Definitions

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

  • n. Informal An Easterner or city person who vacations on a ranch in the West.
  • n. Informal A man who is very fancy or sharp in dress and demeanor.
  • n. Slang A man; a fellow.
  • n. Slang Persons of either sex.
  • transitive v. Slang To dress elaborately or flamboyantly: got all duded up for the show.
  • interj. Slang Used to express approval, satisfaction, or congratulations.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A man.
  • n. A term of address for a man.
  • n. An inexperienced cowboy.
  • n. A tourist.
  • n. A dandy, a man who is very concerned about his dress and appearance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A kind of dandy; especially, one characterized by an ultrafashionable style of dress and other affectations.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A fop or exquisite, characterized by affected refinements of dress, speech, manners, and gait, and a serious mien; hence, by an easy extension, and with less of contempt, a man given to excessive refinement of fashion in dress.

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

  • n. a man who is much concerned with his dress and appearance
  • n. an informal form of address for a man

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Of unknown origin. First attested in 1883[2] as a New York City slang term of contempt for a "fastidious man, fop".[3] Possibly related to dawdle, to German Low German Dudeldop, Dudendop ("fool, dunce"), from Middle Low German dudendop ("cuckold”, “simpleton"), or to Saterland Frisian Duddigegen ("idiot"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • "An inexperienced cowboy". Well spotted, ruzuzu! Thanks!

    December 6, 2010

  • I hate this word! This is a word that is way overworked and far too informal to address strangers and figures of authority. But people do it everyday. Some people are so entranced by this word that they manage to use this word 5 times in a sentence. I'm 50 years old and don't appreciate a 20 something calling me this word.

    December 19, 2009

  • What about including the urban dictionary?

    July 8, 2009

  • feminine: dudine (see OE)

    July 7, 2009

  • It cracks me up when my son calls me dude!

    August 1, 2008

  • Always liked this word. And all ways. Now I know why. Wilde being one of my Wordie heroes. Suddenly the word is cooler. Even mint. Dude is the new uberpersonword.

    May 7, 2008

  • The word "dude", which was coined by Oscar Wilde and his friends, is a portmanteau of the words 'duds' (for clothes) and 'attitude'. Unlike today, the word was considered derogatory until the 1960s.

    May 7, 2008

  • Maidenhead itself is too snobby to be pleasant. It is the haunt of the river swell and his overdressed female companion. It is the town of showy hotels, patronised chiefly by dudes and ballet girls.

    - Jerome, Three Men in a Boat, 1889.

    April 4, 2008

  • dude.

    February 21, 2008

  • We, as in the royal we, like The Dude. El Duderino if you're not into that whole brevity thing.

    October 22, 2007

  • The vogue word of 1883.

    July 17, 2007

  • The hilarious scene from "Dude, Where's My Car", consisting entirely of the words "Dude" and "Sweet".

    January 13, 2007

  • Who was it that said that in 50 years the only words left would be like and dude?

    January 12, 2007