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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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 That includes a damask in cream and gray and a cut velvet that's undaunted by the McClures' two children and one lovable Labrador. Sally Finder Weepie, Better Homes & Gardens, 5 May 2022 With the help of decorator Tham Kannalikham, current President Donald Trump replaced the Obama-era beige striped wallpaper in the Oval Office with a light grey damask option. Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, House Beautiful, 14 Jan. 2021 Her salon was hidden in our back room at home in Birmingham, behind the damask lilac curtain, which divided the worlds of men and women. Liam Hess, Vogue, 28 Mar. 2022 Over-scale and high contrast, the damask wallpaper balances classic white subway tile and mosaic floors. Kelly Ryan Kegans, Better Homes & Gardens, 1 Nov. 2021 Busy damask wallpaper, elaborate chintz upholstery and gilded baroque styling regularly fronted the covers of magazines like Architectural Digest and World of Interiors -- the more antiquated-looking the better. Leah Dolan, CNN, 24 Sep. 2021 Its exterior, interiors, and grounds—including its grand portico balcony and regal damask wallpaper—can all be seen in the new film. Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, House Beautiful, 7 Sep. 2021 One showed a young man resting on a floral futon, playing with his cell phone, while covered by a damask blanket; in another, two men sprawled naked on a hotel bed, swathed in earthy reds reminiscent of a Francis Bacon. Dennis Zhou, The New Yorker, 28 Aug. 2021 Guests slept on cloth of gold, damask and velvet bedding. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 July 2021 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, 8 Jan. 2018 See More

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.

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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Damascus ware



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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Damask.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/damask. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on damask

Nglish: Translation of damask for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about damask


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