masc. proper name, most modern uses outside Italy ultimately are in reference to Dante Alighieri (c. 1265-1321), the great poet; the name is a shortening of Latin Durante, from durare "to harden, endure," from durus "hard," from PIE *dru-ro-, suffixed variant form of root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast." Related: Dantean, Dantescan, Dantesque (the last from French).

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