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[doon, dyoon] /dun, dyun/
a sand hill or sand ridge formed by the wind, usually in desert regions or near lakes and oceans.
Origin of dune
1780-90; < French, Old French < Middle Dutch dūna; cognate with down3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dune
  • The sounds made by dune avalanches has mystified people for centuries.
  • The image above shows a dune field on the floor of a crater made by an asteroid impact.
  • The photographer used the sweep of the dune to frame the plant and applied the rule of thirds in composing the landscape.
  • Behind the marsh the occasional dune humped into view.
  • Or it could be that the underlying dune is brighter in this spot than the dust on top of it.
  • One of the more unusual approaches to the flying car combines a dune buggy with a propeller and a big parachute.
  • The dune buggy racers are kicking up dirt on their way to the track.
  • We trudge down the dune, surprising the lady who lives in the valley.
  • Then they gather in clusters of six or seven, each group taking shelter behind a small dune and kindling a meager fire.
  • When the dune dries in a day or so, the wind will begin to reshape it once again.
British Dictionary definitions for dune


a mound or ridge of drifted sand, occurring on the sea coast and in deserts
Word Origin
C18: via Old French from Middle Dutch dūne; see down³
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 dune

1790, from French, Middle Dutch or Middle Low German dune, all perhaps from Gaulish *dunom (thus related to down (n.2)). The French dune "sand hill" (13c.) is held by Diez to be an Old French borrowing from Dutch duin or some other Germanic source. Italian and Spanish duna are from French. Dune buggy attested by 1965.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dune in Science

A hill or ridge of wind-blown sand. Dunes are capable of moving by the motion of their individual grains but usually keep the same shape. See more at barchan dune, draa, longitudinal dune, seif dune, transverse dune.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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