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

  • n. Used as a courtesy title before the name of a man in a Spanish-speaking area.
  • n. Chiefly British A head, tutor, or fellow at a college of Oxford or Cambridge.
  • n. Chiefly British A college or university professor.
  • n. The leader of an organized-crime family.
  • n. Archaic An important personage.
  • transitive v. To put on (clothing).
  • transitive v. To assume or take on: donned the air of the injured party.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A university professor, particularly one at Oxford or Cambridge.
  • n. A mafia boss.
  • v. to put on, to dress in

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Sir; Mr; Signior; -- a title in Spain, formerly given to noblemen and gentlemen only, but now common to all classes.
  • n. A grand personage, or one making pretension to consequence; especially, the head of a college, or one of the fellows at the English universities.
  • transitive v. To put on; to dress in; to invest one's self with.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To put on; invest with.
  • n. [capitalized] A title in Spain and Italy prefixed to a man's Christian name, like Sir in Great Britain.
  • n. A gentleman; a man bearing the title of or addressed as “Don.”
  • n. Any person of high importance or leading position: applied ironically to one giving himself airs of importance.
  • n. In Great Britain, a fellow of a college, or any college authority.
  • n. In sea-fishing, a buoy used to mark a fishing-ground.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. Celtic goddess; mother of Gwydion and Arianrhod; corresponds to Irish Danu
  • n. a Spanish courtesy title or form of address for men that is prefixed to the forename
  • n. a Spanish gentleman or nobleman
  • n. a European river in southwestern Russia; flows into the Sea of Azov
  • n. the head of an organized crime family
  • v. put clothing on one's body
  • n. teacher at a university or college (especially at Cambridge or Oxford)


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

Spanish dialectal and Italian, both from Latin dominus, lord; see dem- in Indo-European roots.
Middle English, contraction of do on, to put on; see do1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin dominus, "lord", "head of household", akin to Spanish don and Italian dom; from domus, "house", + diminutive suffix -inus. Compare dominie.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

A contraction of Middle English do on. Compare also doff.


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  • Binky was over ninety and was the widow of "a Peterhouse fellow," a philosophy don (despite living in Cambridge for fourteen years, Jackson still though of the mafia when he heard that word).
    Kate Atkinson, Case Histories (New York: Little Brown & Co., 2004), p. 82.

    May 30, 2016

  • A contraction of "do on". Contrast with doff.

    January 5, 2007