verbchiefly North American Back to top
Mid 16th century (in the general sense 'fellow'): nickname for the given name Richard. sense 1 of the noun dates from the late 18th century.
Words that rhyme with dickartic, brick, chick, click, crick, flick, hand-pick, hic, hick, kick, lick, mick, miskick, nick, pic, pick, quick, rick, shtick, sic, sick, slick, snick, stick, thick, tic, tick, trick, Vic, wick
nouninformal, dated, chiefly North American
- Our city's private dicks are mostly double-dipping police pensioners.
- Williams agrees and Kelso becomes a private dick, trying to work out the details of the murder and to free Williams, for whom he has developed a good bit of respect and admiration.
- The image of a private dick gazing out his office window, a Lucky in one and a stiff drink in the other, is nearly a cliche.
Early 20th century: perhaps an arbitrary shortening of detective, or from obsolete slang dick 'look', from Romany.
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.