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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
Historical Examples
  • Yet neither did this daunt the faithful men and women whom God Himself had sent to help those boys at the front.

    The War Romance of the Salvation Army Evangeline Booth and Grace Livingston Hill
  • She felt a dismal suspicion that this was going to daunt her.

  • Seeing, however, that it took a good deal of defeat to daunt the Christians, Abd-er-Rahmn resolved upon stronger measures.

    The Moors in Spain Stanley Lane-Poole
  • Happy, healthy, hearty and with a fund of good nature that nothing could daunt.

    Frank Roscoe's Secret Allen Chapman
  • A sailor by profession, he was an expert swimmer, and the river was not wide enough to daunt him.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • If they are imaginary, there is too much in this Book against quackery to daunt us.

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • It was remote enough from any other land to daunt the strongest swimmer.

    Blackbeard: Buccaneer Ralph D. Paine
  • Even the storm at its height could not daunt such furious riders.

    Riders of the Silences John Frederick
  • He had survived so much that coming dangers could not daunt him.

    The Sun Of Quebec Joseph A. Altsheler
  • They had been in the same emergency before, so it did not daunt their enthusiasm.

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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