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Definition dun

Etymology 1

From Middle English dun, dunne, from Old English dunn (“dun, dingy brown, bark-colored, brownish black”), from Proto-Germanic *dusnaz (“brown, yellow”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰewh₂- (“to smoke, raise dust”). Cognate with Old Saxon dun (“brown, dark”), Old High German tusin (“ash-gray, dull brown, pale yellow, dark”), Old Norse dunna (“female mallard; duck”).

Alternative etymology derives the Old English word from Brythonic (compare Middle Welsh dwnn (“dark (red)”)), from Proto-Celtic *dusnos (compare Old Irish donn), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰews- (compare Old Saxon dosan (“chestnut brown”)). More at dusk.

Noun

dun (usually uncountable, plural duns)

  1. A brownish grey colour.
Adjective

dun (not comparable)

  1. Of a brownish grey colour.

Etymology 2

Unknown; perhaps a variant of din. Several sources suggest origin from Joe Dun, the name of a bailiff known for arresting debtors, but this is controversial.

Noun

dun (plural duns)

  1. (countable) A collector of debts.
  2. An urgent request or demand of payment.
Verb

dun (third-person singular simple present duns, present participle dunning, simple past and past participle dunned)

  1. (transitive) To ask or beset a debtor for payment.
  2. (transitive) To harass by continually repeating e.g. a request.

Etymology 3

Uncertain; likely from the color.

Noun

dun (plural duns)

  1. (countable) A newly hatched, immature mayfly; a mayfly subimago.
  2. (countable, fishing) A fly made to resemble the mayfly subimago.

Etymology 4

From Irish dún or Scottish Gaelic dùn, from Proto-Celtic *dūnom (“fortress”). Cognate with Welsh dinas (“city”).

Noun

dun (plural duns)

  1. An ancient or medieval fortification; especially a hill-fort in Scotland or Ireland.
  2. (archeology) A structure in the Orkney or Shetland islands or in Scotland consisting of a roundhouse surrounded by a circular wall; a broch.

Etymology 5

See do.

Verb

dun

  1. (nonstandard, informal) Eye dialect spelling of done: past participle of do
  2. (nonstandard, informal) Eye dialect spelling of don't: contraction of do + not.

Etymology 6

Likely from the color of fish so prepared.

Verb

dun (third-person singular simple present duns, present participle dunning, simple past and past participle dunned)

  1. (transitive, dated) To cure, as codfish, by laying them, after salting, in a pile in a dark place, covered with saltgrass or a similar substance.

Etymology 7

See dune.

Noun

dun (plural duns)

  1. A mound or small hill.

Etymology 8

Imitative.

Interjection

dun

  1. (humorous) Imitating suspenseful music.

Try searching for words with the letters DUN, words with the phrase DUN, words starting with the letters DUN, or words ending in the letters DUN.