1 (Don) A Spanish title prefixed to a male forename.
- Carmen pleads ‘Let me go’ to a Don José.
- 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.
- Others see him as a Don Quixote-like noble, if naive, figure who sacrificed his political career rather than abandon his aspiration.
1.1A Spanish gentleman; a Spaniard.
- She imagined a Spanish don living here in the 1800s, and building a stately hacienda in stages as his family grew.
- The Perdido Star eventually reaches Cuba, where young Jack's parents are murdered by the requisite villainous Spanish don.
- 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.
1.2North American informal A high-ranking member of the Mafia.
- The final straw was when she was sent to kill a mafia don.
- Instead, like a mafia don in a witness protection program, he will have to leave his current life and construct a brand new one.
- That's the same maximum sentence a mafia don gets for threatening a witness.
2A university teacher, especially a senior member of a college at Oxford or Cambridge.
[transferred colloquial use of the Spanish title (see above)]
- He worked easily with the many newcomers into his department, most of them university dons.
- The indication that Oxford might have to consider implementing similar measures has been greeted with caution by University officials, dons, and students alike.
- As a don at the local university, he reviewed regularly for the Glasgow Herald.
- Example sentences
- Victoria College has recently changed its policy regarding donships, now allowing third-years to apply.
- It was my intention from an early age to aspire to a quiet life of letters, an Oxford donship, if possible, with the occasional slim volume privately printed every couple of years.
- To do this, a position was designed that combines the attractive features of the donship without the features of the floor senior position.
verb (dons, donning, donned)[with object]
Put on (an item of clothing): in the locker room the players donned their football jerseys
More example sentences
- At his urging, I donned protective clothing and headed off in search of this tragic new affliction.
- But he was nevertheless disgruntled that he himself would not be donning the shirt.
- Most fans are content with donning a replica shirt and attending the odd game.
late Middle English: contraction of do on. Compare with doff.
Definition of don in:
- British & World English dictionary