dilly

[dil-ee]
|

noun, plural dil·lies. Informal.

something or someone regarded as remarkable, unusual, etc.: a dilly of a movie.

Origin of dilly

1930–35; Americanism; earlier as adj.: wonderful, apparently a shortening of delightful or delicious, with -y1 (now taken as -y2)

Dili

or Dil·li, Dil·ly

[dil-ee]

noun

a city on NE Timor, in S Indonesia.

Dilli

or Dil·ly

[dil-ee]

noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dilly

Contemporary Examples of dilly

Historical Examples of dilly

  • And again, in spite of the Joyces, Dilly felt homesick and alone.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • She was no older than Dilly, but she had seemed matronly in her teens.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • She included them both in a neighborly glance, and Dilly was very grateful.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • Dilly looked up at him with her bright, truth-telling glance.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • "Maybe," said Dilly, nodding and tying her last bundle of papers.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown


British Dictionary definitions for dilly

dilly

1

noun plural -lies

slang, mainly US and Canadian a person or thing that is remarkable

Word Origin for dilly

C20: perhaps from girl's proper name Dilly

dilly

2

adjective -lier or -liest

Australian and NZ slang silly

Word Origin for dilly

C20: perhaps from silly

Dili

Dilli

noun

the capital (from 2002) of independent East Timor: the former capital (until 1976) of Portuguese Timor. Pop: 50 000 (2005 est)
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 dilly
n.

"delightful or excellent person or thing" (often used ironically), 1935, American English, from an earlier adjective (1909), perhaps from the first syllable of delightful or delicious, or related to the nursery word for "duck." Dilly was also slang for a stagecoach (1818), from French carrosse de diligence (see diligence).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper