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See also: daïs



A throne on a dais (sense 1)


From Middle English deis, from Anglo-Norman deis, from Old French deis, dois (modern French dais), from Latin discum, accusative singular of discus (discus, disc, quoit; dish) (Late Latin discum (table)), from Ancient Greek δίσκος (dískos, discus, disc; tray), from δικεῖν (dikeîn, to cast, to throw; to strike). Cognate with Italian desco, Occitan des.



dais (plural daises)

  1. A raised platform in a room for a high table, a seat of honour, a throne, or other dignified occupancy; a similar platform supporting a lectern, pulpit, etc., which may be used to speak from. [from c. 1800.]
    • 1887, H[enry] Rider Haggard, She: A History of Adventure, London: Longmans, Green, and Co., London; printed by Spottiswoode and Co., New-Street Square, OCLC 2059868:
      At last we came to the head of the cave, where there was a rock daïs almost exactly similar to the one on which we had been so furiously attacked, a fact that proved to me that these daïs must have been used as altars, probably for the celebration of religious ceremonies, and more especially of rites connected with the interment of the dead. On either side of this daïs were passages leading, Billali informed me, to other caves full of dead bodies.
    • 1922, Sinclair Lewis, chapter 14, in Babbitt, New York, N.Y.: Harcourt, Brace and Company, OCLC 1024921, page 177:
      Babbitt's party politely edged through them and into the whitewashed room, at the front of which was a dais with a red-plush throne and a pine altar painted watery blue, as used nightly by the Grand Masters and Supreme Potentates of innumerable lodges.
    • 1974 June 10, Julie Baumgold, “The Golden Dais Days of Mary Beame”, in New York, volume 7, number 23, New York, N.Y.: NYM Corporation, ISSN 0028-7369, OCLC 1760010, page 33:
      A dais wife is a woman who sits at a round table with the wives of other men who are seated on the dais. Her husband sits on the dais, raised above the other people in the room, including his wife.
    • 1999, Hanns J. Prem, editor, Hidden among the Hills: Maya Archaeology of the Northwest Yucatan Peninsula (Acta Mesoamericana; 7), 2nd edition, Markt Schwaben, Bavaria, Germany: Verlag Anton Saurwein, →ISBN, page 206, column 1:
      The daises of the Northwest Colonnade and the South Temple of the Warriors, the Mercado benches, and the benches of the Southeast Patio of the Iglesia are other instances where large groups of individuals in processions are shown.
  2. (historical, northern Britain) A bench, a settle, a pew.
    • 1806, “The Mer-man, and Marstig's Daughter”, in Robert Jamieson, editor, Popular Ballads and Songs, from Tradition, Manuscripts, and Scarce Editions; with Translations of Similar Pieces from the Ancient Danish Language, and a Few Originals by the Editor, volume I, Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co. Edinburgh; London: Cadell and Davies, and John Murray, OCLC 614029226, pages 211 and 213–214:
      [page 211] The Mer-man he stept o'er ae deas, / And he has steppit over three: / "O maiden, pledge me faith and troth! / O Marstig's daughter, gang wi' me!" [] [pages 213–214] Notes on The Mer-man. [] I remember having seen in the hall of the ruined castle of Elan Stalker, in the district of Appin, an old oaken deas, which was so contrived as to serve for a sittee; at meal-times the back was turned over, rested upon the arms, and became a table; and at night the seat was raised up, and displayed a commodious bed for four persons, two and two, feet to feet, to sleep in. I was told, that this kind of deas was formerly common in the halls of great houses, where such œconomy, with respect to bed-room, was very necessary.
    • [1808, John Jamieson, “DAIS, Dess, Deas, s[ubstantive]”, in An Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language: [...] In Two Volumes, volume I, Edinburgh: Printed at the University Press; for W[illiam] Creech, A[rchibald] Constable & Co., and W[illiam] Blackwood; London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, T[homas] Cadell & W. Davies, and H. D. Symonds, OCLC 946611778:
      DAIS, Dess, Deas [] A long board, seat or bench erected against a wall. [] A pew in a church]
  3. (obsolete) An elevated table in a hall at which important people were seated; a high table. [13th–17th c.]
    • 1838, John Britton, “Dais, Deis”, in A Dictionary of the Architecture and Archaeology of the Middle Ages: Including Words Used by Ancient and Modern Authors in Treating of Architectural and Other Antiquities: With Etymology, Definition, Description, and Historical Elucidation: Also, Biographical Notices of Ancient Architects, London: Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longmans, Paternoster Row; and the author, Burton Street, OCLC 150486166, page 111, column 2:
      As the principal table was always placed upon a dais, it began very soon, by a natural abuse of words, to be called itself a Dais, and people were said to sit at the dais, instead of at the table upon the dais.

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From Latin dē(n)sus. Compare Italian denso, Romanian des.


dais m (feminine daisa)

  1. dense
  2. thick




  1. Informal second-person plural (vosotros, vosotras) present indicative form of dar.