- a man excessively concerned with his clothes, grooming, and manners.
- a fellow; chap.
- (a general term of address used to a man, woman, or group).
- a person reared in a large city.
- Western U.S. an urban Easterner who vacations on a ranch.
- (an expression of shock, approval, sympathy, or other strong feeling): Dude! That’s one expensive sandwich!
Verb Phrases past and past participle dud·ed up, present participle dud·ing up.
- dude up, Informal. to dress in one’s fanciest, best, or most stylish clothes; dress up: He got all duded up to go to the dance.
- Western US and Canadian a city dweller, esp one holidaying on a ranch
- mainly US and Canadian a dandy
- US and Canadian a person: often used to any male in direct address
1883, “fastidious man,” New York City slang of unknown origin. The vogue word of 1883, originally used in reference to the devotees of the “aesthetic” craze, later applied to city slickers, especially Easterners vacationing in the West (e.g. dude ranch, first recorded 1921).
Now, “tenderfoot” is not to be construed as the Western equivalent of that much evolved and more abused specimen of mankind, familiarly styled “dude.” For even the Montana cowboy recognizes the latter. Not that he has ever seen the true prototype of a class that was erstwhile so numerous among us. But he is convinced that a person caught in the act of wearing a white linen collar, and who looks as though he might have recently shaved or washed his face, must be a dude, true and proper. [“Random Notes and Observations of a Trip through the Great Northwest,” “The Medical Record,” Oct. 20, 1883]
Application to any male is recorded by 1966, U.S., originally in Black English.