Middle Eastern unit of currency; generic name of Arab gold coins, 1630s, from Arabic dinar, originally the name of a gold coin issued by the caliphs of Damascus, from late Greek denarion, from Latin denarius (see denarius).
The Court dinner-hour, in the reign of George III., was at the Hanoverian hour of four o'clock. During the reign of George IV. it gradually crept up to six o'clock, and finally became steady at the Indian hour of seven, and so remained until the reign of Her Most gracious Majesty, when the formal Court dinner-hour became eight o'clock. These innovations on the national hours of meals did not meet the approval of the medical faculty, and in consequence a dinette at two o'clock was prescribed. This has ever since been the favourite Court meal, being in reality a substantial hot repast, which has exploded the old-fashioned luncheon of cold viands. [The Queen newspaper, London, quoted in Imperial Dictionary, 1883]
1819, "to sound as metal when struck," possibly abstracted from ding-dong (1550s), which is of imitative origin. The meaning "to deal heavy blows" is c. 1300, probably from Old Norse dengja "to hammer," perhaps also imitative. Meaning "dent" is 1960s. Related: Dinged; dinging.
"drop-shot," in lawn tennis, 1939, probably somehow imitative. As a verb by 1942. Related: Dinked; dinking.
"one who is crazy," 1940, from earlier adjective (1935), from noun meaning "the sound of little bells" (1894), ultimately imitative of the tinkling sound (by 1848; see ding (v.)). The extended senses are from the notion of hearing bells in the head.
Old English dynt "blow dealt in fighting" (especially by a sword), from Proto-Germanic *duntiz (source also of Old Norse dyntr "blow, kick"), a word well represented only in Germanic and of disputed etymology. Phrase by dint of "by force of, by means of," is early 14c.
1736, in Kentish dialect, "dirty, foul," a word of uncertain origin, but perhaps related to dung. Meaning "soiled, tarnished, having a dull, brownish color" (from grime or weathering) is by 1751; hence "shabby, shady, drab" (by 1855). The noun dinge "dinginess" (1816) is a back-formation; as a derogatory word for "black person, Negro," by 1848. Related: Dingily; dinginess.
1888, "hard work," Australian slang, of unknown origin, perhaps from Lincolnshire dialect. Adjectival meaning "honest, genuine" is attested from 1916. Phrase fair dinkum "fair play" is attested by 1894.