[doon, dyoon]


a sand hill or sand ridge formed by the wind, usually in desert regions or near lakes and oceans.

Origin of dune

1780–90; < French, Old French < Middle Dutch dūna; cognate with down3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for dune

ridge, knoll, hillock, hummock

Examples from the Web for dune

Contemporary Examples of dune

  • We lugged the beach stuff onto the beach, avoiding anything that resembled a dune.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Why I Hate The Beach

    P. J. O’Rourke

    July 27, 2014

Historical Examples of dune

  • Renmark threw himself down on the soft sand at the foot of a dune.

  • What hae ye ever dune to gie a body ony richt to believe in ye?

    Heather and Snow

    George MacDonald

  • Then, above the edge of the dune, showed Seth's head and arm.

    The Woman-Haters

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Neither Seth nor the housekeeper came out from behind that dune.

    The Woman-Haters

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • It's time I went on and got the dune tonic for my foolish nerves.

    Janet of the Dunes

    Harriet T. Comstock

British Dictionary definitions for dune



a mound or ridge of drifted sand, occurring on the sea coast and in deserts

Word Origin for dune

C18: via Old French from Middle Dutch dūne; see down ³
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 dune

1790, from French, Middle Dutch or Middle Low German dune, all perhaps from Gaulish *dunom (thus related to down (n.2)). The French dune "sand hill" (13c.) is held by Diez to be an Old French borrowing from Dutch duin or some other Germanic source. Italian and Spanish duna are from French. Dune buggy attested by 1965.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dune in Science



A hill or ridge of wind-blown sand. Dunes are capable of moving by the motion of their individual grains but usually keep the same shape. See more at barchan dune draa longitudinal dune seif dune transverse dune.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.