dungeon

noun
dun·​geon | \ ˈdən-jən How to pronounce dungeon (audio) \

Definition of dungeon

1 : donjon
2 : a dark usually underground prison or vault

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Did You Know?

The words for two different parts of a castle come from the same source. The word dungeon, meaning “a dark usually underground prison,” comes from the French word donjon, which also gives us our English word donjon, meaning “an inner tower in a castle.” Dungeon was first used in English in the 14th century for the strong tower in the inner part of the castle. Defenders could retreat to this tower if attackers got inside the castle walls. Part of the tower usually included an underground room, the dungeon, usually used for prisoners. Throughout its history, the word dungeon has had many spellings. Sometimes it was spelled donjon like the French word it comes from, and sometimes in other ways. In time the spelling donjon came to be used mostly for the castle tower, and the spelling dungeon mostly for the underground room or prison.

Examples of dungeon in a Sentence

The king threw them in the dungeon.
Recent Examples on the Web When the dust cleared, the golem lay in pieces across the dungeon floor. L.j. Kilgore, Ars Technica, "How to move your role-playing game nights online," 28 June 2020 The general public could appreciate the fantasy, dungeon-exploring elements. Shannon Liao, CNN, "Where nostalgic games like Neopets and MapleStory are now," 20 June 2020 As a dungeon crawler, Minecraft Dungeons is eminently competent. Julie Muncy, Wired, "Minecraft Dungeons Makes Dungeon Crawlers Accessible to All," 29 May 2020 Knowing that the coronavirus has us all cooped up indoors, the creators of the game made all dungeons, raids, and expansion packs available to everyone through the end of April. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "Games To Play Online With Your Friends While We’re All Stuck At Home," 27 May 2020 Warframe has a little bit of everything—dungeons full of monsters and puzzles, big open worlds with quests and story, space combat, customizable spaceships and pets, and hundreds of hours of content. Matthew Gault, Time, "Video Games Are a Great Way to Pass the Time and Keep You Connected. Here's How to Get Started," 5 May 2020 Knowing that the coronavirus has us all cooped up indoors, the creators of the game made all dungeons, raids, and expansion packs available to everyone through the end of April. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "Games To Play Online With Your Friends While We’re All Stuck At Home," 24 Mar. 2020 Meanwhile, occupation forces committed scores of atrocities in both countries — some the typical concomitants of war, some simply gratuitous crimes, as in the torture dungeon at Abu Ghraib and the Nisour Square massacre. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "Bernie Sanders is America's best hope for a sane foreign policy," 7 Jan. 2020 In the eighth episode of The Clone Wars’ final season, former Jedi Ahsoka Tano and her new allies, Trace and Rafa Martez are back in the Pyke Syndicate’s dungeon on Oba Diah. Alex Kane, USA TODAY, "The Clone Wars recap: Ahsoka says goodbye to the Martez sisters," 10 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dungeon.' 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 dungeon

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dungeon

Middle English dongeon, donjon, from Anglo-French donjun, from Vulgar Latin *domnion-, domnio keep, mastery, from Latin dominus lord — more at dominate

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Time Traveler for dungeon

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for dungeon

Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dungeon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dungeon. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for dungeon

dungeon

noun
How to pronounce dungeon (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dungeon

: a dark underground prison in a castle

dungeon

noun
dun·​geon | \ ˈdən-jən How to pronounce dungeon (audio) \

Kids Definition of dungeon

: a dark usually underground prison

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More from Merriam-Webster on dungeon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dungeon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dungeon

Spanish Central: Translation of dungeon

Nglish: Translation of dungeon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dungeon for Arabic Speakers

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