verb (used with object), dunned, dun·ning.
to make repeated and insistent demands upon, especially for the payment of a debt.

a person, especially a creditor, who duns another.
a demand for payment, especially a written one.


The noun «dun» is marked as archaic by The Oxford Dictionary of English.

Is "Dunning" the most widely used/precise term (and understandable by most people today) as a heading/menu entry in a modern solution to list and edit formal invoice reminders/demands? Or are there more natural alternatives?

  • Unpaid invoice duplicates are usually marked "reminder" or "final demand". I have never seen "dunning" used. Apr 1, 2020 at 12:37
  • Not at all what you're asking, but 'dun' is a not-archaic but specialty term for a particular grayish-brown usually for horses.
    – Mitch
    Apr 1, 2020 at 13:15
  • 2
    It is a well known, precise term in accounting. (Accounting software discusses "dunning letters" at pages like accountingtools.com/articles/what-is-a-dunning-letter.html.) However, it may not be "understandable by most people day." I can think of several accounting terms that have a precise meaning which will escape most people.
    – rajah9
    Apr 1, 2020 at 13:16
  • 1
    Please link and attribute your quote. Also, "I've seen dictionary entries where this word is marked as archaic." It would help if you listed these dictionaries, to help avoid needless repeat searches. // If some dictionaries mark a usage as 'archaic' while others don't, it looks reasonable to assume it's borderline. And best avoided. Apr 1, 2020 at 13:42
  • 1
    I grew up being dunned for a quarter most nights, because my mom is treacherous at cards.
    – Phil Sweet
    Apr 1, 2020 at 20:47

2 Answers 2


You ask if the expression is archaic.

Well the OED has an example from 2014, from the New York Times.

2014 N.Y. Times (Nexis) 7 Dec. (Business section) 3 I am now being dunned for $80.63. (Hide quotations)

Not sure what your criteria are for archaic, but clearly it is not something that belongs entirely to an earlier century.

  • This appears to be an American English usage only.
    – Greybeard
    Apr 2, 2020 at 8:11
  • I'm going to mark this as the most helpful answer, mostly because of your comment below another answer here. The expression might be rarely used or arguably unknown colloquially, but it looks like it is the best and most precise choice for the intended use. Thanks!
    – rubjo
    Apr 3, 2020 at 8:10
  • @rubjo Thankyou. I would only add, what I have now included in another comment, that I have never encountered its use as a noun.
    – WS2
    Apr 3, 2020 at 9:44

If "dunning letters" were archaic I would not expect to see instructions on the Internet on sending them via email.

We send dunning letters to delinquent customers. I would not call this archaic (USA).


**To Set Up a Dunning Letter Mailing** 

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