c. 1300, "strike suddenly and violently," also "move quickly, rush violently," and, transitive, "cause to strike suddenly and violently;" probably from a Scandinavian source (compare Swedish daska, Danish daske "to beat, strike"), somehow imitative. The oldest sense is that in dash to pieces and dashed hopes. Meaning "scatter or sprinkle" (something, over something else) is by 1520s. Intransitive meaning "write or sketch hurriedly" is by 1726 in dash off. By 1800 as a euphemism for damn. Related: Dashed; dashing.
late 14c., "a violent striking together of two bodies," from dash (v.). In writing and printing, "horizontal line used as a punctuation mark," 1550s. Meaning "small infusion or mixture" is from 1610s. Meaning "showy appearance" is from 1715; sense of "capacity for prompt action" is by 1796. As one of the two Morse code signals from 1859. Sporting sense is from 1881, originally "a short race run in one attempt, not in heats."
also dash-board, 1846, "board or leather apron in front of a carriage to stop mud from being splashed ('dashed') into the vehicle by the horse's hoofs," from dash (v.) + board (n.1). Of motor vehicles, "panel under the windshield, on which control panels and gauges are mounted,” by 1904. Except for the situation relative to the front seat, it has nothing in common with the original.
early 14c., "one who or that which dashes" in any sense, agent noun from dash (v.). As "one who makes an ostentatious parade," by 1790.
West African type of loose shirt, 1969, a word of West African origin.
1796, "performed with dash, impetuous;" from 1801 as "given to cutting a dash," a colloquial expression attested from 1786 (see cut (v.)) for "acting brilliantly," from dash (n.) in the sense of "showy appearance" (1715). Earlier in the sense of "splashing" (1620s), which replaced dashende (mid-15c.) as a present-participle adjective. Related: Dashingly.
mid-15c., a term of contempt for one who is lazy or dull; an English formation on a French model, probably from *dast, "dazed," past participle of dasen "to daze" (see daze (v.)) or the equivalent past participle in Old Norse + deprecatory suffix -ard. Meaning "one who shirks from danger, base coward" is late 15c.
1640s, "a fact given or granted," classical plural of datum, from Latin datum "(thing) given," neuter past participle of dare "to give" (from PIE root *do- "to give"). In classical use originally "a fact given as the basis for calculation in mathematical problems." From 1897 as "numerical facts collected for future reference."
Meaning "transmittable and storable information by which computer operations are performed" is first recorded 1946. Data-processing is from 1954; data-base (also database) "structured collection of data in a computer" is by 1962; data-entry is by 1970.