masc. proper name, in Old Testament name of the second king of Israel and Judah and author of psalms, from Hebrew Dawidh, literally "darling, beloved friend." The name was common in England and Scotland by 12c. but was popular much earlier in Wales. A nickname form was Dawe, hence surnames Dawson, Dawkins. A top 10 name for boys born in the U.S. from 1934 to 1992. Related: Davidic; Davidian.