1. [17C–19C] money; often as down with one’s dust [? SE gold-dust, but note the religious equation of money with dirt; note Egan, Book of Sports (1832): ‘Sovereigns were golden dust, which blew about in the breath of his opinion’].
2. a blow.
3. [mid-18C–1920s] a fight, an argument, a disturbance; often as kick up (a) dust [the dust kicked up].
4. as powdery substances.
(a) [mid–late 19C] (Aus./N.Z.) gunpowder.
(b) [late 19C–1930s] (Aus.) flour; thus as v., to fill (a bag) with flour [note S. & O’B.: ‘Overground flour is said to be killed and known as dust [...] No doubt unscrupulous squatters were not above buying and keeping inferior flour for travellers, who gave it the nicknames of dust, and by transference it has become general for all flour’].
(c) [1900s–80s] (Aus./US) tobacco.
(d) [1910s] (US Navy) salt.
5. in drug uses [all these drugs (except marijuana) come in powdered form].
(a) [1910s+] (also Jesus dust) heroin.
(b) [1910s+] cocaine; thus dusted adj.
(c) [1940s–50s] morphine.
(d) [1950s] marijuana; also attrib.
(e) [1970s+] phencyclidine; also attrib.
(f) [1980s+] marijuana mixed with phencyclidine, cocaine or any other powdered drug.
[late 19C–1900s] (US) a wallet.
[1980s+] (US drugs) a user of phencyclidine.
[1970s+] a phencyclidine user or addict.
[1970s+] (drugs) a cigarette made with phencyclidine.
[mid-19C] to pay a debt.
[mid-17C–mid-19C] to lay down one’s money, esp. as imper.
see sense 6a above.
[mid-18C+] to cause a commotion; to perform in an energetic manner (see cite 1838).
SE in slang uses
[1940s] (US black) a grave.
[late 19C–1950s] (US) a drink, esp. as a ‘pick-me-up’ or ‘reviver’.
see separate entries.
1. [mid-18C+] to die.
2. [mid–late 19C] to fall over.
3. [late 19C+] (Aus./US, also chew dust, lick the dust) to be defeated or prevailed over [note Psalm LXXII: ‘They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust’].
see damp the dust under damp v.1
[late 17C–early 19C] ‘to drink about’ (Grose, 1785).
[late 19C] (US) up to the minute, highly fashionable.
[late 19C–1950s] (US) to be overtaken in a car.