dingbat (n.) Look up dingbat at Dictionary.com
1838, American English, some kind of alcoholic drink, of unknown origin. One of that class of words (such as dingus, doohickey, gadget, gizmo, thingumabob) which are conjured up to supply names for items whose proper names are unknown or not recollected. Used at various periods for "money," "a professional tramp," "a muffin," "male genitalia," "a Chinese," "an Italian," "a woman who is neither your sister nor your mother," and "a foolish person in authority." Popularized in sense of "foolish person" by U.S. TV show "All in the Family" (1971-79), though this usage dates from 1905. In typography, by 1912 as a printer's term for ornament used in headline or with illustrations.
About 10:30 o'clock there was a snap of breaking metal, and the machine was stopped. It was discovered that the gilderfluke had come into contact with the dudad which operates the dingus on the diaphason, thereby letting the Johnson bar oscillate as it were between Alpha and Omega, thus preventing the dingbat from percolating the perihelion of the gazabo, and causing the dofunny on the parallelogram to drop into oblivion. [from an Illinois newspaper's account of a production delay caused by a Linotype machine breakdown, in "Inland Printer," Chicago, February, 1903]
dinger (n.) Look up dinger at Dictionary.com
"something superlative," 1809, American English, agent noun from ding (v.).
dinghy (n.) Look up dinghy at Dictionary.com
1810, from Hindi dingi "small boat," perhaps from Sanskrit drona-m "wooden trough," related to dru-s "wood, tree," from PIE root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast," with specialized senses "wood, "tree" and derivatives referring to objects made of wood. The spelling with -h- is to indicate a hard -g-.
dingle (n.) Look up dingle at Dictionary.com
"deep dell or hollow, usually wooded," mid-13c., of unknown origin; a dialectal word until it entered literary use 17c.
dingleberry (n.) Look up dingleberry at Dictionary.com
by 1973, perhaps with suggestions of dangle and berry. Attested from late 19c. through 1930s as a humorous-sounding surname in comedic writing.
dingo (n.) Look up dingo at Dictionary.com
1789, Native Australian name, from Dharruk (language formerly spoken in the area of Sydney) /din-go/ "tame dog," though the English used it to describe wild Australian dogs. Bushmen continue to call the animal by the Dharruk term /warrigal/ "wild dog."
dingus (n.) Look up dingus at Dictionary.com
"any unspecified or unspecifiable object; something one does not know the name of or does not wish to name," 1876, U.S. slang, from Dutch dinges, literally "thing" (see thing).
dingy (adj.) Look up dingy at Dictionary.com
1736, Kentish dialect, "dirty," of uncertain origin, but perhaps related to dung. The noun dinge (1816) is a back-formation.
dining (n.) Look up dining at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, verbal noun from dine (v.). Dining room is attested from c. 1600.
DINK Look up DINK at Dictionary.com
acronym for double income, no kids, popular from 1987.
dink (n.) Look up dink at Dictionary.com
derogatory for "Vietnamese," 1969, U.S. military slang, of uncertain origin.
dinkum (n.) Look up dinkum at Dictionary.com
1888, "hard work," Australian slang, of unknown origin, perhaps connected to Lincolnshire dialect. Meaning "honest, genuine" is attested from 1894.
dinky (adj.) Look up dinky at Dictionary.com
1788 "neat, trim, dainty, small," from Scottish dialectal dink "finely dressed, trim" (c. 1500), which is of unknown origin. Modern sense is 1850s.
dinner (n.) Look up dinner at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, from Old French disner (11c.), originally "breakfast," later "lunch," noun use of infinitive disner (see dine). Always used in English for the main meal of the day; shift from midday to evening began with the fashionable classes. Childish reduplication din-din is attested from 1905.
dinosaur (n.) Look up dinosaur at Dictionary.com
1841, coined in Modern Latin by Sir Richard Owen, from Greek deinos "terrible" (see dire) + sauros "lizard" (see -saurus). Figurative sense of "person or institution not adapting to change" is from 1952.
dint (n.) Look up dint at Dictionary.com
Old English dynt "blow dealt in fighting" (especially by a sword), from Proto-Germanic *duntiz (source also of Old Norse dyntr "blow, kick"). Phrase by dint of ... "by force of, by means of," is early 14c.
diocesan (adj.) Look up diocesan at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from French diocésain (15c.), from diocese (see diocese).
diocese (n.) Look up diocese at Dictionary.com
early 14c., from Old French diocese (13c., Modern French diocèse), from Late Latin diocesis "a governor's jurisdiction," later, "a bishop's jurisdiction," from Greek dioikesis "government, administration; province," originally "economy, housekeeping," from dioikein "control, govern, administer, manage a house," from dia- "thoroughly" (see dia-) + oikos "house" (from PIE root *weik- (1) "clan").
diode (n.) Look up diode at Dictionary.com
1886, from Greek di- "twice" (from dis "twice," related to duo, from PIE root *dwo- "two") + hodos "a way, path, track, road," a word of uncertain origin.
Diomedes Look up Diomedes at Dictionary.com
Greek hero in the Trojan War, literally "advised by Zeus," from Dios, genitive of Zeus (see Zeus) + medos "counsel, plan, device, cunning" (see Medea).
Dion Look up Dion at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, short for Dionysius (see Dennis).
Dionysian (adj.) Look up Dionysian at Dictionary.com
of or pertaining to Dionysos (Latin Dionysus), Greek god of wine and revelry, identified with Roman Bacchus. His name is of unknown origin. Or in reference to historical men named Dionysius such as the tyrants of Syracuse and especially Dionysius Exiguus (see A.D.), such as Dionysian period of 532 Julian years, when the moon phases recur on the same days of the week.
diorama (n.) Look up diorama at Dictionary.com
1823 as a type of picture-viewing device, from French diorama (1822), from Greek di- "through" (see dia-) + orama "that which is seen, a sight" (see panorama). Meaning "small-scale replica of a scene, etc." is from 1902.
Dioscuri (n.) Look up Dioscuri at Dictionary.com
Latinized form of Greek Dioskouroi, literally "Zeus' boys," from Dios, genitive of Zeus (see Zeus) + kouroi, plural of kouros "boy, son" (see crescent).
dioxin (n.) Look up dioxin at Dictionary.com
1919, from dioxy- + chemical suffix -in (2). All the compounds in the group are characterized by two oxygen atoms.
dip (v.) Look up dip at Dictionary.com
Old English dyppan "immerse, baptize by immersion," from Proto-Germanic *duppjan (source also of Old Norse deypa "to dip," Danish døbe "to baptize," Old Frisian depa, Dutch dopen, German taufen, Gothic daupjan "to baptize"), related to Old English diepan "immerse, dip," and perhaps ultimately to deep. As a noun, from 1590s. Sense of "downward slope" is 1708. Meaning "sweet sauce for pudding, etc." first recorded 1825.
dip (n.) Look up dip at Dictionary.com
"stupid person, eccentric person," 1920s slang, perhaps a back-formation from dippy. "Dipshit is an emphatic form of dip (2); dipstick may be a euphemism or may reflect putative dipstick 'penis' " [DAS].
diphtheria (n.) Look up diphtheria at Dictionary.com
from French diphthérie, coined 1857 by physician Pierre Bretonneau (1778-1862) from Greek diphthera "prepared hide, leather," which is of unknown origin; the disease so called for the tough membrane that forms in the throat. Bretonneau's earlier name for it was diphthérite, Englished as diphtheritis (1826). Formerly known in England as the Boulogne sore throat, because it spread from France.
diphthong (n.) Look up diphthong at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Middle French diphthongue, from Late Latin diphthongus, from Greek diphthongos "having two sounds," from di- "double" (from PIE root *dwo- "two") + phthongos "sound, voice," related to phthengesthai "to utter a sound, sound, raise one's voice, call, talk," which Beekes reports as of "no certain etymology. None of the existing connections with semantically comparable words ... is phonetically convincing."
diplodocus (n.) Look up diplodocus at Dictionary.com
1884, coined in Modern Latin in 1878 by U.S. paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-1899) from Greek diploos "double" (see diploid) + dokos "a beam," from suffixed form of PIE root *dek- "to take, accept." So called for the peculiar structure of the tail bones.
diploid (adj.) Look up diploid at Dictionary.com
1908, from Greek diploos "double, twofold," (from di- "two," from PIE root *dwo- "two") + root *pel- "to fold;" see ply (v.)) + eidos "form" (see -oid).
diploma (n.) Look up diploma at Dictionary.com
1640s, "state paper, official document," from Latin diploma, from Greek diploma "licence, chart," originally "paper folded double," from diploun "to double, fold over," from diploos "double" (see diploid) + -oma. Specific academic sense is 1680s in English.
diplomacy (n.) Look up diplomacy at Dictionary.com
1796, from French diplomatie, formed from diplomate "diplomat" (on model of aristocratie from aristocrate), from Latin adjective diplomaticos, from diploma (genitive diplomatis) "official document conferring a privilege" (see diploma; for sense evolution, see diplomatic).
It is obvious to any one who has been in charge of the interests of his country abroad that the day secrecy is abolished negotiations of any kind will become impossible. [Jules Cambon, "The Diplomatist" (transl. Christopher Rede Turner), 1931]
diplomat (n.) Look up diplomat at Dictionary.com
1813, from French diplomate, a back-formation from diplomatique (see diplomatic) on model of aristocrate from aristocratique.
diplomatic (adj.) Look up diplomatic at Dictionary.com
1711, "pertaining to documents, texts, charters," from Medieval Latin diplomaticus, from diplomat-, stem of Latin diploma, from Greek diploma "licence, chart," originally "paper folded double," from diploun "to double, fold over," from diploos "double" (see diploid) + -oma.

Meaning "pertaining to international relations" is recorded from 1787, apparently a sense evolved in 18c. from the use of diplomaticus in Modern Latin titles of collections of international treaties, etc., in which the word referred to the "texts" but came to be felt as meaning "pertaining to international relations." In the general sense of "tactful and adroit," it dates from 1826. Related: Diplomatically.
dipper (n.) Look up dipper at Dictionary.com
late 14c., as a type of diving bird, agent noun from dip (v.). As a ladle or long-handled utensil for drawing liquid, from 1783, chiefly American English. As the popular U.S. name for the asterism known in Britain as The Plough or Charles' Wain, attested by 1833.
dippy (adj.) Look up dippy at Dictionary.com
"mad, insane, crazy," 1903, perhaps from dip + -y (2), but the exact signification is unclear. Another theory connects it with dipsomania.
dipsomania (n.) Look up dipsomania at Dictionary.com
1843, "morbid craving for alcohol," coined in medical Latin from Greek dipsa "thirst" (which is of unknown origin) + mania.
dipsomaniac (n.) Look up dipsomaniac at Dictionary.com
"drunkard," 1858, from dipsomania; slang shortening dipso is from 1880.
diptych (n.) Look up diptych at Dictionary.com
1620s, from Latin diptycha (plural), from late Greek diptykha, neuter plural of diptykhos "double-folded, doubled," from dis- "two" + ptykhe "fold."
dire (adj.) Look up dire at Dictionary.com
1560s, from Latin dirus "fearful, awful, boding ill," which is of unknown origin. Apparently a dialect word in Latin; perhaps from Oscan and Umbrian and perhaps cognate with Greek deinos, from PIE root *dwei-, forming words for "fear; hatred."
direct (adj.) Look up direct at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Latin directus "straight," past participle of dirigere "set straight" (see direct (v.)).
direct (v.) Look up direct at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "to write (to someone), to address," from Latin directus "straight," past participle of dirigere "set straight," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + regere "to direct, to guide, keep straight" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line"). Compare dress; address.

Meaning "to govern, regulate" is from c. 1500; "to order, ordain" is from 1650s. Sense of "to write the destination on the outside of a letter" is from 16c. Of plays, films, etc., from 1913. Related: Directed; directing.
direction (n.) Look up direction at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, "orderly arrangement;" c. 1500 as "action of directing," from Latin directionem (nominative directio), noun of action from past participle stem of dirigere (see direct (v.)). Meaning "course pursued by a moving object" is from 1660s. Related: Directional.
directions (n.) Look up directions at Dictionary.com
"instructions on how to get somewhere," 1590s, plural of direction (q.v.).
directive (adj.) Look up directive at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Medieval Latin directivus, from past participle stem of Latin dirigere (see direct (v.)). From 1640s as a noun.
directly (adv.) Look up directly at Dictionary.com
1510s, "in a straight line," from direct (adj.) + -ly (2). Figurative use is slightly earlier (c. 1500). Meaning "at once, immediately in time" (c. 1600) is from earlier sense of "without intermediate steps" (1520s).
director (n.) Look up director at Dictionary.com
late 15c., "a guide," from Anglo-French directour, French directeur, agent noun from Latin dirigere (see direct (v.)). Corporate sense is from 1630s; theatrical sense from 1911.
directorate (n.) Look up directorate at Dictionary.com
1837, from director + -ate (1).
directory (n.) Look up directory at Dictionary.com
1540s, "guide, book of rules," from Medieval Latin directorium, noun use of neuter of Latin directorius, from directus (see direct (v.)). Meaning "alphabetical listing of inhabitants of a region" is from 1732; listing of telephone numbers is from 1908. As an adjective, from mid-15c.