Borrowing from French dernier, a contraction of derrenier, from Old French derrain (“final, last”) (by analogy with premier), from Vulgar Latin *deretranus, from Latin dē (“from, away from”) (from Proto-Indo-European *de (“towards”)) + retrō (“back; backwards; behind”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈdəːnjeɪ/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈdɚnjeɪ/
- Hyphenation: der‧nier
- Final, last.
1853 October 1, “Art. I. State of Lunacy in England.”, in Forbes Winslow, editor, The Journal of Psychological Medicine and Mental Pathology, volume VI, number XXIV, London: John Churchill, Princes Street, Soho, OCLC 793593673, pages 475–476:
- [T]he attention of the Board in New-street, Spring-gardens, was in vain called to the petinacious obstinacy of these justices, until, wearied with official correspondence, and "having no reasonable expectation," they state, "that any steps would be taken by the committee of visiting justices to the remedy of the manifest defects," upon which they had animadverted, they inform us that they had recourse to the dernier ressort—an appeal to the Secretary of State […]
1788 June, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, “Mr. Sheridan’s Speech, on Summing Up the Evidence on the Second, or Begum Charge against Warren Hastings, Esq., Delivered before the High Court of Parliament, June 1788”, in Select Speeches, Forensick and Parliamentary, with Prefatory Remarks by N[athaniel] Chapman, M.D., volume I, [Philadelphia, Pa.]: Published by Hopkins and Earle, no. 170, Market Street, published 1808, OCLC 230944105, page 474:
- The Begums' ministers, on the contrary, to extort from them the disclosure of the place which concealed the treasures, were, […] after being fettered and imprisoned, led out on to a scaffold, and this array of terrours proving unavailing, the meek tempered Middleton, as a dernier resort, menaced them with a confinement in the fortress of Chunargar. Thus, my lords, was a British garrison made the climax of cruelties!