On this day in history, in 1685, the First Duke of Monmouth, James Scott, declared himself King of England (as part of a Protestant plot to keep Catholic James II from becoming king). James’ declaration was made by dint of force and not much else. Though he was a son of the previous king Charles II, he was illegitimate and technically had no claim to the throne. He was eventually executed for treason, but you can’t really blame the guy for trying, right?
Noun; from Dictionary.com:
1. By force or power
2. By means or use of
“You’re hardly responsible for my presence here. I’m here by dint of my own willful stubbornness.” (The Governess Affair, Courtney Milan)
The phrase “by dint of” stems from the early 14th century and comes from an Old English word (dynt) referring to a blow dealt in battle. The word is also related to an Old Norse word (dyttr) which also refers to a blow. Dint can mean a force or power that causes something else or it can be the means by which a force or power causes something to happen. Though it’s not yet an archaic word, it doesn’t have widespread use in contemporary society.
Your turn, bookworms – When I’m reading, it’s only by dint of pure necessity that I stop. What about you?
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