dotard (n.) Look up dotard at
"imbecile," late 14c., from dote + -ard.
dote (v.) Look up dote at
c. 1200, "to be feeble-minded from age," from Middle Low German doten "be foolish," which is of unknown origin. Meaning "to be infatuated" is from late 15c. Related: Doted; dotes; doting.
doth Look up doth at
see does.
dotty (adj.) Look up dotty at
1812, "full of dots," from dot (n.) + -y (2). Meaning "silly" is from c. 1400, in dotypolle "dotty poll" (i.e. "dotty head"), in which case the first element is from dote (v.).
Douai Look up Douai at
or Douay, name of town in northern France, used elliptically in reference to the English translation of the Bible begun there late 16c., sanctioned by Roman Catholic Church. [Also called Rheims-Douai translation because it was published in Rheims in 1582]. It uses more Latinate words than the KJV.
double (adj.) Look up double at
early 13c., from Old French doble (10c.) "double, two-fold; two-faced, deceitful," from Latin duplus "twofold, twich as much" from duo "two" (see two) + -plus "more" (see -plus). Double standard attested by 1951. Military double time (1833) originally was 130 steps per minute.
double (v.) Look up double at
late 13c., "make double," from Old French dobler, from Latin duplare, from duplus (see double (adj.)). Meaning "to work as, in addition to one's regular job" is c. 1920, circus slang, from performers who also played in the band. Related: Doubled; doubling. To double up bodily is from 1814.
A blow on the stomach "doubles up" the boxer, and occasions that gasping and crowing which sufficiently indicate the cause of the injury .... [Donald Walker, "Defensive Exercises," 1840]
double (n.) Look up double at
mid-14c., "amount twice as great," also "duplicate copy," from double (adj.).
double agent (n.) Look up double agent at
1935, from double (adj.) + agent (n.).
double date (v.) Look up double date at
1931, from double (adj.) + date (v.2).
Double Dutch Look up Double Dutch at
"gibberish," 1864 (High Dutch for "incomprehensible language" is recorded from 1789); from double (adj.) + Dutch.
double entendre Look up double entendre at
also double-entendre, 1670s, from French (where it was rare and is now obsolete), literally "a twofold meaning," from entendre (now entente) "to hear, to understand, to mean," from Latin intendere (see intend). The proper Modern French phrase would be double entente, but the phrase has become established in English in its old form.
double talk (n.) Look up double talk at
1938, from double (adj.) + talk (n.). Old English had a similar formation in twispræc "double speech, deceit, detraction."
double-check (v.) Look up double-check at
1958, from double (adj.) + check (v.1). Related: Double-checked; double-checking.
double-cross (n.) Look up double-cross at
1834, from double (adj.) + cross (n.) in the sense of "pre-arranged swindle or fix." Originally to win a race after promising to lose it. As a verb from 1903, American English. Related: Double-crossed; double-crossing.
double-decker (n.) Look up double-decker at
1835 of ships, 1867 of street vehicles; from double (adj.) + deck (n.).
double-header (n.) Look up double-header at
1869, American English, originally a kind of fireworks or a railway train pulled by two engines; see double (adj.) + head (n.). Baseball sense is c. 1890.
double-park (v.) Look up double-park at
1931, from double (adj.) + park (v.). Related: Double-parked; double-parking.
double-take (n.) Look up double-take at
1922, from double (adj.) + take (n.).
double-team (v.) Look up double-team at
"attack two-on-one," 1860; see double (adj.) + team (v.). Related: Double-teamed; double-teaming.
doublespeak (n.) Look up doublespeak at
1957, from double (adj.) + speak, coined on model of doublethink in Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" (the language in that book was Newspeak).
doublet (n.) Look up doublet at
early 14c. as a type of men's garment, from Old French doublet (12c.), from diminutive of duble (see double (adj.)). From 1550s as "one of two things that are alike."
doublethink (n.) Look up doublethink at
1948, coined by Orwell in "Nineteen Eighty-Four," from double (adj.) + think.
doubloon (n.) Look up doubloon at
1620s, from French doublon (16c.) and directly from Spanish doblon a gold coin, augmentative of doble "double" (coin so called because it was worth twice as much as the Spanish gold pistole), from Latin duplus "double" (see double (adj.)). Also see -oon.
doubly (adv.) Look up doubly at
late 14c., from double (adj.) + -ly (2).
doubt (v.) Look up doubt at
early 13c., "to dread, fear," from Old French doter "doubt, be doubtful; be afraid," from Latin dubitare "to doubt, question, hesitate, waver in opinion" (related to dubius "uncertain;" see dubious); etymologically, "to have to choose between two things."

The sense of "fear" developed in Old French and was passed on to English. Meaning "to be uncertain" is attested in English from c. 1300. The -b- was restored 14c. by scribes in imitation of Latin. Replaced Old English tweogan (noun twynung), from tweon "two," on notion of "of two minds" or the choice of two implied in Latin dubitare (compare German Zweifel "doubt," from zwei "two").
doubt (n.) Look up doubt at
early 13c., from Old French dote (11c.) "fear, dread; doubt," from doter (see doubt (v.)).
doubtful (adj.) Look up doubtful at
late 14c., from doubt (n.) + -ful. Related: Doubtfully; doubtfulness.
doubtless Look up doubtless at
mid-14c. (adv.), mid-15c. (adj.), from doubt (n.) + -less. Related: Doubtlessly.
douche (n.) Look up douche at
1766, "jet of water," from French douche (16c.), from Italian doccia "shower," from docciare "to spray," from Latin ductionem "a leading," from ducere "to lead" (see duke (n.)). Meaning "vaginal cleansing" is from 1833. The verb is first attested 1838. Related: Douched; douching.
douchebag (n.) Look up douchebag at
also douche-bag, douche bag, 1893, from douche + bag (n.). American English slang sense of "contemptible person" attested by 1967.
dough (n.) Look up dough at
Old English dag "dough," from Proto-Germanic *daigaz "something kneaded" (source also of Old Norse deig, Swedish deg, Middle Dutch deech, Dutch deeg, Old High German teic, German Teig, Gothic daigs "dough"), from PIE *dheigh- "to build, to form, to knead" (source also of Sanskrit dehah "body," literally "that which is formed," dih- "to besmear;" Greek teikhos "wall;" Latin fingere "to form, fashion," figura "a shape, form, figure;" Gothic deigan "to smear;" Old Irish digen "firm, solid," originally "kneaded into a compact mass"). Meaning "money" is from 1851.
doughboy (n.) Look up doughboy at
"U.S. soldier," 1864, American English, said to have been in oral use from 1854, or from the Mexican-American War (1847), it is perhaps from resemblance of big buttons on old uniforms to a sort of biscuit of that name (1680s), but there are various other conjectures.
doughface (n.) Look up doughface at
contemptuous nickname in U.S. politics for Northern Democrats who worked in the interest of the South before the Civil War; it was taken to mean "man who allows himself to be moulded." The source is an 1820 speech by John Randolph of Roanoke, in the wake of the Missouri Compromise.
Randolph, mocking the northerners intimidated by the South, referred to a children's game in which the players daubed their faces with dough and then looked in a mirror and scared themselves. [Daniel Walker Howe, "What Hath God Wrought," 2007]
Mask of dough is recorded from 1809, and the same image Randolph used is attested in another context by 1833. In contemporary use the expression was explained as referring to "the pale doughy faces of his frightened opponents" [Craigie] or "to liken them in timidity to female deer," which is frightened at her own shadow.
doughnut (n.) Look up doughnut at
1809, American English, from dough + nut (n.), probably on the notion of being a small round lump (the holes came later, first mentioned c. 1861). First recorded by Washington Irving, who described them as "balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog's fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks." Earlier name for it was dough-boy (1680s). Bartlett (1848) meanwhile lists doughnuts and crullers among the types of olycokes, a word he derives from Dutch olikoek, literally "oil-cake," to indicate a cake fried in lard.
The ladies of Augusta, Maine, set in operation and carried out a novel idea, namely, the distribution of over fifty bushels of doughnuts to the Third volunteer regiment of that State. A procession of ladies, headed by music, passed between double lines of troops, who presented arms, and were afterwards drawn up in hollow square to receive from tender and gracious hands the welcome doughnation. [Frazar Kirkland, "Anecdotes of the Rebellion," 1866]
Meaning "a driving in tight circles" is U.S. slang, 1981. Compare also donut.
doughty (adj.) Look up doughty at
Old English dohtig "competent, good, valiant," from dyhtig "strong," related to dugan "to be fit, be able, be strong," and influenced by its past participle, dohte.

All from Proto-Germanic *duhtiz- (source also of Middle High German tühtec, German tüchtig, Middle Dutch duchtich), from PIE *dheugh- "to be fit, be of use, proper" (source also of German Tugend "virtue," Greek teukhein "to make ready," Irish dual "becoming, fit," Russian dužij "strong, robust"). Rare after 17c.; in deliberately archaic or mock-heroic use since c. 1800. If it had survived, its modern form would be dighty.
Douglas Look up Douglas at
family name (late 12c.), later masc. personal name, from Gaelic Dubh glas "the dark water," name of a place in Lanarkshire. As a given name, in the top 40 for boys born in U.S. from 1942 to 1971. Douglas fir named for David Douglas (1798-1834), Scottish botanist who first recorded it in Pacific Northwest, 1825. Douglas scheme, Douglas plan, Douglassite, etc. refer to "social credit" economic model put forth by British engineer Maj. Clifford Hugh Douglas (1879-1952).
doula (n.) Look up doula at
by 1980, from Greek doulos (fem. doule) "slave."
dour (adj.) Look up dour at
mid-14c., "severe," from Scottish and northern England dialect, probably from Latin durus "hard" (see endure); sense of "gloomy, sullen" is late 15c.
douse (v.) Look up douse at
1550s, "to strike, punch," which is perhaps from Middle Dutch dossen "beat forcefully" or a similar Low German word.

Meaning "to strike a sail in haste" is recorded from 1620s; that of "to extinguish (a light)" is from 1785; perhaps influenced by dout (1520s), an obsolete contraction of do out (compare doff, don). OED regards the meaning "to plunge into water, to throw water over" (c. 1600) as a separate word, of unknown origin, though admitting there may be a connection of some sort. Related: Doused; dousing.
dove (n.) Look up dove at
probably from Old English dufe- (found only in compounds), from Proto-Germanic *dubon (source also of Old Saxon duba, Old Norse dufa, Swedish duva, Middle Dutch duve, Dutch duif, Old High German tuba, German Taube, Gothic -dubo), perhaps related to words for "dive," in reference to its flight.

Originally applied to all pigeons, now mostly restricted to the turtle dove. A symbol of gentleness from early Christian times, also of the Holy Spirit (as in Gen. viii:8-12), and of peace and deliverance from anxiety; political meaning "person who advocates peace" attested by 1917, from the Christian dove of peace.
dove (v.) Look up dove at
past tense of dive (q.v.).
dovecote (n.) Look up dovecote at
early 15c., from dove (n.) + cote.
Dover Look up Dover at
port in Kent, Old English Dofras (c.700), from Latin Dubris (4c.), from British Celtic *Dubras "the waters." Named for the stream that flows nearby.
dovetail Look up dovetail at
late 16c. (n.), 1650s (v.), from dove (n.) + tail. So called from resemblance of shape in the tenon or mortise of the joints to that of the bird's tailfeather display. Related: Dovetailed.
Dow Jones Look up Dow Jones at
short for Dow Jones Industrial Average, first published 1884 by Charles Henry Dow (1851-1902) and Edward D. Jones (1856-1920), later publishers of "The Wall Street Journal."
dowager (n.) Look up dowager at
1520s, from Middle French douagere "widow with a dower" literally "pertaining to a dower," from douage "dower," from douer "endow," from Latin dotare, from dos (genitive dotis) "dowry" (see dowry).
dowdy Look up dowdy at
1580s (n.), "an aukward, ill-dressed, inelegant woman" [Johnson]; 1670s (adj.), perhaps a diminutive of doue "poorly dressed woman" (early 14c.), which is of uncertain origin. The modern use of dowd (n.) is most likely a back-formation from dowdy. "If plaine or homely, wee saie she is a doudie or a slut" [Barnabe Riche, "Riche his Farewell to Militarie profession," 1581].
You don't have to be dowdy to be a Christian. [Tammy Faye Bakker, "Newsweek," June 8, 1987]
Related: Dowdily; dowdiness.
dowel (n.) Look up dowel at
mid-14c., dule "rim or section of a wheel," perhaps akin to Middle Low German dovel "plug, tap" (of a cask). Modern meaning is first attested 1794.
dower (n.) Look up dower at
late 13c., from Old French doaire "dower, dowry, gift" (see dowry).