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in the U.S.
since 1880
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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Dungeon mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Dungeon

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun dun"geon
A close, dark prison, commonly, under ground, as if the lower apartments of the donjon or keep of a castle, these being used as prisons.

Etymology: OE. donjoun highest tower of a castle, tower, prison, F. donjon tower or platform in the midst of a castle, turret, or closet on the top of a house, a keep of a castle, LL. domnio, the same word as LL. dominus lord. See Dame Don, and cf. Dominion Domain Demesne Danger Donjon

verb Dun"geon
To shut up in a dungeon.
Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A dark cell (usually underground) where prisoners can be confined
  2. The main tower within the walls of a medieval castle or fortress

From Middle English dungeon, dungeoun, dongoun, dungoun, dungun (“a castle keep" also, "a prison cell below the castle; a dungeon; pit; abyss”).

The Middle English word is apparently a merger of Old French donjon (“castle keep”) and Old English dung (“a subterranean chamber; a prison; dungeon”), which supplied the current sense of the word. Old French donjon may itself be a conflation of Vulgar Latin *domnione (from Late Latin *dominiōnem, from Latin dominium (“lordship; ownership”)) and Frankish *dungjo (“prison, dungeon, underground cellar”). Compare Middle English dung, dunge, dong, donge (“pit of hell; abyss”)

Both the Frankish and Old English words derive from Proto-Germanic *dungijǭ (“an enclosed space; a vault; bower; treasury”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰengʰ- (“to cover”), and are related to Old Saxon dung (“underground cellar”), Middle Dutch donc (“underground basement”), Old High German tung (“underground cellar; an underground chamber or apartment for overwintering”) (whence German Tunk (“manure or soil covered basement, underground weaving workshop”)), Old Norse dyngja (“a detached apartment, a lady's bower”) (whence Icelandic dyngja (“chamber”)). See also dung, dingle.

The game term has been popularized by Dungeons & Dragons.

  1. An underground prison or vault, typically built underneath a castle.
  2. (obsolete) The main tower of a motte or castle; a keep or donjon.
  3. (games) An area inhabited by enemies, containing story objectives, treasure and bosses.
  4. (BDSM) A room dedicated to sadomasochistic sexual activity.

Where is the name Dungeon popular?

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Popularity of Dungeon as a last name

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Fun Facts about the name Dungeon

  • How unique is the name Dungeon? Out of 5,933,561 records in the U.S. Social Security Administration public data, the first name Dungeon was not present. It is possible the name you are searching has less than five occurrences per year.
  • Weird things about the name Dungeon: Your name in reverse order is Noegnud. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Endguon. How do you pronounce that?

What Dungeons Have Visited This Page?

Past life for Dungeon born Dec 10, 2017

I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a female in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere around the territory of Northern New Zealand approximately on 1200. Your profession was seaman, cook, and carpenter.

Your psychological profile shows you had a natural talent of psychologist and knew how to use the opportunities. Cold-blooded and calm in any situation. Your problem - to learn to love and to trust the Universe. You are bound to think, study, reflect and develop inner wisdom.

Name poster for Dungeon

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.