Borrowing from Latin dexter, from Proto-Indo-European *deḱs(i)-tero-, from *deḱs- (“right”) (Pokorny, Watkins, 1969; et al.). Compare Homeric Greek δεξιτερός (dexiterós, “right hand”), δεξιός (dexiós, “right”), Old Church Slavonic деснъ (desnŭ, “right”).
dexter (not comparable)
- Right; on the right-hand side.
1887, George William Foote; J. M. Wheeler, Crimes of Christianity, London: Progressive Publishing:
- Displaying his dexter palm, he exclaimed that there was a hand that never took a bribe; whereupon a smart auditor cried "How about the one behind your back?"
- 1911, Saki, ‘The Match-Maker’, The Chronicles of Clovis:
- Clovis wiped the trace of Turkish coffee and the beginnings of a smile from his lips, and slowly lowered his dexter eyelid.
dexter (plural dexters)
- (heraldry) The right side of a shield from the wearer's standpoint, and the left side to the viewer.
- The right hand.
From Proto-Italic *deksteros, from Proto-Indo-European *deḱs(i)-tero-, from *deḱs- (“right”). Cognates include Ancient Greek δεξιός (dexiós) and Sanskrit दक्षिण (dákṣiṇa).
dexter (feminine dextra or dextera, neuter dextrum or dexterum); first/second declension
- right (relative direction), right hand
- fortunate, favorable
- proper, fitting
- dexter in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
- dexter in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
- dexter in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire Illustré Latin-Français, Hachette
- Carl Meissner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book, London: Macmillan and Co.
- (ambiguous) to give one's hand to some one: manum (dextram) alicui porrigere
- (ambiguous) to give one's right hand to some one: dextram alicui porrigere, dare
- (ambiguous) to shake hands with a person: dextram iungere cum aliquo, dextras inter se iungere