dam·​ask | \ ˈda-məsk How to pronounce damask (audio) \

Definition of damask

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a firm lustrous fabric (as of linen, cotton, silk, or rayon) made with flat patterns in a satin weave on a plain-woven ground on jacquard looms
2 : damascus steel also : the characteristic markings of this steel
3 : a grayish red



Definition of damask (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : made of or resembling damask
2 : of the color damask

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Did You Know?


The English noun "damask" entered Middle English (as "damaske") from Medieval Latin damascus, taken from the name of the city of Damascus, one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities. In contemporary English "damask" is applied to a lustrous fabric with a satin weave design, as well as to a type of steel (also called "Damascus steel") ornamented with a variegated surface and to a grayish red color associated with the damask rose. While the fabric, the steel, and the damask rose probably did not originate in Damascus, their long association with the ancient city has nevertheless impressed itself upon the English language.

Examples of damask in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The appeals are decided in an ivory damask-walled conference room on the first floor of the Palazzo Sant’Uffizio, the CDF headquarters a stone's throw from St. Peter’s Square. Nicole Winfield, Anchorage Daily News, "Vatican office struggles to keep up with rise in clergy abuse cases," 21 Dec. 2019 The trial appeals are decided in an ivory damask-walled conference room on the first floor of the Palazzo Sant’Uffizio, the CDF headquarters a stones’ throw from St. Peter’s Square. Washington Post, "Vatican tribunal now overwhelmed by clergy abuse cases," 20 Dec. 2019 Each chapter presents copious riffs on specific styles, such as chinoiserie, stripes, damask and ikat, while unlocking the secrets to successful layering. Elizabeth Anne Hartman, WSJ, "The Best Interior-Design Books to Give as Holiday Presents," 5 Dec. 2018 Upholstery, whether for curtains, pillows, or furniture, tend to favor high-end fabrics like silk, velvet, and leather, and bold pattern comes in the form of damask, plaid, or paisley. Sienna Fantozzi, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About Traditional Design," 12 Oct. 2018 Patterns range from stripes and geometrics to florals and damasks, all using Farrow & Ball’s traditional trough and block printing methods. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Farrow & Ball launches whimsical wallpaper at Anthropologie," 27 Aug. 2018 In a London townhouse decorated by Rob Southern, entry walls are covered in a classic damask pattern printed on raffia paper by Stark. Sarah Yang, House Beautiful, "Top Pin of the Day: An Entry in a London Townhouse," 10 June 2014 Silk damask, Delobo in Coral on Natural — Pintura Studio (T); pinturastudio.com. House Beautiful, "March 2018 Product Guide," 6 Feb. 2018 Coben took inspiration from Victorian textiles to create a custom damask motif for wall coverings in a subdued palette of blues, grays, and metallics, an update on the usual scheme of deep reds and burgundies. Jennifer Fernandez, ELLE Decor, "Be The First To Stay At This Stunning Saratoga Springs Grande Dame Hotel Reborn," 17 Nov. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective One of the documents, according to Clarke, includes an inventory of all the fineries that were transferred to Tutbury when Mary left the Earl of Shrewsbury’s charge—a list that includes damask tablecloths and napkins, plates, bowls and basins. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "These Letters Tell the Inside Story of Mary, Queen of Scots’ Imprisonment," 8 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'damask.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of damask


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for damask


Middle English damaske, from Medieval Latin damascus, from Damascus

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Time Traveler for damask

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The first known use of damask was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

30 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Damask.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/damask. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for damask


How to pronounce damask (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of damask

: a thick usually shiny cloth that has patterns woven into it

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More from Merriam-Webster on damask

Spanish Central: Translation of damask

Nglish: Translation of damask for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about damask

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