dike

1

or dyke

[ dahyk ]
/ daɪk /
|

noun

verb (used with object), diked, dik·ing.

to furnish or drain with a dike.
to enclose, restrain, or protect by a dike: to dike a tract of land.

Origin of dike

1
before 900; Middle English dik(e), Old English dīc < Old Norse dīki; akin to ditch

Related forms

dik·er, nounun·diked, adjective

Definition for dikes (2 of 3)

dike

2
[ dahyk ]
/ daɪk /

noun Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.


Related forms

dik·ey, adjective, dik·i·er, dik·i·est.

Definition for dikes (3 of 3)

dyke

2

or dike

[ dahyk ]
/ daɪk /

noun Slang: Disparaging and Offensive.

a contemptuous term used to refer to a lesbian.

Origin of dyke

2
1940–45; earlier in form bulldike (with a variant bulldagger); of obscure origin; claimed to be a shortening of morphodyke (variant of morphodite, a reshaping of hermaphrodite), though morphodyke is more likely a blend of morphodite and a pre-existing dyke; other hypothesized connections, such as with diked out or dike “ditch,” are dubious on semantic grounds

Related forms

dyk·ey, adjective, dyk·i·er, dyk·i·est.

Usage note

The terms dyke and bull dyke are used with disparaging intent and are perceived as insulting. However, they have been adopted as positive terms of self-reference by young or radical lesbians and in the academic community. In the mainstream homosexual community, gay and lesbian remain the terms of choice.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dikes

British Dictionary definitions for dikes (1 of 4)

dike

/ (daɪk) /

noun, verb

a variant spelling of dyke 1

British Dictionary definitions for dikes (2 of 4)

Dyke

/ (dɑɪk) /

noun

Greg (ory). born 1947, British television executive; director-general of the BBC (2000–04)

British Dictionary definitions for dikes (3 of 4)

dyke

1

dike

/ (daɪk) /

noun


verb

civil engineering an embankment or wall built to confine a river to a particular course
(tr) to protect, enclose, or drain (land) with a dyke

Word Origin for dyke

C13: modification of Old English dic ditch; compare Old Norse dīki ditch

British Dictionary definitions for dikes (4 of 4)

dyke

2

dike

/ (daɪk) /

noun

slang a lesbian

Word Origin for dyke

C20: of unknown origin
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

Science definitions for dikes

dike

[ dīk ]

A body of igneous rock that cuts across the structure of adjoining rock, usually as a result of the intrusion of magma. Dikes are often of a different composition from the rock they cut across. They are usually on the order of centimeters to meters across and up to tens of kilometers long. See illustration at batholith.
An embankment of earth and rock built to prevent floods or to hold irrigation water in for agricultural purposes.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.