from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A first public appearance, as of a performer.
  • n. The formal presentation of a young woman to society.
  • n. The beginning of a course of action: the debut of a new foreign policy.
  • transitive v. Usage Problem To present in or make a debut.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A performer's first-time performance to the public.
  • v. to formally introduce, as to the public
  • v. to make one's initial formal appearance


French début, from débuter, to give the first stroke in a game, begin : dé-, from, away (from Old French de-; see de-) + but, goal, target (from Old French butte; see butt3).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French début, from Middle French, derivative of débuter ("to move, begin"), from dé- + but ("mark, goal"), from Old French but ("aim, goal, end, target"), from Old French butte ("mound, knoll, target"), from Frankish *but ("stump, log"), or from Old Norse bútr ("log, stump, butt"); both from Proto-Germanic *butan (“end, piece”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰeud- (“to beat, push”). Cognate with Old English butt ("tree stump"). More at butt. (Wiktionary)


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