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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for dunning
Historical Examples
  • Say, dunning, there's twenty-five pesoes for you, if you fix him good and proper.

    The Long Dim Trail Forrestine C. Hooker
  • If you will have it so, Mr. dunning, you may stand watch to-night and I will go to the house.

    Whispering Smith Frank H. Spearman
  • An intelligent Note, however, vindicates the reputation of dunning.

  • You were heard to say as much to-night at the dunning ranch.

    Whispering Smith Frank H. Spearman
  • The garrison of 8000 men was under the immediate command of Colonel dunning, of the 5th Ohio.

  • I heard Mr dunning, as he passed me, apostrophising the night as dark as Erebus.

    Peter the Whaler W.H.G. Kingston
  • Why are we to starve until this Mr. dunning has come and gone?

    The Big Drum Arthur Pinero
  • That evening Captain dunning supped with Ailie and his sisters in low spirits.

    The Red Eric R.M. Ballantyne
  • In my opinion, it would be a thousand pities not to see Mr. dunning to-night, and have done with him.

    The Big Drum Arthur Pinero
  • In five minutes I can have dunning here with the whole disreputable story.

    The Big Drum Arthur Pinero
British Dictionary definitions for dunning

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 dunning

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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9
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