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 Here too Biden left a lot alone in the room: The gold draperies (made for Clinton and reinstalled by Trump) and beige damask wallpaper (also from Trump) are still around. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Biden Blue Comes to the White House," 2 Feb. 2021 There are now just two remnants from the Trump Oval Office: a gray damask wallpaper selected by Trump himself and a pair of cream, patterned couches, which were originally part of George W. Bush’s Oval Office. Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, House Beautiful, "A First Look at President Joe Biden’s Oval Office," 21 Jan. 2021 Its Knole style and linen damask add a bit of fancy, but its size and the fabric’s frilly-but-not-too-frilly pattern suit a second home. Catherine Romano, WSJ, "How to Stylishly Decorate a Room in Your Favorite Color," 24 Oct. 2020 Wallpaper print has enjoyed a revival in 2020, as plisse, damask and toile de jouy prints made their return onto whimsical apparel this spring. Rachel Besser, Vogue, "The New Converse Collab Is Pure Art," 13 Oct. 2020 In the main bath, a vanity from Restoration Hardware is topped with mirrors framed in remilled salvaged fence boards, while Spencer chose a Peggy Angus damask wallpaper. Stephanie Hunt, Southern Living, "Cottage Charm: This 2,000-Square-Foot Virginia Home is Filled with Vintage Style," 18 Sep. 2020 In the late spring and early summer of 2017, a miniature wine fridge, a black bathroom shelving unit, a leather hand mirror with a damask elephant on the back, hair extensions, a Habitat for Humanity teddy bear. Rafil Kroll-zaidi, Harper's Magazine, "Reason Not the Need," 15 Sep. 2020 It’s an ersatz Medici palazzo with ceiling frescoes, silk damask wall coverings, walnut carvings edged in gilt, and pissing putti—a habitat more suited to the sultan of Brunei than to Ward Cleaver. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, "Trump’s Incredible Ignorance of Suburbia," 24 Aug. 2020 Who knew damask could be such a multi-faceted fabric? Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, House Beautiful, "Netflix’s Floor Is Lava May Have the Craziest Set Design of All Time," 29 June 2020 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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The first known use of damask was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

13 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Damask.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/damask. Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for damask



English Language Learners Definition of damask

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

More from Merriam-Webster on damask

Nglish: Translation of damask for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about damask

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