There are 2 main definitions of darn in English:

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darn 1

Pronunciation: /dɑːn/


[with object]
1Mend (a hole in knitted material) by interweaving yarn with a needle: I don’t expect you to darn my socks
More example sentences
  • Detached from our heads, hair can be used to mend garments, to darn holes in stockings.
  • Often she works till 10 pm, and then returns home to darn holes in clothing for her extended family.
  • In a small tin in the bottom of the pillowcase she finds needles and cotton and between sips of her tea and another pipe, she darns the holes in the hessian bag with those same deliberate tiny stitches.
mend, repair, reinforce;
cobble, botch, patch
informal vamp
archaic clout
1.1Embroider (material) with a large running stitch.


A place in a garment that has been darned: a sweater with darns in the elbows
More example sentences
  • Near evening in the cool blue mountains, I would sit and smoke my pipe, surveying the exquisite landscape all around, forest dotted here and there with the patches of beautiful vegetable gardens like darns in an old garment.
  • And being so close to the stage I could see the darns in the showgirls' tights, so much for the glamour of Show Biz!
  • Later as a young adult she graduated to darning socks and clothing patching as an art form with patterns woven into the darns.
patch, repair, reinforcement, stitch, mend


Early 17th century: perhaps from dialect dern 'to hide', which is from Old English diernan, of West Germanic origin; compare with Middle Dutch dernen 'stop holes in (a dyke)'.

  • damn from Middle English:

    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 darn

Abadan, Abidjan, adhan, Amman, Antoine, Arne, Aswan, Avon, Azerbaijan, Baltistan, Baluchistan, Bantustan, barn, Bhutan, Dagestan, dewan, Farne, guan, Hahn, Hanuman, Hindustan, Huascarán, Iban, Iran, Isfahan, Juan, Kazakhstan, khan, Koran, Kurdistan, Kurgan, Kyrgyzstan, macédoine, Mahon, maidan, Marne, Michoacán, Oman, Pakistan, pan, Pathan, Qumran, Rajasthan, Shan, Siân, Sichuan, skarn, soutane, Sudan, Tai'an, t'ai chi ch'uan, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Taklimakan, tarn, Tatarstan, Tehran, Tenochtitlán, Turkestan, Turkmenistan, tzigane, Uzbekistan, Vientiane, yarn, Yinchuan, yuan, Yucatán
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There are 2 main definitions of darn in English:

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darn 2

Pronunciation: /dɑːn/
(US also durn)

verb, adjective, & exclamation

informal, chiefly North American
Euphemism for damn. [as verb]: darn it all, Poppa [as adjective]: he was a darn sight younger than Jill [as submodifier]: you’re darn right it’s up to me!
More example sentences
  • One of the best titles in the ongoing Asia Extreme season, it's a darn sight more entertaining than most American genre films of recent months.
  • There'll be light touch regulation for those who behave responsibly and a darn sight heavier for those who don't.
  • That's a long way from the top-notch victories he served up a few years ago, but it's a darn sight better than the dismal showings he's had the last two years.
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