Dictionary: DAMP'ING – DAND'LING

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DAMP'ING, ppr.

Chilling; deadening; dejecting; abating; checking; weakening.


Moderately damp, or moist.


In a dampish manner.


A moderate degree of dampness, or moistness; slight humidity.


Moisture; fogginess; moistness; moderate humidity; as, the dampness of the air, of the ground, or of a cloth.

DAMPS, n. [See DAMP.]

DAMP'Y, a.

Dejected; gloomy. [Little used.] – Hayward.

DAM'SEL, n. [s as z. Fr. damoiselle and demoiselle, a gentlewoman, and damoiseau, a spark or beau; Norm. damoisells, or demicelles, nobles, sons of kings, princes, knights, lords, ladies of quality, and damoyseles, damsels, female infants; Sp. damisola, a young gentlewoman, any girl not of the lower class. The Arm. ma-mesell, va-mesell, or man-mesell, a woman or madam, seems to indicate that the first syllable is a prefix, and mesell, Eng. miss, a distinct word. But damoiselle, Norm. demicelle, from which we have damsel, is doubtless from the Italian damigella, a diminutive formed from dama, like the L. domicilium, from domus, and penicillus, from the root of penna. The Italian damigello, in the masculine gender, shows the propriety of the ancient application of damsel to males.]

A young woman. Formerly, a young man or woman of noble or genteel extraction; as, Damsel Pepin; Damsel Richard, prince of Wales. It is now used only of young women, and is applied to any class of young unmarried women, unless to the most vulgar, and sometimes to country girls. With her train of damsels she was gone. – Dryden. Then Boaz said, whose damsel is this? – Ruth ii. This word is rarely used in conversation, or even in prose writings of the present day; but it occurs frequently in the Scriptures, and in poetry.

DAM'SON, n. [dam'zn; contracted from damascene, the Damascus plum.]

The fruit of a variety of the Prunus domestica; a small black plum.

DAN, n. [Sp. don. Qu. from dominus, or Ar. دَانَ dauna, to be chief, to judge, Heb. Ch. Syr. and Eth. דין. Class Dn, No. 2, 4.]

A title of honor equivalent to master; used by Shakspeare, Prior, &c., but now obsolete.


  1. In a general sense, a leaping and frisking about. Appropriately, a leaping or stepping with motions of the body adjusted to the measure of a tune, particularly by two or more in concert. A lively brisk exercise or amusement, in which the movements of the persons are regulated by art, in figure, and by the sound of instruments, in measure.
  2. A tune by which dancing is regulated, as the minuet, the waltz, the cotillon, &c.

DANCE, v.i. [Fr. danser; Sp. danzar; Port. dançar; Arm. dançzal; It. danzare; G. tanzen; Sw. dansa; Dan. dandser; D. danssen; Basque danzta; Russ. tantzyu. Qu. the radical letters, and the Oriental דןץ, with a casual n.]

  1. Primarily, to leap or spring; hence, to leap or move with measured steps, regulated by a tune, sung or played on a musical instrument; to leap or step with graceful motions of the body, corresponding with the sound of the voice or of an instrument. There is a time to mourn, and a time to dance. Eccles. iii.
  2. To leap and frisk about; to move nimbly or up and down. To dance attendance, to wait with obsequiousness; to strive to please and gain favor by assiduous attentions and officious civilities; as, to dance attendance at court.

DANCE, v.t.

To make to dance; to move up and down, or back and forth; to dandle; as, to dance a child on the knee. Bacon.

DANC'ED, pp.

Moved up and down, backward or forward, in measured steps.


One who practices dancing, or is skillful in the performance.

DANC'ING, ppr.

Leaping and stepping to the sound of the voice or of an instrument; moving in measured steps; frisking about.


One who teaches the art of dancing.


A school in which the art of dancing is taught.

DAN'DE-LION, n. [Fr. dent de lion, lion's tooth.]

A well known plant of the genus Leontodon, having a naked stalk, with one large flower.

DAN'DER, v.i.

To wander about; to talk incoherently.

DAN'DI-PRAT, n. [Fr. dandin, a ninny; It. dondolone, a loiterer; dondolo, any thing swinging; dondolare, to swing, to loiter. The Sp. and Port. tonto, a dolt, may be of the same family. Qu. prat.]

A little fellow; an urchin: a word of fondness or contempt. Johnson.

DAN'DLE, v.t. [G. tändeln, to toy, to trifle, to lounge, to dandle; Fr. dandiner, to jog; It. dondolare, to swing, to loiter; Sp. and Port. tontear, to dote, to talk nonsense; Scot. dandill, dander. These words seem to be allied.]

  1. To shake or jolt on the knee, as an infant; to move up and down in the land; literally, to amuse by play. Ye shall be dandled on her knees. Is. lxvi.
  2. To fondle; to amuse; to treat as a child; to toy with. I am ashamed to be dandled thus. Addison.
  3. To delay; to protract by trifles. [Obs.] Spenser.


Danced on the knee, or in the arms; fondled; amused by trifles or play.


One who dandles or fondles children.


Act of fondling, or jolting on the knee.