Word Origin & History
O.E. durran "to brave danger," from P.Gmc. *ders-, from PIE *dhers- (cf. Skt. dadharsha "to be bold," O.Pers. dar- "to dare," Gk. thrasys "bold," O.C.S. druzate "to be bold, dare"). An O.E. irregular preterite-present verb: darr, dearst, dear were first, second and third person singular present indicative;
mostly regularized 16c., though past tense dorste survived as durst, but is now dying, persisting mainly in northern Eng. dialect. Meaning "to challenge or defy (someone)" is first recorded 1570s.