title of address to members of religious orders, c. 1300, from Old French dan (Modern French dom), from Latin dominus "lord" (source also of Portuguese don, Spanish don, Italian donno), from domus "house" (from PIE root *dem- "house, household").

Dan (1)

familiar form of masc. proper name Daniel.

Dan (2)

name of one of the 12 tribes of ancient Israel or its territory, named for its founder; literally "he who judges," related to Hebrew din "to judge." In the Old Testament, it occupied the northernmost part of Israel, hence its use proverbially for "utmost extremity," as in from Dan to Beersheba (the southernmost region), 1738. Related: Danite.

updated on June 25, 2018