early 12c., "a sovereign prince," from Old French duc (12c.) and directly from Latin dux (genitive ducis) "leader, commander," in Late Latin "governor of a province," from ducere "to lead," from PIE root *deuk- "to lead." It is thus related to the second element in German Herzog "duke," Old English heretoga.
Applied in English to "hereditary nobleman of the highest rank" probably first mid-14c., ousting native earl. Also used to translate various European titles (such as Russian knyaz), usually of nobles ranking below a prince, but it was a sovereign title in some small states such as Burgundy, Normandy, and Lorraine.
"to hit, strike with the fist," by 1952, slang, from dukes. Related: Duked; duking. To duke it out "fight with fisticuffs" is by 1971.
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.)).
"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.).
"hands," 1874, now mainly in put up your dukes (phrase from 1859), probably not connected to duke (n.). Chapman ["Dictionary of American Slang"] suggests Romany dook "the hand as read in palmistry, one's fate;" but Partridge ["Slang To-day and Yesterday"] gives it a plausible, if elaborate, etymology as a contraction of Duke of Yorks, rhyming slang for forks, a Cockney term for "fingers," thus, by extension, "hands."
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."
"pertaining to a duke," late 15c., from Old French ducal (15c.), from Late Latin ducalis, from Latin dux (genitive ducis) "leader," from PIE root *deuk- "to lead."