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dumbledore

[ duhm-buhl-dawr ]
/ ˈdʌm bəlˌdɔr /
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noun British Dialect, Archaic.

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Origin of dumbledore

First recorded in 1785–90; from dumble-, a combining form used for names of buzzing insects + dore, a variant spelling of dor1; cf. bumble2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does dumbledore mean?

Dumbledore is an old British word for a bumblebee.

It can also refer to the kind of beetle known as a cockchafer.

Dumbledore originated as a term used in a regional British dialect, but it is now very rarely used. An even less common variant of the word is dumbledrane.

Today, it is much more well-known as the last name of Albus Dumbledore, a character from the Harry Potter series of books.

Example: We sat on the grass and watched busy dumbledores collecting pollen from flowers.

Where does dumbledore come from?

The first records of the word dumbledore come from the late 1700s. The word is a combination of dumble-, a term used in the names of buzzing insects, and a variant of the word dor, which is used as a name for several insects that buzz when they fly. Dor itself comes from the Old English dora, which means “bumblebee” and is related to Middle Low German dorte, meaning “drone.” The verb drone can mean the same thing as hum or buzz—to make a low and continuous humming sound. The first part of the word, dumble-, is a variant of drumble, meaning “to move sluggishly or clumsily” (bumblebees are known for their erratic movement in flight). Although drumble sounds very similar to bumble, the bumble in bumblebee comes from the Middle English bomblen, from bomben, meaning “to boom” or “to buzz.” The word bumble can mean “to make a humming sound.”

In the Harry Potter series, Dumbledore is a powerful wizard and the headmaster  of the Hogwarts school. Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling has said that the inspiration to name the character Dumbledore was based on the fact that she always imagined him as humming to himself (due to his love of music). His full name is Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. The Latin word albus means “white.”

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What are some synonyms for dumbledore?

What are some words that share a root or word element with dumbledore

 

  • dor
  • dorbeetle

What are some words that often get used in discussing dumbledore?

How is dumbledore used in real life?

Dumbledore is an old word that’s now almost always used to refer to the Harry Potter character. Most people are unaware the word ever referred to anything else.

 

 

Try using dumbledore!

True or False?

The word dumbledore always refers to a bumblebee.

British Dictionary definitions for dumbledore

dumbledore
/ (ˈdʌmbəlˌdɔː) /

noun

English dialect a bumblebeeAlso (Southwest English): drumbledrane
Old English dumble, variant of drumble to move sluggishly + dor humming insect
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
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