(third-person singular simple present daggers, present participle daggering, simple past and past participle daggered)
- To pierce with a dagger; to stab.
Probably from Old French dague (1229), related to Occitan, Italian, Spanish daga, German Degen, Middle Low German dagge (“knife's point”), Old Norse daggardr, Welsh dager, dagr, Breton dac, Albanian thikë (“a knife, dagger”), thek (“to stab, to pierce with a sharp object”).
In English attested from the 1380s. The ultimate origin of the word is unclear. Grimm suspects Celtic origin. Others have suggested derivation from an unattested Vulgar Latin *daca "Dacian [knife]", from the Latin adjective dācus . Chastelain (Dictionaire etymologique, 1750) thought that French dague was a derivation from German dagge, dagen, although not attested until a much later date).
The knightly dagger evolves from the 12th century. Guillaume le Breton (died 1226) uses daca in his Philippide. Other Middle Latin forms include daga, dagga, dagha, dagger, daggerius, daggerium, dagarium, dagarius, diga ; the forms with -r- are late 14th century adoptions of the English word). OED points out that there is also an English verb dag (“to stab”) from which this could be a derivation, but the verb is attested only from about 1400.
Relation to Old Armenian դակու (daku, “adze, axe”) has also been suggested .