damask

1 of 2

noun

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

damask

2 of 2

adjective

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

Did you know?

Upon visiting the city of Damascus in 1867, Mark Twain wrote that “To Damascus, years are only moments, decades are only flitting trifles of time. She measures time not by days and months and years, but by the empires she has seen rise and prosper and crumble to ruin. She is a type of immortality.” Indeed, the city’s Arabic name comes from Dimašqa, a word so ancient that it suggests the origins of the city predate recorded history. The Medieval Latin name for the fabric famously associated with the “pearl of the East,” damascus, first entered Middle English as damaske in the 1300s and was later shortened to damask. That term has also been used in the intervening centuries for a type of steel, though neither the fabric nor the steel likely originated there.

Examples of damask in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
If an Italian villa and a classic and understated look is more your style, pale pink damask wallpaper makes the perfect backdrop ($55, burkedecor.com). Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 Opie’s backdrop is a damask drapery in dark green, red’s vivifying complementary color. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 31 Jan. 2024 The large, 25-petal pink blooms have a medium, damask scent. Rita Perwich, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Dec. 2023 The truly maximalist interior style mixed a variety of colors and patterns, including intricate William Morris designs, traditional damasks and fleur-de-lis, vibrant jewel tones, and rich woods. Kristina McGuirk, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 Nov. 2023 Play the stylish swashbuckler instead with this deluxe men’s pirate costume, which with a flocked damask vest, a collared shirt with faux leather cuffs, a suede belt, a faux leather hat, an eye patch and a faux silver and bronze dagger. Danielle Directo-Meston, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Oct. 2023 The designer loaded on the layers, starting with a purple chair and leopard print sofa, followed by an optic print wallpaper, damask drapes, and a traditional carpet. Marni Elyse Katz, BostonGlobe.com, 27 July 2023 Summer damasks bloom once, while Autumn of Four Season damasks bloom once in summer and once later in the season. Erynn Hassinger, Country Living, 22 Feb. 2023 Another major February event is the three-day Flower Festival in Chiang Mai — an awesome spectacle of chrysanthemums and damask roses. Anne Olivia Bauso, Travel + Leisure, 1 June 2023
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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'damask.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English damaske, from Medieval Latin damascus, from Damascus

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Dictionary Entries Near damask

Cite this Entry

“Damask.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/damask. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

damask

noun
dam·​ask
ˈdam-əsk
1
: a firm shiny reversible fabric used especially for household linen
2
: a tough steel having decorative wavy lines
damask adjective
Etymology

Noun

Middle English damaske "damask," derived from Latin Damascus, city in Syria where the fabrics were originally made

More from Merriam-Webster on damask

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