The Welsh word for "city", as opposed to caer, which means "fort". However, it seems that the two were used fairly interchangably, with caer usually applied to towns which had been Roman forts, and dinas to native settlements.
The word itself is derived from the proto-Celtic *dłno- "fort, rampart", itself from the Proto-Indo-European root *dhuHno- 'enclosure'. The English word town is also descended from this root.
Some of the more well-known dinasoedd are Dinas Bran, Dinas Powys, Dinas Dinlle (connected to Lleu Llaw Gyffes), and Vortigern's fort Dinas Emrys.
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Mary Jones © 2005