don

verb
\ 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

don

noun

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

Don

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for don

Synonyms: Verb

put on, slip (on or into), throw (on)

Antonyms: Verb

doff, remove, take off

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Miley wore a sparkly green and black striped dress, while Liam donned the more classic ensemble of all black. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth Attended Their First Met Gala as a Couple," 7 May 2019 For their 2019 outing, Kate is wearing a chic gray dress, while Queen Elizabeth has donned an all-pink look by her go-to designer Stewart Parvin. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton & Queen Elizabeth Make a Rare Joint Appearance at King's College in London," 19 Mar. 2019 Two, more well-known, customers have been Beyoncé and Cate Blanchett, who donned her unique designs to the Global Citizens Festival and Cannes Festival, respectfully. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "Mary Katrantzou’s Exhibit 'Kaleidoscope Katrantzou' Opens at SCAD," 18 Apr. 2019 The conversation is, in part, a matter of workplace attire deemed appropriate for men and women: Men can usually don a suit and feel perfectly comfortable in an arctic room. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "If You're Freezing in Your Office Right Now, Cynthia Nixon Can Relate," 29 Aug. 2018 Don’t forget to don your most proper double breasted dress, long white gloves, and add a tiara for good measure. Diana Nguyen, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Don’t You...Wear Head-to-Toe Gucci All Day, Every Day," 2 Apr. 2019 Another plaintiff, Nick Venner, seventeen, dons headphones and begins solving differential equations on his laptop. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Do Americans Have a Constitutional Right to a Livable Planet? Meet the 21 Young People Who Say They Do," 21 Mar. 2019 The couple donned all black and signed a book of condolences for the victims during an unexpected appearance at New Zealand House in London. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Took a Surprise Outing Yesterday That We All Almost Missed," 20 Mar. 2019 The evil villainess looks up with her piercing green eyes, dons a pair of creepy horns on her head, and wears a killer pair of massive wings on her back. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Angelina Jolie Looks Both Terrifying and Beautiful in the New Maleficent Poster and I'm Shook," 7 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This Boba Fett dons sculpted Mandalorian armor, a rangefinder, flight suit and vest with body plate armor, knee pads, and wrist gauntlets. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "The Best Star Wars Toys for Any Aspiring Jedi," 27 Mar. 2019 Insiders will recognize real-world touches: the bookish spectacles one defendant dons for court, the feral dogs that roam gang neighborhoods, the civilian police employee who passes tips to her gang-member nephew. Jill Leovy, New York Times, "The Killers of the ‘Sex Money Murder’ Gang and the Cops Who Went After Them," 1 June 2018 Cuadrado is more interested in Ronaldo's abilities than what shirt number dons either player's back. Afp, chicagotribune.com, "Cuadrado: 'no problem' giving up number 7 jersey to Ronaldo," 12 July 2018 In the outside world, kids their age don caps and gowns, celebrate sweet 16s and quinceañeras. Joy Resmovits, latimes.com, "What prom looks like in juvenile detention: contraband hairpins have to be returned at the end of the night," 21 June 2018 RealBooksYouCanHoldAndSmell Written by don Miguel Ruiz, the tome describes self-limiting beliefs, and how readers can use the Four Agreements—each based on Toltec Wisdom—to eliminate suffering and self-doubt and experience true happiness. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Kelly Clarkson Can't Stop Reading This Book and We Can See Why," 7 Aug. 2018 The same theory could be applied to plenty of future items that Markle dons, or even past items that have since sold out. Rachel King, Fortune, "Meghan Markle Is Being Credited With Boosting Aritzia's Earnings. But Is the 'Meghan Effect' Real?," 13 July 2018 Light appetites find a mini don here with tuna and/or salmon on rice. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Here's where to get a poké bowl in Indianapolis, including 5 new restaurants," 31 May 2018 The trial of the octogenarian Mafia don is a reminder of how much Boston and its criminal underworld have changed. Shelley Murphy, BostonGlobe.com, "Mafia murder trial occurring now in Boston highlights how much city’s underworld has changed," 29 May 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of don

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1523, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for don

Verb

Middle English, contraction of do on

Noun

Spanish, from Latin dominus master — more at dame

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about don

Dictionary Entries near don

domus

domy

DON

don

Don

don't

don't ask

Statistics for don

Last Updated

16 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for don

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for don

don

verb

English Language Learners Definition of don

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

don

noun

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

don

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

Kids Definition of don

: to put on don a cap

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on don

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with don

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for don

Spanish Central: Translation of don

Nglish: Translation of don for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of don for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about don

Comments on don

What made you want to look up don? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a strong desire or propensity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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