- drinking (n.)
- c. 1200, drinkinge, verbal noun from drink (v.). Drinking problem "alcoholism" is from 1957; earlier was drinking habit (1899).
- drip (v.)
- c. 1300, perhaps from Middle Danish drippe, from Proto-Germanic *drup- (source also of Dutch druipen, German triefen), from PIE root *dhreu-. Related to droop and drop. Old English had cognate drypan "to let drop," dropian "fall in drops," and dreopan "to drop." Related: Dripped; dripping.
- drip (n.)
- mid-15c., from drip (v.). The slang meaning "stupid, feeble, or dull person" is first recorded 1932, perhaps from earlier American English slang sense "nonsense" (1919).
- drippy (adj.)
- 1817, from drip + -y (2). Meaning "sloppily sentimental" is 1944, from the slang sense.
- drive (v.)
- Old English drifan "to drive, force, hunt, pursue; rush against" (class I strong verb; past tense draf, past participle drifen), from Proto-Germanic *driban (source also of Old Frisian driva, Old Saxon driban, Dutch drijven, Old High German triban, German treiben, Old Norse drifa, Gothic dreiban "to drive"), from PIE root *dhreibh- "to drive, push." Original sense of "pushing from behind," altered in Modern English by application to automobiles. Related: Driving.
MILLER: "The more you drive, the less intelligent you are." ["Repo Man," 1984]
- drive (n.)
- 1690s, "act of driving," from drive (v.). Meaning "excursion by vehicle" is from 1785. Golfing sense of "forcible blow" is from 1836. Meaning "organized effort to raise money" is 1889, American English. Sense of "dynamism" is from 1908. In the computing sense, first attested 1963.
- drive-by (adj.)
- as a modifier, by 1989 (originally of shootings), from drive (v.) + by.
- drive-in (adj.)
- in reference to of restaurants, banks, etc., 1929; from drive (v.) + in. Of movie theaters by 1933 (the year the first one opened, in Camden, N.J.).
- drive-through (adj.)
- 1949 (in an advertisement for the Beer Vault Drive-Thru in Ann Arbor, Michigan), from drive (v.) + through.
- drivel (v.)
- Old English dreflian "to dribble or run at the nose, slobber," from Proto-Germanic *drab-, from PIE *dher- (1) "to make muddy, darken." Meaning "to speak nonsense" is mid-14c. Related: Driveling, drivelling.
- drivel (n.)
- early 14c., drevel "saliva, slaver," from drivel (v.). Meaning "idiotic speech or writing" is from 1852.
- driven (adj.)
- "motivated," by 1972, past participle adjective from drive (v.).
- driver (n.)
- "one who drives" in various senses, c. 1400; agent noun from drive (v.). Slavery sense is attested by 1796. Driver's seat is attested by 1867; figurative use by 1954.
- driveway (n.)
- 1884 in sense "private road from a public road to a private house," from drive (v.) + way (n.).
- drizzle (v.)
- 1540s, perhaps an alteration of drysning "a falling of dew" (c. 1400), from Old English -drysnian, related to dreosan "to fall," from PIE root *dhreu- (see drip (v.)). Or perhaps a frequentative of Middle English dresen "to fall," from Old English dreosan. Related: Drizzled; drizzling. As a noun, from 1550s.
- droid (n.)
- 1977, short for android.
- droit du seigneur (n.)
- 1784, alleged medieval custom whereby the feudal lord had the right to have sex with the bride of his vassal on their wedding night before she went to her husband, from French, literally "the lord's right." There is little evidence that it actually existed; it seems to have been invented in imagination 16c. or 17c. The Latin form was jus primae noctis, "law of the first night." For French droit, see right (adj.2).
- droll (adj.)
- 1620s, from French drôle "odd, comical, funny" (1580s), in Middle French a noun meaning "a merry fellow," possibly from Middle Dutch drol "fat little fellow, goblin," or Middle High German trolle "clown," ultimately from Old Norse troll "giant, troll" (see troll (n.)). Related: Drolly; drollish.
- drollery (n.)
- 1590s, from French drôlerie (16c.), from drôle (see droll).
- dromedary (n.)
- late 13c., from Old French dromedaire, from Late Latin dromedarius "kind of camel," from Latin dromas (genitive dromados), from Greek dromas kamelos "running camel," from dromos "a race course," from dramein "to run," from a PIE root *drem- "to run."
It might be from a PIE root *der- (1) "to run, walk, step" (source also of Sanskrit dramati "runs, goes," Middle High German tremen "to rock, shake, sway"). One-humped Arabian camels were bred and trained for riding. An early variant was drumbledairy (1560s).
- drone (n.)
- Old English dran, dræn "male honeybee," from Proto-Germanic *dran- (source also of Middle Dutch drane; Old High German treno; German Drohne, which is from Middle Low German drone), probably imitative; given a figurative sense of "idler, lazy worker" (male bees make no honey) 1520s. Meaning "pilotless aircraft" is from 1946.
Drones, as the radio-controlled craft are called, have many potentialities, civilian and military. Some day huge mother ships may guide fleets of long-distance, cargo-carrying airplanes across continents and oceans. Long-range drones armed with atomic bombs could be flown by accompanying mother ships to their targets and in for perfect hits. ["Popular Science," November, 1946]
Meaning "deep, continuous humming sound" is early 16c., apparently imitative (compare threnody). The verb in the sound sense is early 16c.; it often is the characteristic sound of airplane engines. Related: Droned; droning.
- droog (n.)
- "gang member, young ruffian," a transliteration of the Russian word for "friend," introduced by English novelist Anthony Burgess in "A Clockwork Orange" (1962). The Russian word comes from Old Church Slavonic drugu "companion, friend, other" (source of Bohemian drug "companion," Serbo-Croatian drugi "other"), which belongs to a group of related Indo-European words (such as Lithuanian draugas "friend, traveling companion;" Gothic driugan "do military service," ga-drauhts "soldier;" Old Norse drott, Old English dryht, Old High German truht "multitude, people, army") apparently with an original sense of "companion."
- drool (v.)
- 1802, apparently a dialectal variant or contraction of drivel. Related: Drooled; drooling. The noun is from 1860s.
- droop (v.)
- early 13c., from Old Norse drupa "to drop, sink, hang (the head)," from Proto-Germanic *drup-, from PIE *dhreu-, related to Old English dropian "to drop" (see drip). Related: Drooped; drooping. As a noun, from 1640s.
- droopy (adj.)
- "dejected, sad, gloomy," early 13c., drupie, perhaps from droop, perhaps from Old Norse drupr "drooping spirits, faintness."
- drop (n.)
- Old English dropa "a drop of liquid," from Proto-Germanic *drupon (source also of Old Saxon dropo, Old Norse dropi, Dutch drop, Old High German tropfo, German Tropfen (n.)), from PIE *dhreu-. Meaning "an act of dropping" is from 1630s; of immaterial things (prices, temperatures, etc.) from mid-19c. Meaning "lozenge, hard candy" is 1723. Meaning "secret place where things can be left illicitly and picked up later" is from 1931. Drop in the bucket (late 14c.) is from Isaiah ix.15 [KJV]. At the drop of a hat "suddenly" is from 1854; drop-in "casual visit" is 1819. To get the drop on someone originally was Old West gunslinger slang (1869).
- drop (v.)
- Old English dropian "to fall in drops" (see drop (n.)). Meaning "to fall vertically" is late 14c. Transitive sense "allow to fall" is mid-14c. Related: Dropped; dropping. Exclamation drop dead is from 1934; as an adjective meaning "stunning, excellent" it is first recorded 1970.
- drop-kick (n.)
- 1849, from drop (n.) + kick (n.). As a verb by 1874. Related: Drop-kicked; drop-kicking.
Who would linger by the fire, nor from toil an hour snatch
When villages play football in a merry monster match;
E'en a mere ale-drinking Saxon feels some fervour in his soul
As he watches and bets glasses on a drop-kick at the goal.
[from "A Lay of English Field Sports," by "Colonel Chasse," in "The Sporting Review," June 1849]
- droplet (n.)
- c. 1600, from drop (n.) + diminutive suffix -let.
- dropout (n.)
- "one who 'drops out' of something," 1930, from drop (v.) + out (adv.). As a phrase, drop out "withdraw" is recorded from 1550s.
- dropper (n.)
- 1700, "distiller," agent noun from drop (v.). Meaning "small tube from which liquid may be made to fall in drops" is from 1889.
- dropsical (adj.)
- 1680s; see dropsy + -ical.
- dropsy (n.)
- late 13c., a shortening of Middle English ydropsy, from Old French idropsie, from Latin hydropsis, from Greek hydrops (genitive hydropos) "dropsy," from hydor "water" (see water (n.1)).
- drosophila (n.)
- scientific name of a fruit fly, 1829, from Modern Latin (Fallén, 1823), from Greek drosos "dew" + philos "loving" see -phile).
- dross (n.)
- "dirt, dregs," Old English dros "the scum thrown off from metals in smelting," from Proto-Germanic *drohs- (source also of Middle Dutch droes, Dutch droesem, Middle Low German dros, Old High German truosana, German Drusen "dregs, husks"), from PIE dher- (1) "to make muddy." Meaning "refuse, rubbish" is mid-15c.
- drought (n.)
- Old English drugað, drugoð "drought, dryness, desert," from Proto-Germanic *drugothaz, from Germanic root *dreug- "dry" (cf high/height) with *-itho, Germanic suffix for forming abstract nouns (see -th (2)). Drouth was a Middle English variant continued in Scottish and northern English dialect and in poetry.
- drove (n.)
- Old English draf "beasts driven in a body, road along which cattle are driven," originally "act of driving," from drifan "to drive" (see drive (v.)).
- Old English draf, past tense and obsolete past participle of drive (v.).
- drover (n.)
- early 15c. (late 13c. as a surname), agent noun from drove (n.).
- droves (n.)
- see drove.
- drown (v.)
- c. 1300, transitive and intransitive, perhaps from an unrecorded derivative word of Old English druncnian (Middle English druncnen) "be swallowed up by water" (originally of ships as well as living things), probably from the base of drincan "to drink."
Modern form is from northern England dialect, probably influenced by Old Norse drukna "be drowned." Related: Drowned; drowning.
- drowse (v.)
- 1570s, probably a back-formation from drowsy. Old English had a similar word, but there is a 600-year gap. Related: Drowsed; drowsing.
- drowsy (adj.)
- 1520s, probably ultimately from Old English drusan, drusian "sink," also "become languid, slow, or inactive" (related to dreosan "to fall"), from Proto-Germanic *drus- (see dreary). But there is no record of it in Middle English. Related: Drowsily; drowsiness.
- drub (v.)
- 1630s (in an Oriental travel narrative), probably from Arabic darb "a beating," from daraba "he beat up" (see discussion in OED). Related: Drubbed; Drubbing.
- drudge (n.)
- late 15c., "one employed in mean, servile, or distasteful work," missing in Old English and Middle English, unless it is represented by Middle English druggen "do menial or monotonous work; druggunge, mid-13c., which are perhaps from Old English dreogan "to work, suffer, endure" (see endure). The verb is from 1540s. Related: Drudged; drudging. The surname is from 13c., probably from Old French dragie "a mixture of grains sown together," thus, a grower of this crop.
- drudgery (n.)
- 1540s, from drudge + -ery.
- drug (n.)
- late 14c. (early 14c. in Anglo-French), "medicine, chemical ingredients," from Old French droge "supply, stock, provision" (14c.), which is of unknown origin, perhaps from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German droge-vate "dry barrels," or droge waere, literally "dry wares," but specifically drugs and spices, with first element mistaken as word for the contents (see dry goods), or because medicines mostly consisted of dried herbs.
Compare Latin species, in Late Latin "wares," then specialized to "spices" (French épice, English spice). The same source produced Italian and Spanish droga, Swedish drog.
Application to "narcotics and opiates" is late 19c., though association with "poisons" is 1500s. Druggie first recorded 1968. To be a drug on or in the market (mid-17c.) is of doubtful connection and may be a different word, perhaps a play on drag, which was sometimes drug c. 1240-1800.
- drug (v.)
- c. 1600, from drug (n.). Related: drugged; drugging.
- drug store (n.)
- also drug-store, 1810, American English, from drug (n.) + store (n.). Drug-store cowboy is 1925, American English slang, originally one who dressed like a Westerner but obviously wasn't.
- druggist (n.)
- 1610s, from French droguiste, from droge (see drug (n.)). Earlier drugger (1590s).