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dun1

[duhn] /dʌn/
verb (used with object), dunned, dunning.
1.
to make repeated and insistent demands upon, especially for the payment of a debt.
noun
2.
a person, especially a creditor, who duns another.
3.
a demand for payment, especially a written one.
Origin of dun1
1620-1630
1620-30; origin obscure

dun2

[duhn] /dʌn/
adjective
1.
dull, grayish brown.
2.
dark; gloomy.
noun
3.
a dun color.
4.
a dun-colored horse with a black mane and tail.
5.
6.
Angling. dun fly.
Origin
before 1000; Middle English dun(ne), Old English dunn; cognate with Old Saxon dun
Related forms
dunness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dun
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I need not go so high up as the history of Guy, earl of Warwick, who is well known to have eaten up a dun cow of his own killing.

  • Flame-colour is a mixture of auburn and dun; dun of white and black; yellow of white and auburn.

    Timaeus Plato
  • dun clouds, driven by a strong wind, scurried across the troubled sky.

    The Story of John Paul Jones Chelsea Curtis Fraser
  • You seem to forget that the brand on this dun is pretty well known.

    The Coyote James Roberts
  • dun Now that I can speak alone with you, tell me about that hair dye.

    Our American Cousin Tom Taylor
  • He found that the barn man was indeed looking after the dun in excellent shape.

    The Coyote James Roberts
  • I am obliged to you for the gentleness and moderation of your dun, considering how long I have been your debtor.

British Dictionary definitions for dun

dun1

/dʌn/
verb duns, dunning, dunned
1.
(transitive) to press or importune (a debtor) for the payment of a debt
noun
2.
a person, esp a hired agent, who importunes another for the payment of a debt
3.
a demand for payment, esp one in writing
Word Origin
C17: of unknown origin

dun2

/dʌn/
noun
1.
a brownish-grey colour
2.
a horse of this colour
3.
(angling)
  1. an immature adult mayfly (the subimago), esp one of the genus Ephemera
  2. an artificial fly imitating this or a similar fly
adjective dunner, dunnest
4.
of a dun colour
5.
dark and gloomy
Word Origin
Old English dunn; related to Old Norse dunna wild duck, Middle Irish doun dark; see dusk
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 dun
v.

"to insist on payment of debt," 1620s, perhaps related to dunnen "to sound, resound, make a din" (c.1200, dialectal variant of din), or shortened from dunkirk (c.1600) "privateer," a private vessel licensed to attack enemy ships during wartime, from Dunkirk, French port from which they sailed. The oldest theory traces it to a Joe Dun, supposedly a London bailiff famous for catching defaulters. Related: Dunned; dunning. As a noun from 1620s.

adj.

Old English dunn "dingy brown, dark-colored," perhaps from Celtic (cf. Old Irish donn "dark;" Gaelic donn "brown, dark;" Welsh dwnn "brownish"), from PIE *donnos, *dusnos "dark."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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