noun[mass noun] • dated or • humorous
- Action displaying heroic courage: tales of derring-doMore example sentences
- After decades of being considered bad form, tales of imperial derring-do are making something of a comeback.
- The story is fast-moving and filled with heroic derring-do, impressive action sequences, and deeply-felt tragedy.
- ‘I was keen to write a pantomime as a pastiche of a classic tale of derring-do,’ said Richard.
late 16th century: from late Middle English dorryng do 'daring to do', used by Chaucer, and, in a passage by Lydgate based on Chaucer's work, misprinted in 16th-century editions as derrynge do; this was misinterpreted by Spenser to mean 'manhood, chivalry', and subsequently taken up and popularized by Sir Walter Scott.