Danger has held a lot of definitions over the years. Over seven hundred years ago, it might have meant "insolence" and "arrogance", but those are just side definitions lost to time. When the word was first borrowed in the 1200s, it meant "power" or "jurisdiction". The connection here is that one can be in danger when under the power of others. Through Anglo-Norman and Old French dangier, danger traces to Latin dominus, meaning "lord". This means that the term is connected to dominance and dominion, both of which also help explain the origin. Through a "lord of the house" definition, dominus comes from domus, a word for "house", and that in turn derives from Proto-Indo-European dem, also "house". Usage of the word danger in literature has been on a decreasing trend since a 1790s peak; looks like people are safer nowadays.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a junior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.