\ ˈdän How to pronounce don (audio) \
donned; donning

Definition of don

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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 moralities— Edward Sapir



Definition of don (Entry 2 of 3)

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 forever— Virginia 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 wit— John Dryden

Definition of DON (Entry 3 of 3)

director of nursing

Synonyms & Antonyms for don

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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 He’s widely seen today as one for the forces of the running craze that inspired millions of Americans to don his new shoes and take to the streets in the 1970s. Fox News, 16 Sep. 2022 Resist the urge to don 60 denier tights and instead opt for a statement piece that'll slot nicely into your everyday wardrobe post-event. Georgia Murray,, 24 June 2022 These manikins have more than 5,600 sensors and 34 radiation detectors, and while Zohar will don a radiation protection vest called AstroRad, Helga won't. Catherine Garcia, The Week, 29 Aug. 2022 Thursday On this day every year, the world suddenly looks a bit greener as people don the color to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 13 Mar. 2022 He is set to don the Philippines' colors in the upcoming window of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers. Aaron Falk, The Salt Lake Tribune, 20 Aug. 2022 But players who currently don No. 6 — including LeBron James and the Washington Wizards' Kristaps Porzingis — will be allowed to keep their numbers, according to the league. Stephanie Wenger, Peoplemag, 11 Aug. 2022 The previous plot leak also explains who will be the MCU’s next Black Panther, indicating that Shuri will don the suit. Chris Smith, BGR, 27 July 2022 What better excuse to don a red catsuit than Halloween? Seventeen, 22 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Charlotte Brewer, an Oxford don, published her book Treasure-House of the Language: The Living OED. Bryan A. Garner, National Review, 17 Feb. 2022 The group conspired to organize into teams, undergo paramilitary training, coordinate travel, assemble and stage weapons and don combat and tactical gear before most joined the Capitol breach, prosecutors alleged. Washington Post, 25 Jan. 2022 Robin Kirkpatrick, a Cambridge don, did a masterly translation for Penguin Classics. Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, 13 Sep. 2021 The pair don modest but fashionable clothing and are surrounded by elegant scientific equipment. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 Sep. 2021 Shelby Grad, the inimitable don of Metro, has shaped the big-picture strategy along with countless individual stories. Los Angeles Times, 30 Apr. 2021 Peter Gotti, the mafia boss who succeeded his infamous brother as the don of the Gambino crime family, died while serving a federal prison sentence, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, 26 Feb. 2021 Ma, a Harvard graduate, is as expansively bookish and as intellectually curious as any literary don. New York Times, 15 Jan. 2021 Helping his don his official robes were Larry Green, president of the St. Tammany Bar Association, and Donald Lee, a member of the Washington Parish Bar Associations., 15 Oct. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of don


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1523, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for don


Middle English, contraction of do on


Spanish, from Latin dominus master — more at dame

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Time Traveler for don

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Don.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for don


\ ˈdän How to pronounce don (audio) \
donned; donning

Kids Definition of don

: to put on don a cap

Don geographical name

\ ˈdän How to pronounce Don (audio) \

Definition of Don

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

Nglish: Translation of don for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of don for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about don


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