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

Definition of don

 (Entry 1 of 4)

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 4)

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 4)

director of nursing


geographical name
\ ˈdän How to pronounce Don (audio) \

Definition of Don (Entry 4 of 4)

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

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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 Hadid went topless and donned a short, dark wig for the shoot. Chelsey Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gigi Hadid Goes Topless and Wears a Wig for Dramatic Chanel Photoshoot," 5 Dec. 2019 SantaCon is a day where thousands of people don red and white Santa suits as well as other Christmas attire and spend the day walking around, being merry and drinking copious amounts of alcohol. Briana Rice,, "Cincinnati SantaCon 2019 is expanding: Everything you need to know to go," 21 Nov. 2019 Nyong’o is a strong contender for a Best Actress nomination next year for her performances as a woman harboring a dark secret and her underground-dwelling, jumpsuit-donning doppelgänger. David Canfield,, "How Us left Lupita Nyong'o exhausted, nervous, and challenged like never before," 19 Nov. 2019 Event co-hosts Carrie Underwood and Dolly Parton donned cream and gold sheath gowns and Reba McEntire wore a sparkly black gown with fur cuffs. Marcy De Luna, Houston Chronicle, "Country music's biggest stars walk the red carpet at 53rd annual CMA Awards," 14 Nov. 2019 Kirk Gibson donned an Andy Warhol costume, Jack White showed off historical prowess, Alice Cooper talked golf — and all three rhapsodized about baseball and rock ‘n’ roll during a Halloween soiree for a serious cause. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Kirk Gibson, Alice Cooper and Jack White talk baseball, rock 'n' roll at Detroit event," 31 Oct. 2019 While being interviewed by CNN's Andy Scholes, Soto -- donning goggles and holding his beer -- was surrounded by his teammates, who giddily poured beer all over him. Jill Martin, CNN, "Juan Soto had his first beer with his Nationals teammates after winning the World Series," 31 Oct. 2019 To complete the creepy and kooky ensemble, Kelly's husband, Mark Consuelos, put on a Gomez costume, producer Michael Gelman played Lurch, and executive in charge Art Moore donned an Uncle Fester get-up. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Kelly Ripa Is Shocked After Fans Mistake Her for Her Daughter Lola in Halloween Instagram," 29 Oct. 2019 The son was ultimately admitted to USC as a purported football recruit but never donned shoulder pads for the powerhouse program, the filing said., "Four more parents pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Boston to fraud and money laundering charges in connection with the sweeping, nationwide," 22 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This place was Medium Rare, a good but odd restaurant that offers no choices, like a mafia don with a proposal and a gun. Washington Post, "Gene Weingarten: When the steaks are high, you act on your gut," 5 Dec. 2019 An English commoner dons the armor of a dead jouster and, with the help of friends, competes against nobles in 14th-century France. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019," 22 Sep. 2019 In this game, players take on the role of a Freelancer and dons exosuits called Javelins to fight back against an evil leader called The Monitor. Nina Huang,, "Walmart is holding a pre-Black Friday sale on XBox One S bundles right now," 29 Oct. 2019 League of Legends players will get the chance of becoming Louis Vuitton dons of their own. Washington Post, "Louis Vuitton is now designing outfits for League of Legends characters," 23 Sep. 2019 Kardashian West goes on to act out the entire admissions essay and perfectly nails each and every outfit Woods dons in the video. Katie Intner,, "Reese Witherspoon Kept Every Outfit from Legally Blonde 2: 'I Had It Written in My Contract'," 4 Nov. 2019 The movie tells the tale of Vito Corleone's rise to power with parallel storylines: Robert De Niro portrays the don as a young man while Al Pacino plays his son, Michael. Marc Bona, cleveland, "‘The Godfather: Part II’ to air in Greater Cleveland theaters," 28 Oct. 2019 At one point my head was whipped back and forth like a mafia stoolie being slapped silly by his don. Washington Post, "Gene Weingarten: A few (end of) life hacks for the young geezers," 24 Aug. 2019 An English commoner dons the armor of a dead jouster and, with the help of friends, competes against nobles in 14th-century France. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for don

Last Updated

12 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Don.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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More Definitions for don


How to pronounce Don (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of don

 (Entry 1 of 2)

formal + old-fashioned : to put on (a piece of clothing)



English Language Learners Definition of don (Entry 2 of 2)

British : a teacher in a college or university especially : a teacher at Oxford or Cambridge University
informal : a powerful Mafia leader


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

Kids Definition of don

: to put on don a cap

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More from Merriam-Webster on don

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for don

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with don

Spanish Central: Translation of don

Nglish: Translation of don for Spanish Speakers

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

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