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[dawnt, dahnt] /dɔnt, dɑnt/
verb (used with object)
to overcome with fear; intimidate:
to daunt one's adversaries.
to lessen the courage of; dishearten:
Don't be daunted by the amount of work still to be done.
Origin of daunt
1250-1300; Middle English da(u)nten < Anglo-French da(u)nter, Old French danter, alteration of donter (probably by influence of dangier power, authority; see danger) < Latin domitāre to tame, derivative of domitus, past participle of domāre to tame
Related forms
dauntingly, adverb
dauntingness, noun
undaunting, adjective
1. overawe, subdue, dismay, frighten. 2. discourage, dispirit.
2. encourage. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for daunt
  • And the old performance conventions are enough to daunt even the boldest of today's interpreters and impresarios.
  • Previous failures, however, do not daunt the latest contender for the prize.
  • The author writes of experiences that would daunt many.
  • Tuition, fees and living expenses are enough to daunt the brightest students.
  • Besides, the cases daunt the most sophisticated lawyers with their complexity.
  • It must be said that some of these essays will daunt the general reader.
  • The powerful force of the family is enough to daunt any challenger.
  • This torment did not daunt his courage.
  • But the scale of the mess which he faced was enough to daunt the most resolute.
  • His present schedule alone might daunt someone half his age.
British Dictionary definitions for daunt


verb (transitive; often passive)
to intimidate
to dishearten
Derived Forms
daunter, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French danter, changed from donter to conquer, from Latin domitāre to tame
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for daunt

c.1300, "to vanquish," from Old French danter, variant of donter (12c., Modern French dompter) "be afraid of, fear, doubt; control, restrain," from Latin domitare, frequentative of domare "to tame" (see tame (v.)). Sense of "to intimidate" is from late 15c. Related: Daunted; daunting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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