surname, from 13c. Scottish Dofnald, Dufenald, probably from Gaelic Domhnall, Old Irish Domnall (pronounced "Dovnall"), from Proto-Celtic *Dubno-valos "world-mighty, ruler of the world," from *walos "ruler" (from PIE root *wal- "to be strong") + Old Irish domun "world," from PIE root *dheub- "deep, hollow," via sense development from "bottom" to "foundation" to "earth" to "world" (see deep (adj.)). A top 10 name for boys born in the U.S. between 1923 and 1943. Disney's Donald Duck cartoon character debuted in 1934.
"worldliness, the way of the world," c. 1500, from French mondanité or directly from Medieval Latin mundanitatem (nominative mundanitas), from Late Latin mundanus "belonging to the world" (see mundane).
late 16c., "representing the entire (Christian) world," formed in English as an ecclesiastical word, from Late Latin oecumenicus "general, universal," from Greek oikoumenikos "from the whole world," from he oikoumene ge "the inhabited world (as known to the ancient Greeks); the Greeks and their neighbors considered as developed human society (as opposed to barbarian lands)," in later use "the Roman world" and in the Christian sense in ecclesiastical Greek, from oikoumenos, present passive participle of oikein "inhabit," from oikos "house, habitation" (from PIE root *weik- (1) "clan"). Related: Ecumenic.
1640s, "worldly, of this world," a sense now obsolete, from Latinized form of Greek kosmikos "worldly, earthly, of the world," from kosmos "world-order, world" (see cosmos). Cosmical "related to the earth" is attested from 1580s.
Modern sense of "of or pertaining to the universe," especially as conceived as subject to a harmonious system of laws, is from 1846. Meaning "related to or dealing with the cosmos, forming part of the material universe beyond the earth or the solar system" is from 1871. In reference to inconceivably vast space or protracted time, from 1874. Related: Cosmically.
late 12c., mycrocossmos (modern form from early 15c.), "human nature, man viewed as the epitome of creation," literally "miniature world," from Medieval Latin microcosmus, from Greek mikros "small" (see micro-) + kosmos "world" (see cosmos).
General sense of "a community constituting a world unto itself, a little society" is attested from 1560s, perhaps from French microcosme. A native expression in the same sense was petty world (c. 1600).
Forrþi mahht tu nemmnenn mann Affterr Grikkishe spæche Mycrocossmos, þat nemmnedd iss Affterr Ennglisshe spæche Þe little werelld. ["Ormulum," c. 1175]
mid-15c., mondeine, "of this world, worldly, terrestrial," from Old French mondain "of this world, worldly, earthly, secular;" also "pure, clean; noble, generous" (12c.) and directly from Late Latin mundanus "belonging to the world" (as distinct from the Church), in classical Latin "a citizen of the world, cosmopolite," from mundus "universe, world," which is identical to mundus "clean, elegant," but the exact connection is uncertain and the etymology is unknown.
Latin mundus "world" was used as a translation of Greek kosmos (see cosmos) in its Pythagorean sense of "the physical universe" (the original sense of the Greek word was "orderly arrangement"). Like kosmos (and perhaps by influence of it), Latin mundus also was used of a woman's "ornaments, dress," which also could entangle the adjective mundus "clean, elegant."
The English word's extended sense of "dull, uninteresting" is attested by 1850. Related: Mundanely. The mundane era was the chronology that began with the supposed epoch of the Creation (famously reckoned as 4004 B.C.E.).