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derring-do

[der-ing-doo] /ˈdɛr ɪŋˈdu/
noun
1.
daring deeds; heroic daring.
Origin of derring-do
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English durring-do literally, daring to do, erroneously taken as noun phrase. See dare, do1
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for derring-do
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • To that complexion of mean fraud did the old smuggling traditions of courage, adventure, and derring-do come at last!

    The Smugglers Charles G. Harper
  • Of deeds of derring-do for the saving of life our square-set friend was full.

    Cornish Saints and Sinners J. Henry Harris
  • And because they had no golden days of derring-do to look back upon, they did less grumbling.

    Our Army at the Front Heywood Broun
  • Like Ivanhoe in the castle, he chafed at his compulsory inaction while others were doing "deeds of derring-do."

  • You shall be like a knight of old, who is to gain a maiden's hand by the accomplishment of some great deed of derring-do.

    The Wolf's Long Howl Stanley Waterloo
British Dictionary definitions for derring-do

derring-do

/ˈdɛrɪŋˈduː/
noun
1.
(archaic or literary) a daring spirit or deed; boldness or bold action
Word Origin
C16: from Middle English durring don daring to do, from durren to dare + don to do
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 derring-do
n.

originally (late 14c.) dorrying don, literally "daring to do," from durring "daring," present participle of Middle English durren "to dare" (see dare (v.)) + don, infinitive of do (v.). Misspelled derrynge do 1500s and mistaken for a noun by Spenser, who took it to mean "manhood and chevalrie;" picked up from him and passed on to Romantic poets as a pseudo-archaism by Sir Walter Scott.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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