mid-14c., "territory ruled by a duke or duchess," from Old French duché (12c.), from Medieval Latin ducatus "territory of a duke," from Latin dux "leader" (see duke (n.)).
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to lead."
It forms all or part of: abduce; abducent; abduct; abduction; adduce; aqueduct; circumduction; conduce; conducive; conduct; conductor; conduit; deduce; deduction; dock (n.1) "ship's berth;" doge; douche; ducal; ducat; Duce; duchess; duchy; duct; ductile; duke (n.); educate; education; induce; induction; introduce; introduction; misconduct; produce; production; reduce; reduction; seduce; seduction; subduce; subduction; taut; team (n.); teem (v.1) "abound, swarm, be prolific;" tie (n.); tow (v.); traduce; transducer; tug; zugzwang.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Latin dux (genitive ducis) "leader, commander," in Late Latin "governor of a province," ducere "to lead;" Old English togian "to pull, drag," teonteon "to pull, drag;" German Zaum "bridle," ziehen "to draw, pull, drag;" Middle Welsh dygaf "I draw."
city and former duchy in northern Italy, probably from Mantus, name of the Etruscan god of the Underworld. Virgil was born nearby. Related: Mantuan.
former Austrian duchy in the Balkans, from Old Serbian herceg "duke" (related to Modern German Herzog) + possessive ending -ov + -ina "country." Related: Herzegovinian.
historical duchy in southwestern France, from Latin Aquitania, the first element from aqua "water" (from PIE root *akwa- "water"), the second probably meaning "land, province." Related: Aquitanian.
region in eastern Belgium (in the Middle Ages a duchy and much more extensive), from Old High German brahha "newly broken land" (see break (v.)) + bant "region." Related: Brabançon; Brabanter; Brabantine.
former duchy and province of Prussia on the Baltic coast of modern Poland (German Pommern, Polish Pomorze), Medieval Latin, from Pomerani, name of a Slavic tribe there, from Polish po morze "by the sea."
"female sovereign of a duchy; consort or widow of a duke," c. 1300, from Old French duchesse, from Late Latin or Medieval Latin ducissa, fem. of dux "duke" (see duke (n.)). Often spelled dutchess until early 19c. (as in Dutchess County, New York, U.S.).
Italian city and former duchy, the name probably is from a pre-Latin language, but folk etymology connects it with Mutina, epithet of the nymph Lara who was stricken dumb by Zeus in punishment for her loquacity, from Latin mutus. Related: Modenese.