One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1British A university teacher, especially a senior member of a college at Oxford or Cambridge.
university teacher, lecturer, university lecturer, fellow, professor, reader, lector, college tutor, academic, scholarView synonyms
- ‘He worked easily with the many newcomers into his department, most of them university dons.’
- ‘Having enjoyed Harvard so much, she has even thought of becoming a Cambridge don.’
- ‘Some evenings he chose to dine with the other dons and professors at high table in college.’
- ‘Students, dons and members of the public gathered outside Balliol College in the centre of the city.’
- ‘Most interesting of all, Oxford don JRR Tolkien stayed at the college in the 1940s while his eldest son was studying for the priesthood.’
- ‘There was a furore amongst senior conservative dons, outraged at the possibility that they might assist a former youth offender and performance poet.’
- ‘Opinion polls showed that most students supported him in his clashes with senior dons who were trying to force him out.’
- ‘He's a neurophysiologist and a don at Magdalen College, and I always felt I was stupid because I couldn't get anything like the same results as him.’
- ‘The club put me up at the house of ‘the Professor’ - a don of sorts at the university, and something of a legend in German basketball.’
- ‘It was largely built in the second part of the nineteenth century when the university's dons were allowed to marry for the first time.’
- ‘As a don at the local university, he reviewed regularly for the Glasgow Herald.’
- ‘The indication that Oxford might have to consider implementing similar measures has been greeted with caution by University officials, dons, and students alike.’
- ‘Oxford dons - furious with the student hacks' actions - had already instigated disciplinary proceedings.’
- ‘In a colourful ceremony the scholars, who were robed and gowned in full academic dress, were presented with their award by the president in front of the deans, doctors and dons of the college.’
- ‘Above all, dons represent the university and must abide by its regulations.’
- ‘I did not have the rich reading repertoires of my fellow English dons and I had a much stronger social-political awareness than most of them.’
- ‘Tall, bespectacled, fleshy, although in reasonably good shape, he has the self-effacing air of an old-fashioned university don.’
- ‘The hall was packed with around 400 undergraduates, while heads of colleges, or dons, sat on the front benches as they do in Parliament.’
- ‘He found the college stuffed with dons hard in pursuit of their own lines of consultancy with industry.’
- ‘Oxford dons see it as the best solution to the funding crisis afflicting Britain's universities.’
2A Spanish title prefixed to a male forename.
- ‘Others see him as a Don Quixote-like noble, if naive, figure who sacrificed his political career rather than abandon his aspiration.’
- ‘There is probably room for a touch more earthiness, a little more hardness in her approach to a Don José who is always going to be putty in her hands.’
- ‘Carmen pleads ‘Let me go’ to a Don José.’
- 2.1 A Spanish gentleman.
- ‘The Perdido Star eventually reaches Cuba, where young Jack's parents are murdered by the requisite villainous Spanish don.’
- ‘She imagined a Spanish don living here in the 1800s, and building a stately hacienda in stages as his family grew.’
- ‘In the first half of the fifteenth century, Gutierre Diaz de Gámez wrote an account of the deeds of his lord don Pero Nino, count of Buelna.’
- 2.2North American informal A high-ranking member of the Mafia.
- ‘If anything justifies the resistance, it is finding out that the people trying to run your country are little better than Mafia dons.’
- ‘With the storyline of the film revolving round the nexus between drug mafia and underworld dons, the mood of the film is certainly reflected in the music, it has been claimed.’
- ‘Instead, like a mafia don in a witness protection program, he will have to leave his current life and construct a brand new one.’
- ‘If you want to do business in those areas, you have to pay tribute to the dons.’
- ‘She is well known across Karnataka as a firebrand journalist, doing scoops on underworld dons and hard-hitting interviews with politicians.’
- ‘Help to the French lady comes in the form of a carefree auto driver who wants to flee the town to escape gambling dons who are after him to recover their money.’
- ‘That's the same maximum sentence a mafia don gets for threatening a witness.’
- ‘It may not be the first time he will be playing an underworld don, but it will probably be a first at trying the ‘over the top’ emotions that the movie seems to carry.’
- ‘The final straw was when she was sent to kill a mafia don.’
- ‘While dons in the 1970's films were larger-than-life, the 21st century don has risen from the streets and is rougher round the edges.’
- ‘Empower the party groups and the youth groups financially and otherwise to work to mobilise communities and awake them to collective action to reclaim control from the dons.’
- ‘But the don is immediately shown as a gentle person sniffing a flower, remarking about the undertaker being mistaken about them being murders.’
- ‘An early brush with fame - and the big dons - came when she was the deputy commissioner of police of Mumbai ports from 1987 to 1991.’
- ‘It's the equivalent of a Mafia don writing the lead article in some law enforcement journal.’
- ‘While the attempt to free it from the clutches of underworld dons and whimsical financiers continues, more and more producers and directors are turning to banks and other credible public financing institutions for funds.’
- ‘This is as good, or bad, as the Mafia taking out a ‘contract’ on the head of a targeted rival amongst the dons.’
- ‘For the cash-strapped film industry, getting some amount of clean financing from the corporate sector is a whole lot better than dealing with dubious underworld dons.’
- ‘The machine was usually dominated by a single party leader who behaved in many respects like a mafia don.’
- ‘Will he team up with an underworld don to finish off another?’
- ‘It's a ‘sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons’ tale about the privileged scions of a group of Mafia dons who find it impossible to make it in the straight world of New York by virtue of their last names.’
Early 16th century (in don (sense 2 of the noun)): from Spanish, from Latin dominus ‘lord, master’.
Put on (an item of clothing)‘in the dressing room the players donned their football shirts’
put on, get dressed in, dress in, dress oneself in, pull on, climb into, get into, fling on, throw on, slip into, slip on, change into, rig oneself out in, clothe oneself in, array oneself in, deck oneself out in, accoutre oneself in, put round one's shoulders, put on one's headView synonyms
- ‘He even donned his special summer shirt and shorts in celebration as the sun came out.’
- ‘I don't mind donning my sou'westers for my daily medicine walk but cycling in the rain doesn't appeal at all.’
- ‘Most fans are content with donning a replica shirt and attending the odd game.’
- ‘But there is also a time for donning the hard hats and digging in.’
- ‘At this rate we'll be donning scarves and gloves on the big day.’
- ‘At the last minute, Armstrong considered donning his helmet to fend off any bottles or rocks.’
- ‘I woke up bright and early on my first morning, rising with the LA sun and donning my jogging gear from a trip to Venice beach.’
- ‘At his urging, I donned protective clothing and headed off in search of this tragic new affliction.’
- ‘So if you want, you can have your child donning the latest in designer rips, paint splashes and oily patches.’
- ‘But he was nevertheless disgruntled that he himself would not be donning the shirt.’
- ‘I embarked on a flight to the United States donning the guise of a student.’
- ‘It is believed some gangs have posed as workmen to disguise themselves, donning donkey jackets and carrying tools.’
- ‘He only took up donning the white overcoat and cap by chance, and after a less than auspicious start he has grown into the role.’
- ‘No amount of accessorising can bring you out of the style challenge you would be confronted with by donning these in daylight.’
- ‘By growing out his beard and donning a wig, he took on a remarkable physical resemblance to Ludwig.’
- ‘He also joked to the assembled dignitaries that he would be donning the riot gear before visiting the police authority in future.’
- ‘The other two had donned red jerseys, with dashes of gold and blue along the sleeves.’
- ‘An Alsatian dog proved he really was man's best friend, by donning a bow-tie and acting as best man at his owners' wedding.’
- ‘His performances since donning the captain's armband have been wonderful and he is, like it or not, a sporting and cultural icon.’
- ‘Once each day, you leave the park, every time with a greater reluctance for donning your shirt.’
Late Middle English: contraction of do on. Compare with doff.
1A river in Russia which rises near Tula, south-east of Moscow, and flows for a distance of 1,958 km (1,224 miles) to the Sea of Azov.
2A river in Scotland which rises in the Grampians and flows 131 km (82 miles) eastwards to the North Sea at Aberdeen.
3A river in northern England which rises in the Pennines and flows 112 km (70 miles) eastwards to join the Ouse shortly before it, in turn, joins the Humber.
In this article we explore how to impress employers with a spot-on CV.