Printable Version
Pronunciation: din Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun, mass (no plural)

Meaning: A dull continuous noise, a droning noisome noise.

Notes: Today's Good Word developed from the Germanic ancestors of English, so we are left with the present participle for the action noun and adjective: dinning. With the preposition into, the verb may substitute for drum into as, 'to din into someone that wasting water is sinful'.

In Play: The trait of a din that distinguishes it from other types of noises is its continuity: "The din in the cafeteria was so great as to interfere with digestion." Any continuous sound that is not soft is a din: "The din of the construction work going on outside made listening to the lecture difficult."

Word History: In Old English our word today was dyne from Old Germanic duni- "roar", that also produced Old Norse duna "loud noise" and dynr "din" which didn't survive into Modern Norwegian. These words developed from PIE dhwen- "(make) a loud noise", that also turned into Sanskrit dhuni "roaring, a torrent" and Lithuanian dundėti "howl, roar". English is apparently the only modern Indo-European language where this PIE root took a final stand. Gunga Din, in the famous poem of the same name by Rudyard Kipling, is unrelated.

Dr. Goodword,

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