D daunt To make someone feel slightly frightened or worried about their ability to achieve something dauntless Showing determination and no fear In spite of the scale of the famine, the relief workers struggled on with dauntless optimism. debase To reduce the quality or value of something Some argue that money has debased football. debilitate To make someone or something physically weak Chemotherapy exhausted and debilitated him. debonair Attractive, confident, and carefully dressed: a debonair young man defile To spoil the goodness or beauty of something Cans, paper bags, and other trash defiled the landscape. deleterious harmful These drugs have a proven deleterious effect on the nervous system. deluge A very large amount of rain or water This little stream can become a deluge when it rains heavily. demise The end of the operation or existence of something Huge corporate farms have led to the demise of many small, family-owned farms. denizen An animal, plant, or person that lives in or is often in a particular place Deer and squirrels are among the denizens of the forest. derisive Showing derision Derisive laughter derogate To talk about or treat someone or something in a way that shows you do not respect him, her, or it an abstruse philosophical essay desiccate Dried, with the moisture removed 100 g of desiccated coconut detriment Harm or damage Are you sure that I can follow this diet without detriment to my health? detritus Waste material or rubbish, especially left after a particular event The stadium was littered with the detritus of yesterday's concert. devout Believing strongly in a religion and obeying all its rules or principles a devout Buddhist/Christian/churchgoer diabolical Extremely bad or shocking Conditions in the prison were diabolical. diadem A small crown (= circular decoration for the head) with jewels in it diaphanous A diaphanous substance, especially cloth, is so delicate and thin that you can see through it a diaphanous silk veil dichotomy A difference between two completely opposite ideas or things There is often a dichotomy between what politicians say and what they do. didactic Intended to teach, or to improve morals by teaching Children’s books possess a practical, didactic purpose – to instill a love for reading. dilate To (cause a part of the body to) become wider or further open The pupils of the eyes dilate as darkness increases. dire Very serious or extreme These people are in dire need of help. discern To see, recognize, or understand something that is not clear I could just discern a figure in the darkness. discharge To allow someone to leave Allen was discharged from the hospital yesterday. disconcert To make someone feel suddenly uncertain and worried The whole experience had disconcerted him. disconsolate Extremely sad and disappointed: The players were disconsolate after losing what should have been an easy game. discreet Careful not to cause embarrassment or attract a lot of attention There was a discreet knock on the door. disparate Different in every way The two cultures were so utterly disparate that she found it hard to adapt from one to the other. dissident A person who publicly disagrees with and criticizes their government political dissidents. distend (usually of the stomach or other part of the body) to swell and become large (as if) by pressure from inside divulge To make something secret known Journalists do not divulge their sources. dolorous Sad, or causing sadness or emotional suffering drivel Nonsense or boring and unnecessary information You're talking drivel as usual! droll Humorous, especially in an unusual way a droll remark/expression/person dulcet Dulcet sounds are soft and pleasant to listen to.