There are 2 main definitions of darn in English:

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darn 1

Pronunciation: /därn/


[with object]
1Mend (knitted material or a hole in this) by weaving yarn across the hole 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;
sew up, stitch, patch
1.1Embroider (material) with a large running stitch.


A place in a garment that has been darned.
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.


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

  • 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: /därn/
(also durn)

verb, adjective, & exclamation

informal, chiefly North American
Euphemism for damn. [as verb]: darn it all, Poppa [as adjective]: the darn things were expensive
More example sentences
  • So the Pentagon is basically telling us that the reason Stars and Stripes exists - to provide a real newspaper to troops during wartime - is just too gosh darned expensive to fund.
  • Just south of Los Angeles, Elon Musk is trying to build a better rocket and to solve a problem that is dogging NASA, why is it so darned expensive to get into space?
  • You can play with controllers, but it's so much more fun with the maracas - too bad they're so darn expensive!
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