Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Informal An Easterner or city person who vacations on a ranch in the West.
  • noun Informal A man who is very fancy or sharp in dress and demeanor.
  • noun A man; a fellow.
  • noun A person of either sex.
  • transitive verb To dress elaborately or flamboyantly.
  • interjection Used to express approval, satisfaction, or congratulations.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun slang A man.
  • noun slang, used in the vocative A term of address for a man.
  • noun originally An inexperienced cowboy.
  • noun slang A tourist.
  • noun archaic A dandy, a man who is very concerned about his dress and appearance.

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

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

Etymologies

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

[Origin unknown.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Of unknown origin. First attested in 1883 as a New York City slang term of contempt for a "fastidious man, fop". 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").

Examples

  • Back then, in the early 80s, the term "dude" was not yet a universal term for "pretty much any person in North America, male or female."

    Jen Sincero: Watch Your Mouth, Dude

  • Back then, in the early 80s, the term "dude" was not yet a universal term for "pretty much any person in North America, male or female."

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Saturday Night Live, in which the title dude fails every time to stop a bomb from going off using rubber bands, chewing gum, etc. Fine, funny.

    Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch

  • Saturday Night Live, in which the title dude fails every time to stop a bomb from going off using rubber bands, chewing gum, etc. Fine, funny.

    Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch

  • Saturday Night Live, in which the title dude fails every time to stop a bomb from going off using rubber bands, chewing gum, etc. Fine, funny.

    Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch

  • Saturday Night Live, in which the title dude fails every time to stop a bomb from going off using rubber bands, chewing gum, etc. Fine, funny.

    Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch

  • Saturday Night Live, in which the title dude fails every time to stop a bomb from going off using rubber bands, chewing gum, etc. Fine, funny.

    Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch

  • Saturday Night Live, in which the title dude fails every time to stop a bomb from going off using rubber bands, chewing gum, etc. Fine, funny.

    Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch

  • Saturday Night Live, in which the title dude fails every time to stop a bomb from going off using rubber bands, chewing gum, etc. Fine, funny.

    Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch

  • Saturday Night Live, in which the title dude fails every time to stop a bomb from going off using rubber bands, chewing gum, etc. Fine, funny.

    Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch

Comments

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

    January 12, 2007

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

    January 13, 2007

  • The vogue word of 1883.

    July 17, 2007

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

    October 22, 2007

  • dude.

    February 21, 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

    August 1, 2008

  • feminine: dudine (see OE)

    July 7, 2009