downtown (n.) Look up downtown at
1835, from down (adv.) + town. The notion is of suburbs built on heights around a city.
downtrodden (adj.) Look up downtrodden at
1560s, "stepped on," from down (adv.) + trodden. Figurative use, "oppressed," is from 1590s.
downturn (n.) Look up downturn at
1926 in the economic sense, from down (adv.) + turn (n.).
downward (adv.) Look up downward at
c. 1200, from down (adv.) + -ward. Old English had aduneweard in this sense. Downwards, with adverbial genitive, had a parallel in Old English ofduneweardes.
downy (adj.) Look up downy at
1570s, from down (n.1) + -y (2).
dowry (n.) Look up dowry at
early 14c., from Anglo-French dowarie, Old French doaire (late 13c.) "dower, dowry, gift," from Medieval Latin dotarium, from Latin dotare "to endow, portion," from dos (genitive dotis) "marriage portion," from PIE *do-ti (source also of Sanskrit dadati, Greek didonai, Old Church Slavonic dati, Lithuanian duoti, Armenian tam, all meaning "to give"), from root *do- "to give" (see date (n.1)).
dowse (v.) Look up dowse at
1690s, a south England dialect word, of uncertain origin, said to have been introduced to Devon by German miners in Elizabethan times. Related: Dowsed; dowsing.
doxology (n.) Look up doxology at
"hymn of praise," 1640s, from Medieval Latin doxologia, from Ecclesiastical Greek doxologia "praise, glory," from doxologos "praising, glorifying," from doxa "glory, praise" (from dokein "to seem good;" see decent) + logos "a speaking" (see lecture (n.)).
doxy (n.) Look up doxy at
"rogue's girlfriend," 1520s, slang, of unknown origin (see dell (n.2)). Liberman says it is probably from Low German dokke "doll," "with the deterioration of meaning from 'sweetheart' and 'wench' to 'whore.'"
doyen Look up doyen at
early 15c., from Middle French doyen "commander of ten," from Old French deien (see dean).
doyenne Look up doyenne at
1905, from fem. of French doyen (see doyen). As a type of pear, from 1731.
doze (v.) Look up doze at
1640s, probably from a Scandinavian source (compare Old Norse dusa "to doze," Danish døse "to make dull," Swedish dialectal dusa "to sleep"); related to Old English dysig "foolish" (see dizzy). May have existed in dialect earlier than attested date. Related: Dozed; dozing. As a noun, from 1731.
dozen (n.) Look up dozen at
c. 1300, from Old French dozaine "a dozen," from doze (12c.) "twelve," from Latin duodecim "twelve," from duo "two" + decem "ten" (see ten).

The Old French fem. suffix -aine is characteristically added to cardinals to form collectives in a precise sense ("exactly 12," not "about 12"). The dozens "invective contest" (1928) originated in slave culture, the custom probably African, the word probably from bulldoze (q.v.) in its original sense of "a whipping, a thrashing."
dozy (adj.) Look up dozy at
"drowsy," 1690s, from doze + -y (2).
Dr. Pepper (n.) Look up Dr. Pepper at
soft drink, patented 1906 by the Dr. Pepper Co., Dallas, Texas; named for U.S. physician Dr. Charles Pepper.
drab (n.) Look up drab at
1680s, "color of natural, undyed cloth," from Middle French drap "cloth, piece of cloth" (see drape (v.)). Figurative sense is c. 1880. Apparently not related to earlier word drab, meaning "a dirty, untidy woman" (1510s), "a prostitute" (1520s), which might be related to Irish drabog, Gaelic drabag "dirty woman," or perhaps it is connected with Low German drabbe "dirt;" compare drabble (Middle English drabelen) "to soil (something); trail in the mud or on the ground" (c. 1400). Ultimately perhaps from PIE *dher- (1) "to make muddy." Meaning "small, petty debt" (the sense in dribs and drabs) is 1828, of uncertain connection to the other senses.
drachma (n.) Look up drachma at
1570s, from Latinized form of Greek drakhme, an Attic coin and weight, probably originally "a handful" (see dram). Earlier in English as dragme (late 14c.), from Old French dragme, from Medieval Latin dragma.
Draco (n.) Look up Draco at
northern constellation representing a dragon, from Latin draco "dragon" (see dragon). Identified as such since ancient times.
draconian (adj.) Look up draconian at
1876 (earlier Draconic, implied from 1640s), from Draco, Greek statesman who laid down a code of laws for Athens 621 B.C.E. that mandated death as punishment for minor crimes. His name seems to mean literally "sharp-sighted" (see dragon).
Dracula (n.) Look up Dracula at
the vampire from in Bram Stoker's novel (1897). It was a surname of Prince Vlad II of Wallachia (d.1476), and means in Romanian "son of Dracul," literally "the dragon," from the name and emblem taken by Vlad's father, also named Vlad, c. 1431 when he joined the Order of the Dragon, founded 1418 by Sigismund the Glorious of Hungary to defend the Christian religion from the Turks and crush heretics and schismatics.
draft (n.) Look up draft at
c. 1500, spelling variant of draught (q.v.) to reflect change in pronunciation. Among the senses that have gone with this form of the word in American English, the meaning "rough copy of a writing" (something "drawn") is attested from 14c.; that of "preliminary sketch from which a final copy is made" is from 1520s; that of "flow of a current of air" is from c. 1770. Of beer from the 1830s, in reference to the method of "drawing" it from the cask. Sense in bank draft is from 1745. The meaning "a drawing off a group for special duty" is from 1703, in U.S. especially of military service; the verb in this sense first recorded 1714. Related: Drafted; drafting.
draftee (n.) Look up draftee at
1864, in a military context, American English, from draft + -ee.
draftsman (n.) Look up draftsman at
1660s, variant of draughtsman; also see draft.
drafty (adj.) Look up drafty at
1580s, from draft "current of air" + -y (2). Related: Draftiness.
drag (v.) Look up drag at
mid-15c., from Old Norse draga, or a dialectal variant of Old English dragan "to draw," both from Proto-Germanic *dragan "to draw, pull," from PIE root *dhragh- "to draw, drag on the ground" (source also of Sanskrit dhrajati "pulls, slides in," Russian drogi "wagon;" but not considered to be directly the source of Latin trahere).

Meaning "to take a puff" (of a cigarette, etc.) is from 1914. Related: Dragged; dragging. Drag-out "violent fight" is from c. 1859. To drag (one's) feet (1946, in figurative sense) supposedly is from logging, from a lazy way to use a two-man saw.
drag (n.) Look up drag at
c. 1300, "dragnet," perhaps from a Scandinavian source (compare Swedish dragg "grapnel") or from Old English dræge "dragnet," related to dragan "to draw" (see drag (v.)).

Sense of "annoying, boring person or thing" is 1813, perhaps from the notion of something that must be dragged as an impediment. Sense of "women's clothing worn by a man" is said to be 1870 theater slang, from the sensation of long skirts trailing on the floor (another guess is Yiddish trogn "to wear," from German tragen); drag queen is from 1941.

Drag racing (1947), is said to be from thieves' slang drag "automobile" (1935), perhaps ultimately from slang sense of "wagon, buggy" (1755), because a horse would drag it. By 1851 this was transferred to "street," as in the phrase main drag (which some propose as the source of the racing sense).
In addition to the time trials there are a number of "drag races" between two or more cars. They are run, not for record, but to satisfy the desire of most Americans to see who can get from here to there in the fastest time. ["Popular Mechanics," January 1947]
draggle (v.) Look up draggle at
1510s, frequentative of drag (v.). This led to draggle-tail "sloppy woman, woman whose skirts are wet and draggled" (1590s). Related: Draggled.
dragnet (n.) Look up dragnet at
Old English drægnet, a net to drag the bottom of a body of water in fishing; see drag (v.) + net (n.). Figurative use is from 1640s; police sense attested by 1894.
dragoman (n.) Look up dragoman at
early 14c., from Old French drugemen, from late Greek dragoumanos, from Arabic targuman "interpreter," from targama "interpret." Treated in English as a compound, with plural -men.
dragon (n.) Look up dragon at
early 13c., from Old French dragon, from Latin draconem (nominative draco) "huge serpent, dragon," from Greek drakon (genitive drakontos) "serpent, giant seafish," apparently from drak-, strong aorist stem of derkesthai "to see clearly," from PIE *derk- "to see." Perhaps the literal sense is "the one with the (deadly) glance."

The young are dragonets (14c.). Obsolete drake "dragon" is an older borrowing of the same word. Used in the Bible to translate Hebrew tannin "a great sea-monster," and tan, a desert mammal now believed to be the jackal.
dragonfly (n.) Look up dragonfly at
1620s, from dragon + fly (n.).
dragoon (n.) Look up dragoon at
1620s, from French dragon "carbine, musket," because the guns the soldiers carried "breathed fire" like dragons (see dragon). Also see -oon.
dragster (n.) Look up dragster at
1954, from drag (n.) in the racing sense + -ster, perhaps abstracted from roadster.
drain (v.) Look up drain at
Old English dreahnian "to drain, strain out," from Proto-Germanic *dreug-, source of drought, dry, giving the English word originally a sense of "make dry." Figurative meaning of "exhaust" is attested from 1650s. The word is not found in surviving texts between late Old English and the 1500s. Related: Drained; draining.
drainage (n.) Look up drainage at
1650s, from drain + -age.
drake (n.1) Look up drake at
"male duck," c. 1300, unrecorded in Old English but may have existed then, from West Germanic *drako (source also of Low German drake, second element of Old High German anutrehho, dialectal German Drache).
drake (n.2) Look up drake at
archaic for "dragon," from Old English draca "dragon, sea monster, huge serpent," from Proto-Germanic *drako (source also of Middle Dutch and Old Frisian drake, Dutch draak, Old High German trahho, German drache), an early borrowing from Latin draco (see dragon).
dram (n.) Look up dram at
mid-15c., "small weight of apothecary's measure," a phonetic spelling, from Anglo-Latin dragma, Old French drame, from Late Latin dragma, from Latin drachma "drachma," from Greek drakhma "measure of weight," also, "silver coin," literally "handful" (of six obols, the least valuable coins in ancient Athens), akin to drassesthai "to grasp." The fluid dram is one-eighth of a fluid ounce, hence "a small drink of liquor" (1713); Hence dram shop (1725), where liquor was sold by the shot.
drama (n.) Look up drama at
1510s, from Late Latin drama "play, drama," from Greek drama (genitive dramatos) "play, action, deed," from dran "to do, act, perform" (especially some great deed, whether good or bad), from PIE *dere- "to work." Drama queen attested by 1992.
Dramamine Look up Dramamine at
proprietary name of an anti-nausea drug, 1949. Said to have been originally developed as an anti-allergy drug at Johns Hopkins.
dramatic (adj.) Look up dramatic at
1580s, from Late Latin dramaticus, from Greek dramatikos "pertaining to plays," from drama (genitive dramatos; see drama). Meaning "full of action and striking display, fit for a drama" is from 1725. Dramatic irony is recorded from 1907. Related: Dramatical; dramatically.
dramatis personae Look up dramatis personae at
Latin for "persons of a drama."
dramatist (n.) Look up dramatist at
1670s, see drama (Greek stem dramat-) + -ist.
dramatization (n.) Look up dramatization at
1796, from dramatize + -ation.
dramatize (v.) Look up dramatize at
1780s, "to adopt for the stage," see drama (Greek stem dramat-) + -ize. Meaning "to act out" is from 1823. Related: Dramatized; dramatizing.
dramaturge (n.) Look up dramaturge at
"dramatist," 1870, from French dramaturge, from Greek dramatourgos "a dramatist," from drama (genitive dramatos) + ergos "worker" (see organ).
dramaturgy (n.) Look up dramaturgy at
"composition and production of plays," 1801, from French dramaturgie, from Greek dramatourgia, from drama (genitive dramatos) + ergos "worker" (see organ).
Drambuie (n.) Look up Drambuie at
1893, proprietary name of a whiskey liqueur manufactured in Scotland.
drang nach Osten (n.) Look up drang nach Osten at
1906, former German imperial policy of eastward expansion; literally "pressure to the east."
drank Look up drank at
Old English dranc, singular past tense of drink. It also became past participle 17c.-19c., probably to avoid the pejorative associations of drunk.