- to make repeated and insistent demands upon, especially for the payment of a debt.
- a person, especially a creditor, who duns another.
- a demand for payment, especially a written one.
Origin of dun1
Related Words for dunnedannoy, depress, disturb, unsettle, perturb, bother, upset, irritate, try, plague, trouble, fret, urge, force, claim, question, require, request, stipulate, expect
Examples from the Web for dunned
Historical Examples of dunned
Twenty-five dollars, and, by heavens, he dunned me for it just after we started.The Daughter of a Magnate
Frank H. Spearman
I can stand to be dunned once in awhile, but I don't like to be frowned at.Old Ebenezer
Men are not dunned so rigorously when they have just fallen into their fortunes.Ralph the Heir
Bennoch has been dunned for his gas-bill at Blackheath (only a pound or two) and has paid it.Hawthorne and His Circle
The profanity fell upon Nevins from both the duns and the dunned.The Imitator
- (tr) to press or importune (a debtor) for the payment of a debt
- a person, esp a hired agent, who importunes another for the payment of a debt
- a demand for payment, esp one in writing
Word Origin for dun
- a brownish-grey colour
- a horse of this colour
- an immature adult mayfly (the subimago), esp one of the genus Ephemera
- an artificial fly imitating this or a similar fly
- of a dun colour
- dark and gloomy
Word Origin for dun
"to insist on payment of debt," 1620s, perhaps related to dunnen "to sound, resound, make a din" (c.1200, dialectal variant of din), or shortened from dunkirk (c.1600) "privateer," a private vessel licensed to attack enemy ships during wartime, from Dunkirk, French port from which they sailed. The oldest theory traces it to a Joe Dun, supposedly a London bailiff famous for catching defaulters. Related: Dunned; dunning. As a noun from 1620s.
Old English dunn "dingy brown, dark-colored," perhaps from Celtic (cf. Old Irish donn "dark;" Gaelic donn "brown, dark;" Welsh dwnn "brownish"), from PIE *donnos, *dusnos "dark."