Words related to *dem-
1714, "joint rule or sovereignty, ownership exclusive of all except the co-owners," from Modern Latin condominium "joint sovereignty," apparently coined in German c. 1700 from Latin com "with, together" (see com-) + dominium "right of ownership, property, dominion," from dominus "lord, master, owner," from domus "house" (from PIE root *dem- "house, household").
A word in politics and international law until sense of "privately owned apartment" arose in American English 1962 as a special use of the legal term.
c. 1200, "a mother," also "a woman of rank or high social position; superior of a convent," and an address for a woman of rank or position, used respectfully to other ladies, from Old French dame "lady, mistress, wife," from Late Latin domna, from Latin domina "lady, mistress of the house," from Latin domus "house" (from PIE root *dem- "house, household").
From early 14c. as "a woman" in general, particularly a mature or married woman or the mistress of a household. Used in Middle English with personifications (Study, Avarice, Fortune, Richesse, Nature, Misericordie). In later use the legal title for the wife of a knight or baronet.
Slang sense of "woman" in the broadest sense, without regard to rank or anything else, is attested by 1902 in American English.
We got sunlight on the sand
We got moonlight on the sea
We got mangoes and bananas
You can pick right off the tree
We got volleyball and ping-pong
And a lot of dandy games!
What ain't we got?
We ain't got dames!
[Richard Rodgers, "There Is Nothin' Like a Dame," 1949]
early 13c., damisele, "young, unmarried woman," especially a maiden of gentle birth, also "maid in waiting, handmaiden assisting a lady," from Anglo-French damaisele and Old French dameisele "woman of noble birth" (Modern French demoiselle "young lady"), modified (by association with dame) from earlier donsele, from Gallo-Roman *domnicella, diminutive of Latin domina "lady" (see dame). Archaic until revived by romantic poets, along with 16c.-17c. variant form damozel (which was used by Spenser). Damsel-fly for "dragon-fly" is by 1815, from a sense in French demoiselle.
mid-13c., daunger, "arrogance, insolence;" c. 1300, "power of a lord or master, jurisdiction," from Anglo-French daunger, Old French dangier "power, power to harm, mastery, authority, control" (12c., Modern French danger), alteration (due to association with damnum) of dongier, from Vulgar Latin *dominarium "power of a lord," from Latin dominus "lord, master," from domus "house" (from PIE root *dem- "house, household").
Modern sense of "risk, peril, exposure to injury, loss, pain, etc." (from being in the control of someone or something else) evolved first in French and was in English by late 14c. For this, Old English had pleoh; in early Middle English this sense is found in peril. For sound changes, compare dungeon, which is from the same source.
c. 1200, daungerous, "difficult to deal with, arrogant, severe" (the opposite of affable), from Anglo-French dangerous, Old French dangeros (12c., Modern French dangereux), from danger "power, power to harm, mastery, authority, control" (see danger).
In Chaucer, it can mean "hard to please; reluctant to give; overbearing." The modern sense of "involving danger, hazardous, unsafe, risky, liable to inflict injury or harm" is from c. 1400. Other words formerly used in this sense included dangersome (1560s), dangerful (1540s). Related: Dangerously.
c. 1300, demeine, demeyne (modern spelling by late 15c.), "power; dominion; control, possession," senses now obsolete, from Anglo-French demesne, demeine, Old French demaine "land held for a lord's own use," from Latin dominicus "belonging to a master," from dominus "lord, master," from domus "house" (from PIE root *dem- "house, household").
Re-spelled by Anglo-French legal scribes under influence of Old French mesnie "household" (and the concept of a demesne as "land attached to a mansion") and their fondness for inserting -s- before -n-. Essentially the same word as domain.
Meaning "a manor house and near or adjacent land," kept and occupied by the lord and his family, is from late 14c., hence "any landed estate" (late 14c.). Related: Demesnial.
"absolute ruler," 1560s, in Italian form dispotto (1580s as despot); from Medieval Latin despota, from Greek despotēs "master of a household, lord, absolute ruler," from PIE *dems-pota- "house-master," from the genitive of the root *dem- "house, household" + second element from PIE root *poti- "powerful; lord." The compound might be prehistoric; compare Sanskrit dampati- "lord."
Originally in English in reference to Byzantine rulers or Christian rulers in Ottoman provinces and often neutral. But it had been faintly pejorative in Greek (ruler of an un-free people), and it was used in various languages for Roman emperors. It became fully negative with the French Revolution, where it was applied to Louis XVI. In English the sense of "one who governs according to his own will, under a recognized right but uncontrolled by constitutional restrictions or the wishes of his subjects" is by 1610s; by c. 1800 it was used generally for "a tyrant, an oppressor."
The Greek female equivalent was despoina "lady, queen, mistress," source of the fem. proper name Despina.