derring-do

noun
der·​ring-do | \ ˌder-iŋ-ˈdü How to pronounce derring-do (audio) , ˌde-riŋ- \

Definition of derring-do

: daring action : daring deeds of derring-do

Did you know?

Derring-do is a quirky holdover from Middle English that came to occupy its present place in the language by a series of mistakes and misunderstandings. In Middle English, dorring don meant simply "daring to do." The phrase was misprinted as derrynge do in a 15th-century work by poet John Lydgate, and Edmund Spenser took it up from there. (A glossary to Spenser's work defined it as "manhood and chevalrie.") Literary author Sir Walter Scott and others brought the noun into modern use.

First Known Use of derring-do

1579, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for derring-do

Middle English dorring don daring to do, from dorring (gerund of dorren to dare) + don to do

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The first known use of derring-do was in 1579

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Dictionary Entries Near derring-do

derriere

derring-do

derringer

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Cite this Entry

“Derring-do.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/derring-do. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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