[dahn, dan]
noun Martial Arts.
a degree of expertise in karate, judo, tae kwon do, etc., usually signified by the wearing of a cloth belt of a particular color; level: a sixth-degree dan.

1940–45; < Japanese < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese duàn step, grade

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a son of Jacob and Bilhah. Gen. 30:6.
one of the 12 tribes of Israel, traditionally descended from him.
the northernmost city of ancient Palestine.
a male given name, form of Daniel.
from Dan to Beersheba, from one outermost extreme or limit to the other. Judges 20:1.


noun Archaic.
a title of honor equivalent to master or sir: Dan Chaucer.

1275–1325; Middle English < Old French danz < Medieval Latin domnus, contraction of Latin dominus lord, master


Bible. Daniel ( def 1 ).
Danish. Also, Dan.


Daniel Constantine ("Dan") born 1961, U.S. football player.


James Danforth ("Dan") born 1947, vice president of the U.S. 1989–93.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dan1 (dæn)
Also called: dan buoy a small buoy used as a marker at sea
[C17: of unknown origin]

dan2 (dæn)
1.  any one of the 10 black-belt grades of proficiency
2.  a competitor entitled to dan grading

Dan1 (dæn)
an archaic title of honour, equivalent to Master or Sir: Dan Chaucer

Dan2 (dæn)
1.  a.  the fourth son of Jacob (Genesis 30:1--6)
 b.  the tribe descended from him
2.  a city in the northern territory of Canaan

abbreviation for
1.  Bible Daniel
2.  Danish

Quayle (kweɪl)
Sir (John) Anthony. 1913--89, British actor and theatrical producer: director (1948--56) of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

title of address to members of religious orders, c.1300, from O.Fr. dan (Mod.Fr. dom), from L. dominus "lord" (cf. Port. don, Sp. don, It. donno; see don (n.)).

familiar form of masc. proper name Daniel.

name of one of the 12 tribes of ancient Israel or its territory, named for its founder. In OT, it occupied the northernmost part of Israel, hence its use proverbially for "utmost extremity, e.g. in from Dan to Beersheba (the southernmost region), 1738.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
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  1. Daniel

  2. Danish

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Dan definition

a judge. (1.) The fifth son of Jacob. His mother was Bilhah, Rachel's maid (Gen. 30:6, "God hath judged me", Heb. dananni). The blessing pronounced on him by his father was, "Dan shall judge his people" (49:16), probably in allusion to the judgeship of Samson, who was of the tribe of Dan. The tribe of Dan had their place in the march through the wilderness on the north side of the tabernacle (Num. 2:25, 31; 10:25). It was the last of the tribes to receive a portion in the Land of Promise. Its position and extent are described in Josh. 19:40-48. The territory of Dan extended from the west of that of Ephraim and Benjamin to the sea. It was a small territory, but was very fertile. It included in it, among others, the cities of Lydda, Ekron, and Joppa, which formed its northern boundary. But this district was too limited. "Squeezed into the narrow strip between the mountains and the sea, its energies were great beyond its numbers." Being pressed by the Amorites and the Philistines, whom they were unable to conquer, they longed for a wider space. They accordingly sent out five spies from two of their towns, who went north to the sources of the Jordan, and brought back a favourable report regarding that region. "Arise," they said, "be not slothful to go, and to possess the land," for it is "a place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth" (Judg. 18:10). On receiving this report, 600 Danites girded on their weapons of war, and taking with them their wives and their children, marched to the foot of Hermon, and fought against Leshem, and took it from the Sidonians, and dwelt therein, and changed the name of the conquered town to Dan (Josh. 19:47). This new city of Dan became to them a new home, and was wont to be spoken of as the northern limit of Palestine, the length of which came to be denoted by the expression "from Dan to Beersheba", i.e., about 144 miles. "But like Lot under a similar temptation, they seem to have succumbed to the evil influences around them, and to have sunk down into a condition of semi-heathenism from which they never emerged. The mounds of ruins which mark the site of the city show that it covered a considerable extent of ground. But there remains no record of any noble deed wrought by the degenerate tribe. Their name disappears from the roll-book of the natural and the spiritual Israel.", Manning's Those Holy Fields. This old border city was originally called Laish. Its modern name is Tell el-Kady, "Hill of the Judge." It stands about four miles below Caesarea Philippi, in the midst of a region of surpassing richness and beauty. (2.) This name occurs in Ezek 27:19, Authorize Version; but the words there, "Dan also," should be simply, as in the Revised Version, "Vedan," an Arabian city, from which various kinds of merchandise were brought to Tyre. Some suppose it to have been the city of Aden in Arabia. (See MAHANEH-DAN ØT0002375.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Britannica


the basic unit of weight in ancient China. The shi was created by Shi Huang Di, who became the first emperor of China in 221 BC and who is celebrated for his unification of regulations fixing the basic units. He fixed the shi at about 60 kg (132 pounds). The modern shi is equivalent to 71.68 kg (157.89 pounds)

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences for Dan
Dan is on the left, jon the right, with older brother doug in the middle.
Dan dare was extensively revamped to make it more futuristic.
This record has led some to call him the dan marino of spelling.
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