don

1 of 3

verb

donned; donning

transitive verb

1
: to put on (an article of clothing)
donned his hat and gloves
2
: to wrap oneself in : take on sense 3a
the donning of new and more tyrannous moralitiesEdward Sapir

don

2 of 3

noun

1
: a head (see head entry 1 sense 6a), tutor, or fellow (see fellow sense 5) in a college of Oxford or Cambridge University
she didn't want to be a don's wife and live in Oxford foreverVirginia Woolf
broadly : a college or university professor
2
[Italian, title of respect, from donno, literally, lord, from Latin dominus] : a powerful Mafia leader
3
: a Spanish nobleman or gentleman
used as a title prefixed to the Christian name
4
archaic : a person of consequence : grandee
the great dons of witJohn Dryden

DON

3 of 3

abbreviation

director of nursing

Examples of don in a Sentence

Verb He donned his gloves and hat. she donned her best gown for the ball
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
In the clip, the newborn donned a yellow knit ensemble. Francesca Gariano, Peoplemag, 12 June 2024 The year was 2021 and the former young Sporting KC phenom donned the white shirt and navy shorts of the U.S. Men’s National Team. Daniel Sperry, Kansas City Star, 10 June 2024
Noun
Beyond these, his preference was to convene bosses like mafia dons dividing up territories—hence his expectation at the World War II conferences in Tehran, Yalta, and Potsdam that his U.S. and British counterparts would acknowledge Soviet authority over half of Europe. John Lewis Gaddis, Foreign Affairs, 7 June 2024 The old don at the defense table, surrounded by slick lawyers. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, 4 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for don 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'don.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English, contraction of do on

Noun

Spanish, from Latin dominus master — more at dame

First Known Use

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1523, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of don was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near don

Cite this Entry

“Don.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/don. Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

don

1 of 2 verb
donned; donning
: to dress oneself in : put on

don

2 of 2 noun
1
: a Spanish nobleman or gentleman
used as a title
2
: a teacher in a college or university
Etymology

Verb

from a contraction of do on

Noun

from Spanish don "a nobleman or gentleman," from Latin dominus "master, owner" — related to dame, dominate

Geographical Definition

Don

geographical name

river 1224 miles (1969 kilometers) long in Russia in Europe flowing southeast and then southwest into the Sea of Azov

More from Merriam-Webster on don

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!