Definition of damn in English:

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Pronunciation: /dam/


[with object]
1 (be damned) (In Christian belief) be condemned by God to suffer eternal punishment in hell: be forever damned with Lucifer
More example sentences
  • Those who receive the mark, according to Scripture, are damned to eternal punishment.
  • Mephistophilis is one of the angels who conspired with Lucifer and was damned to hell.
  • If God was so loving why were people who committed suicide immediately damned to hell.
1.1Be doomed to misfortune or failure: the enterprise was damned
More example sentences
  • Where the substance is glorified in this disc, the style, unfortunately, is damned.
  • It was not the country that was damned but the settler who felt in his heart that he was damned.
  • This isn't to say the project was damned, but rather the fact that it's more difficult to create a compelling work when it's based on music with no clear emotional ambit.
2Condemn, especially by the public expression of disapproval: intellectuals whom he damns as rigid doctrinaire idealists
More example sentences
  • One of his friends has recently been publicly damned for his recreational drug habits.
  • These, then, are the ‘teenage tearaways’ demonised in sections of the press, and frequently damned by politicians seeking a cheap populist soundbite.
  • Despite being damned as ‘failing’ as little as two years ago, the latest inspectors' report said conditions had been turned around by the prison's new governor.
condemn, censure, criticize, attack, denounce, revile;
find fault with, deprecate, disparage
informal slam, lay into, blast
2.1Curse (someone or something): she cleared her throat, damning it for its huskiness damn him for making this sound trivial
More example sentences
  • He felt the pain in the shoulder, where the arrow had hit him, and he damned his ship, his fate, the entire curse of his life.
  • For one short moment I damned them, damned their eyes, and wished their farm machine a rapid and terminally rusty death.
  • Weep, said the illustrious poet, for they are damned until mankind has lived for three several generations, perfectly in harmony, peace and love, without discord.
curse, put the evil eye on, anathematize, hex, jinx


Expressing anger, surprise, or frustration: Damn! I completely forgot!
More example sentences
  • I feel slightly better but my nose is still dripping… damn!
  • I just lost today's post because of a Blogger problem - damn!
  • Thought it was fine and dandy till it just struck me… damn!
darn, damn it, dammit, drat, shoot, blast, doggone (it), goddammit, hell, rats


[attributive] informal
Used for emphasis, especially to express anger or frustration: turn that damn thing off! [as submodifier]: don’t be so damn silly!
More example sentences
  • Then, what happened next shocked, angered, and confused him, which is a whole damn lot for a simple guy to be feeling all at once.
  • All but two of the candidates have reasons to be damn frustrated.
  • What the living hell am I doing in this damn silly job?



—— be damned

Used to express rejection of someone or something previously mentioned: “Glory be damned!”
More example sentences
  • Strategy be damned because we do not have secret proceedings in this country.
  • Since we haven't, we go with what we've got and do the best we can as human beings, doctrine be damned.
  • Pop punk past be damned, there's now no questioning the authenticity of Neko's C&W efforts.

damn all

British informal Nothing at all.
Example sentences
  • I haven't commented largely because, as anyone who reads my site will know, I know damn all about economics.
  • There's just damn all on worth listening to between 2 and 5.
  • Anyway, that's got damn all to do with anything.

damn well

informal Used to emphasize a statement, especially when the speaker is angry: this is your mess and you can damn well clear it up!
More example sentences
  • Remind the DJ or band that they work for you, and they'll damn well play anything you want.
  • It's not a perfect solution, but it worked pretty damn well for the Soviet Union.
  • They damn well knew what they were facing, and the consequences fit the bill appropriately.

damn someone/something with faint praise

Praise someone or something so unenthusiastically as to imply condemnation.
Example sentences
  • In truth, she damns her idols with faint praise.
  • It was generally a good experience for him, but he damns his teachers with faint praise; they were adequate, but uninspiring.
  • He opens by damning the piece with faint praise, calling it ‘well-intentioned,’ possessing ‘merits of its own.’

I'll be (or I'm) damned if

informal Used to express a strong negative: I’ll be damned if I’ll call her
More example sentences
  • Well you never know she may not be the criminal I think she is but I'll be damned if that's so.
  • I already own more CDs than most other ‘regular’ people, and I'm damned if I'm gonna put up another shelf when the current one fills up.
  • I'm sure when I started writing this there was going to be a point to it but I'm damned if I can remember what it is.

not be worth a damn

informal Have no value or validity at all.
Example sentences
  • Disconcertingly, he replied: ‘It wasn't worth a damn.’
  • He said there was an emerging consensus in the media that a press council with no statutory recognition ‘isn't worth a damn ‘, but that a press council imposed from government would be a bad thing.’
  • As a neutral you'd have to feel sorry for Waterford but in real terms reaching another All-Ireland semi-final and losing it isn't worth a damn to them.
jot, whit, iota, rap, scrap, bit
informal hoot, two hoots
dated a tinker's damn

not give (or care) a damn

informal Not care at all: people who don’t give a damn about the environment

well I'll be (or I'm) damned

informal Used as an expression of surprise.
Example sentences
  • Well I'm damned; you are quite right.
  • Well, I'll be damned! What in tarnation are you doing in these parts?


Middle English: from Old French dam(p)ner, from Latin dam(p)nare 'inflict loss on', from damnum 'loss, damage'.

  • The word damn goes back to Latin damnare ‘to inflict loss on’. Originally to damn someone was to condemn them (a Middle English word from the same root), but associations with being condemned to hell have coloured much of the later history of the word. The desire to avoid profanity led to less offensive alternatives, such as darn, used since the 18th century. The older sense of ‘to condemn’ survives in the phrase to damn with faint praise, which was popularized by the 18th-century poet Alexander Pope in his ‘An Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot’.

Words that rhyme with damn

am, Amsterdam, Assam, Bram, cam, cham, cheongsam, clam, cram, dam, drachm, dram, exam, femme, flam, gam, glam, gram, ham, jam, jamb, lam, lamb, mam, mesdames, Omar Khayyám, Pam, pram, pro-am, ram, Sam, scam, scram, sham, Siam, slam, Spam, swam, tam, tram, Vietnam, wham, yam

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: damn

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