1 [duhn]
verb (used with object), dunned, dunning.
to make repeated and insistent demands upon, especially for the payment of a debt.
a person, especially a creditor, who duns another.
a demand for payment, especially a written one.

1620–30; origin obscure

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World English Dictionary
dun1 (dʌn)
vb , duns, dunning, dunned
1.  (tr) to press or importune (a debtor) for the payment of a debt
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
[C17: of unknown origin]

dun2 (dʌn)
1.  a brownish-grey colour
2.  a horse of this colour
3.  angling
 a.  an immature adult mayfly (the subimago), esp one of the genus Ephemera
 b.  an artificial fly imitating this or a similar fly
adj , dunner, dunnest
4.  of a dun colour
5.  dark and gloomy
[Old English dunn; related to Old Norse dunna wild duck, Middle Irish doun dark; see dusk]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"to insist on payment of debt," 1620s, perhaps related to dunnen "to sound, resound, make a 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. Yet another, less likely, theory traces it
to a Joe Dun, supposedly a London bailiff famous for catching defaulters. Related: Dunned; dunning.

O.E. dunn "dingy brown, dark-colored," perhaps from Celt. (cf. O.Ir. donn "dark"), from PIE *donnos, *dusnos "dark."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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