1 vulgar slang A man's penis.phallus, member, male member, organ, male organ, sex, erection
- 1.1A stupid or contemptible man.idiot, halfwit, nincompoop, blockhead, buffoon, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clodscoundrel, villain, rogue, rascal, brute, animal, weasel, snake, monster, ogre, wretch, devil, good-for-nothing, reprobate, wrongdoer, evil-doer
- 1.1A stupid or contemptible man.
2North American vulgar slang mass noun, with negative Anything at all.
- ‘you don't know dick about this—you haven't a clue!’
verbmainly North American
1 informal no object Waste time; mess around.interfere, fiddle, fiddle about, fiddle, fiddle around, play about, play around, tamper, meddle, tinker, monkey, monkey about, monkey, monkey around
2with object (of a man) have sex with.
Mid 16th century (in the general sense ‘fellow’): pet form of the given name Richard. Sense 1 of the noun dates from the late 18th century.
nouninformal, dated mainly North American
- ‘Our city's private dicks are mostly double-dipping police pensioners.’
- ‘Williams agrees and Kelso becomes a private dick, trying to work out the details of the murder and to free Williams, for whom he has developed a good bit of respect and admiration.’
- ‘The image of a private dick gazing out his office window, a Lucky in one and a stiff drink in the other, is nearly a cliche.’
- ‘She's the English version of a hard-boiled dick, tougher than most all her country's male detectives, public or private.’
- ‘Set in Los Angeles, the show follows the tradition of the hardboiled dicks portrayed by Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, James Cain, Ross McDonald.’
Early 20th century perhaps an arbitrary shortening of detective, or from obsolete slang dick ‘look’, from Romani.