Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

WORD ORIGIN

Old English gedæfte "gentle, becoming," from Proto-Germanic *gadaftjaz (cf. Old English daeftan "to put in order, arrange," gedafen "suitable;" Gothic gadaban "to be fit"), from PIE *dhabh- "to fit together." Sense progression from "mild" (c.1200) to "dull" (c.1300) to "foolish" (mid-15c.) to "crazy" (1530s) probably was influenced by analogy with daffe "halfwit."

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Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.