adjective, diz·zi·er, diz·zi·est.

having a sensation of whirling and a tendency to fall; giddy; vertiginous.
bewildered; confused.
causing giddiness or confusion: a dizzy height.
heedless; thoughtless.
Informal. foolish; silly.

verb (used with object), diz·zied, diz·zy·ing.

to make dizzy.

Origin of dizzy

before 900; Middle English dysy, Old English dysig foolish; cognate with Low German düsig stupefied
Related formsdiz·zi·ly, adverbdiz·zi·ness, noun




James (Byron),1931–55, U.S. actor.
Jay HannaDizzy, 1911–74, U.S. baseball pitcher.
a male given name: from the Old English family name meaning “valley.”




Benjamin, 1st Earl of BeaconsfieldDizzy, 1804–81, British statesman and novelist: prime minister 1868, 1874–80.




John Birks [burks] /bɜrks/Dizzy, 1917–93, U.S. jazz trumpeter and composer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dizzy

Contemporary Examples of dizzy

Historical Examples of dizzy

  • For as he tried to sit up, he fell back sick and dizzy on the bed.

    The Armourer's Prentices

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • Harriet's climbing was not so rapid as to make her dizzy; but business was coming.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • My head is so dizzy, and my eyes so——What do you think, sir?

  • "Hardly," replied Christian, gazing upwards at the dizzy height.

    The Slave Of The Lamp

    Henry Seton Merriman

  • The tremendous shaking had made her dizzy, and she lost her memory for some days.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

British Dictionary definitions for dizzy


adjective -zier or -ziest

affected with a whirling or reeling sensation; giddy
mentally confused or bewildered
causing or tending to cause vertigo or bewilderment
informal foolish or flighty

verb -zies, -zying or -zied

(tr) to make dizzy
Derived Formsdizzily, adverbdizziness, noun

Word Origin for dizzy

Old English dysig silly; related to Old High German tusīg weak, Old Norse dos quiet



the chief administrative official of a college or university faculty
(at Oxford and Cambridge universities) a college fellow with responsibility for undergraduate discipline
mainly Church of England the head of a chapter of canons and administrator of a cathedral or collegiate church
RC Church the cardinal bishop senior by consecration and head of the college of cardinalsSee also rural dean Related adjective: decanal
Derived Formsdeanship, noun

Word Origin for dean

C14: from Old French deien, from Late Latin decānus one set over ten persons, from Latin decem ten




Forest of Dean a forest in W England, in Gloucestershire, between the Rivers Severn and Wye: formerly a royal hunting ground




Christopher. See Torvill and Dean
James (Byron). 1931–55, US film actor, who became a cult figure; his films include East of Eden and Rebel Without a Cause (both 1955). He died in a car crash



Dizzy, nickname of John Birks Gillespie. 1917–93, US jazz trumpeter



Benjamin, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield. 1804–81, British Tory statesman and novelist; prime minister (1868; 1874–80). He gave coherence to the Tory principles of protectionism and imperialism, was responsible for the Reform Bill (1867) and, as prime minister, bought a controlling interest in the Suez Canal. His novels include Coningsby (1844) and Sybil (1845)
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 dizzy

Old English dysig "foolish, stupid," from Proto-Germanic *dusijaz (cf. Low German düsig "dizzy," Dutch duizelen "to be dizzy," Old High German dusig "foolish," German Tor "fool," Old English dwæs, Dutch dwaas "foolish"), perhaps from PIE *dheu- (1) "dust, vapor, smoke; to rise in a cloud" (and related notions of "defective perception or wits").

Meaning "having a whirling sensation" is from mid-14c.; that of "giddy" is from c.1500 and seems to merge the two earlier meanings. Used of the "foolish virgins" in early translations of Matthew xxv; used especially of blondes since 1870s. Related: Dizzily.


Old English dysigan, from source of dizzy (adj.). Related: Dizzied; dizzying.



early 14c., from Old French deien (12c., Modern French doyen), from Late Latin decanus "head of a group of 10 monks in a monastery," from earlier secular meaning "commander of 10 soldiers" (which was extended to civil administrators in the late empire), from Greek dekanos, from deka "ten" (see ten). Replaced Old English teoðingealdor. College sense is from 1570s (in Latin from late 13c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper