The surname or given name is of multiple origins, depending on context:
- Medieval Latin decanum (“group of ten”) and Byzantine Greek δεκανός (dekanós); see dean
- Middle English dene (“valley”), from Old English dene
- Hebrew דין (“law, judgment”) and Arabic دين (“way of life, creed”)
- A title afforded to a dean.
- A habitational surname from Middle English dene “valley”.
- A male given name transferred from the surname or derived from the title.
- Any of various villages and hamlets in England.