1. Older Use. a detective.
  2. Vulgar. penis.
  3. Vulgar. a stupid, mean, or contemptible person, especially a man.
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Origin of dick

First recorded in 1545–55; generic use of the name Dick

Dick

[dik]
noun
  1. George Frederick,1881–1967, U.S. internist.
  2. Philip K.,1928–82, U.S. science-fiction writer.
  3. a male given name, form of Richard.
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Turpin

[tur-pin]
noun
  1. Ben,1874–1940, U.S. silent-film comedian.
  2. RichardDick, 1706–39, English highwayman.
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Whittington

[hwit-ing-tuh n, wit-]
noun
  1. RichardDick, 1358?–1423, English merchant and philanthropist: Lord Mayor of London 1398, 1406–07, 1419–20.
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Button

[buht-n]
noun
  1. Richard Tot·ten [tot-n] /ˈtɒt n/, Dick, born 1929, U.S. figure skater.
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Cheney

[chey-nee, chee‐]
noun
  1. RichardDick, born 1941, U.S. politician: secretary of defense 1989–93; vice president of the U.S. 2001–09.
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Fosbury

[foz-buh-ree]
noun
  1. Richard D.Dick, born 1947, U.S. athlete: developed “Fosbury flop” high jump style.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

sleuthgumshoedetectivereporteragentspyinformerprosecutorcopeavesdroppertailinvestigatorsleuthhoundflatfootdicktrackerbloodhoundsneakertecfink

Examples from the Web for dick

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And Dick is growing more and more wretched about it every day.

    Viviette

    William J. Locke

  • They catalogued Dick's virtues, and then Viviette unfolded her scheme.

    Viviette

    William J. Locke

  • And we'll say nothing to Dick until we've got it all in black and white.

    Viviette

    William J. Locke

  • Dick quickly crossed to the table where his brother was sitting.

    Viviette

    William J. Locke

  • Decidedly, Dick had been a godsend, and his absence would be a calamity.

    Viviette

    William J. Locke


British Dictionary definitions for dick

dick1

noun
  1. mainly US a slang word for detective
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Word Origin

C20: by shortening and alteration from detective; probably influenced by proper name Dick

dick2

noun slang
  1. British a fellow or person
  2. clever dick British a person who is obnoxiously opinionated or self-satisfied; know-all
  3. a slang word for penis
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Word Origin

C16 (meaning: fellow): from the name Dick, familiar form of Richard, applied generally (like Jack) to any fellow, lad, etc; hence, C19: penis

usage

The third sense of this word was formerly considered to be taboo and it was labelled as such in previous editions of Collins English Dictionary . However, it has now become acceptable in speech, although some older or more conservative people may object to its use

button

noun
  1. a disc or knob of plastic, wood, etc, attached to a garment, etc, usually for fastening two surfaces together by passing it through a buttonhole or loop
  2. a small round object, such as any of various sweets, decorations, or badges
  3. a small disc that completes an electric circuit when pushed, as one that operates a doorbell or machine
  4. a symbolic representation of a button on the screen of a computer that is notionally depressed by manipulating the mouse to initiate an action
  5. biology any rounded knoblike part or organ, such as an unripe mushroom
  6. fencing the protective knob fixed to the point of a foil
  7. a small amount of metal, usually lead, with which gold or silver is fused, thus concentrating it during assaying
  8. the piece of a weld that pulls out during the destructive testing of spot welds
  9. rowing a projection around the loom of an oar that prevents it slipping through the rowlock
  10. British an object of no value (esp in the phrase not worth a button)
  11. slang intellect; mental capacity (in such phrases as a button short, to have all one's buttons, etc)
  12. on the button informal exactly; precisely
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verb
  1. to fasten with a button or buttons
  2. (tr) to provide with buttons
  3. (tr) fencing to hit (an opponent) with the button of one's foil
  4. button one's lip, button up one's lip, button one's mouth or button up one's mouth to stop talking: often imperative
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See also buttons, button up
Derived Formsbuttoner, nounbuttonless, adjectivebuttony, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Old French boton, from boter to thrust, butt, of Germanic origin; see butt ³

Cheney

noun
  1. Richard B (ruce), known as Dick. born 1941, US Republican politician; vice-president from 2001 to 2009
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Turpin

noun
  1. Dick . 1706–39, English highwayman
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Whittington

noun
  1. Richard, known as Dick. died 1423, English merchant, three times mayor of London. According to legend, he walked to London at the age of 13 with his cat and was prevented from leaving again only by the call of the church bells
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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

Word Origin and History for dick

n.

"fellow, lad, man," 1550s, rhyming nickname for Rick, short for Richard, one of the commonest English names, it has long been a synonym for "fellow," and so most of the slang senses are probably very old, but naturally hard to find in the surviving records. The meaning "penis" is attested from 1891 in Farmer's slang dictionary (possibly British army slang). Meaning "detective" is recorded from 1908, perhaps as a shortened variant of detective.

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button

n.

c.1300 (surname Botouner "button-maker" attested from mid-13c.), from Old French boton "a button," originally "a bud" (12c., Modern French bouton), from bouter, boter "to thrust," common Romanic (cf. Spanish boton, Italian bottone), ultimately from Germanic (see butt (v.)). Thus a button is, etymologically, something that pushes up, or thrusts out.

Meaning "point of the chin" is pugilistic slang, by 1921. A button as something you push to create an effect by closing an (electrical) circuit is attested from 1840s. Button-pusher as "deliberately annoying or provocative person" is attested by 1990 (in reference to Bill Gates, in "InfoWorld" magazine, Nov. 19). In the 1980s it meant "photographer."

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button

v.

late 14c., "to furnish with buttons;" early 15c., "to fasten with buttons" (of a garment,) from button (n.) or from Old French botoner (Modern French boutonner), from boton (n.). Related: Buttoned; buttoning. Button-down (adj.) in reference to shirt collars is from 1916.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dick in Medicine

button

(bŭtn)
n.
  1. A knoblike structure, device, or lesion.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

dick in Science

Dick

[dĭk]
  1. American medical researcher who collaborated with his wife, Gladys Henry Dick (1881-1963), to isolate the bacterium that causes scarlet fever. They developed a serum for the disease in 1923.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with dick

Dick

see every tom, dick, and harry.

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button

In addition to the idioms beginning with button

  • button one's lip
  • button up

also see:

  • cute as a button
  • have all one's buttons
  • on the button
  • push (press) someone's buttons
  • push the panic button
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.