dan·​der | \ ˈdan-dər How to pronounce dander (audio) \

Definition of dander

1 : dandruff specifically : minute scales from hair, feathers, or skin that may be allergenic
2 : anger, temper now don't get your dander up

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How did dander acquire its "temper" sense? There are several theories, though the evidence is inconclusive. It has been proposed that the meaning comes from the image of an angry person tearing out their hair by the fistful, scattering dandruff in the process. Some think it comes from a West Indian word dander, which refers to a kind of ferment and suggests "rising" anger (in English, ferment can mean "a state of unrest or excitement"). Others have suggested that the "anger" sense comes from the Dutch phrase op donderen, meaning "to burst into a sudden rage."

Examples of dander in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As the name suggests, air purifiers sanitize the air, getting rid of pollutants, as well as allergens like pollen, pet dander and dust. Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY, 30 July 2022 Its allergenic wash cycle uses steam to help remove up to 95% of dander and allergens from your clothing, and the machine is even certified by the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. Barbara Bellesi Zito, Better Homes & Gardens, 12 July 2022 The lightweight vacuum also has a HEPA filtration system, capturing up to 99.99 percent of dust particles like pollen and pet dander. Amy Schulman, PEOPLE.com, 10 June 2022 Its premium two-stage filter helps to reduce airborne irritants like pollen, pet dander, dust, and smoke. Robin Raven, Forbes, 29 May 2022 Since many airborne allergens can create a bad smell—think smoke, cleaning products, cooking chemicals, pet dander, and more, this air purifier offers odor protection to keep your home smelling fresh. Samantha Jones, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 July 2022 And who likes living among a layer of dust and dander? Jake Smith, Glamour, 13 July 2022 The most common things that trigger indoor/outdoor allergies are trees, grass and weed pollen, mold spores, cockroaches, pet dander, dust mites and rodent urine. cleveland, 12 May 2022 Pet dander and flea dirt are also easily brushed away with a slicker surface material. Michael Pollick, chicagotribune.com, 17 Mar. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dander.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of dander

1786, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dander

alteration of dandruff

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Dictionary Entries Near dander

dandelion coffee


D and H

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Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dander.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dander. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for dander


dan·​der | \ ˈdan-dər How to pronounce dander (audio) \

Kids Definition of dander

1 : tiny scales from hair, feathers, or skin that may cause allergic reactions
2 : anger entry 2 The insults got my dander up.


dan·​der | \ ˈdan-dər How to pronounce dander (audio) \

Medical Definition of dander

: dandruff specifically : minute scales from hair, feathers, or skin that may act as allergens

More from Merriam-Webster on dander

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dander


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