\ ˈdam How to pronounce damn (audio) \
damned; damning\ ˈda-​miŋ How to pronounce damning (audio) \

Definition of damn

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to condemn to a punishment or fate especially : to condemn to hell
2a : to condemn vigorously and often irascibly for some real or fancied fault or defect damned the storm for their delay
b : to condemn as a failure by public criticism
3 : to bring ruin on
4 : to swear at : curse often used to express annoyance, disgust, or surprisedamn him, he should have been carefulI'll be damned



Definition of damn (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the utterance of the word damn as a curse
2 : a minimum amount or degree (as of care or consideration) : the least bit don't give a damn


adjective or adverb

Definition of damn (Entry 3 of 3)

: damned a damn nuisance ran damn fast
damn well
: beyond doubt or question : certainly knew damn well what would happen

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Examples of damn in a Sentence

Verb But it is functional talk for the purpose of conveying information, not, as often in the case of Waugh, for entertaining his audience, humdrum veracity be damned. — Robert Murray Davis, Commonweal, 5 June 2009 Congress demanded an immediate investigation and over the next year held dramatic hearings, launched a variety of inquests, and produced several pounds of reports that condemned FEMA. One report damned the agency as a dumping ground for political appointees … — Christopher Cooper & Robert Block, Disaster, 2006 No American war has been more roundly damned than the Mexican. Within months after its outbreak Whigs and abolitionists accused Polk of plotting the ambush on the Rio Grande and misrepresenting the facts in order to stampede the nation into a war of conquest … — Walter A. McDougall, Promised Land, Crusader State, 1997 He damned them for their stupidity. damned the car for once again breaking down Noun I don't want to hear about your problems—I just don't give a damn.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Invoking the Korean War-era Defense Production Act, Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday mandating that American meat production keep running at all costs—workers and grave threats to public health be damned. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "Give Me Meat and Give Them Death," 29 Apr. 2020 The upshot of the superstition is that, real bodies be damned, some implicit spiritual theatrical event is always under way, wherever there’s a stage. The New Yorker, "at the epicenter of the pandemic.," 27 Apr. 2020 What's more hopeful that a couple deciding to tie the knot, global pandemic be damned!? Elizabeth Gulino, refinery29.com, "5 Coronavirus Engagement Stories To Make You Smile," 27 Apr. 2020 While most sports leagues have shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, the NFL, UFC and WWE have pushed on — virus be damned. Nick Talbot, ExpressNews.com, "Talbot: UFC, NFL, WWE need to stop fighting the truth," 3 Apr. 2020 Below, Rufino's tips for a table that will have your guests itching to sit down, cocktail hour be damned. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "How to Mix and Match New and Vintage China," 24 Mar. 2020 Rather than damning for any particular form of string theory, the researchers say this was really a special opportunity to test these theories firsthand. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Experiment Weakens String Theory, but Doesn't Disprove It," 23 Mar. 2020 Cove’s first results, later published as his Ph.D. dissertation, were damning: woodrat population density was inversely proportional to the number of feral cats on the landscape. Carrie Arnold, Scientific American, "Can We Save the Woodrat without Slaughtering Cats?," 29 Mar. 2020 Mitts, pads, and speed bags be damned, the secret behind every martial-arts champion is movement. Popular Science, "Five beast-mode workouts PopSci editors are doing from home," 29 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Olympic gold medalist Tianna Bartoletta wants people to ‘give a damn’ about the fight for Black equality. oregonlive, "What will the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Championships look like? Oregon track & field rundown," 12 June 2020 People felt like they were marooned in impoverished, dangerous neighborhoods by whites who couldn't give a damn about how many of them were murdered. John Blake, CNN, "I covered the Rodney King and Freddie Gray riots. This moment feels different. That's why I'm afraid," 12 June 2020 There's a few of them that do, but there's a lot of them that really don't give a damn... Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, "'Vanderpump Rules' fires four amid cry for racial equality: Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute are out," 9 June 2020 The average building designer doesn’t seem to give a damn about it. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Hollow corkscrews may put a cork in noisy ventilation," 14 Apr. 2020 The signature of her work is a restless reinvention and a distrust of groupthink that remains true to her forebear’s directive: to not give a damn. David Wallace, The New Yorker, "Alice Notley and the Art of Not Giving a Damn," 1 Apr. 2020 The body does not give a damn about your inner monologue or warm-up exercises. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Is Theater Ridiculous? Movies, TV and Books Seem to Think So," 30 Dec. 2019 Quite simply, no one would give a damn about these two mothers. Dahleen Glanton, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Why did 2 mothers who were shot to death in Chicago have to be portrayed as martyrs in order to get our attention?," 5 Aug. 2019 The American government has never given a damn about the sites, items, or natural beings Native people hold dear. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "America Has Never Cared About Sacred Sites," 8 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective or adverb Listen to the birds, look for squirrels, stay alert and stay off your damn phone. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "How to Hunt: A Step-by-Step Guide for New Adult Hunters," 3 June 2020 Love the fact that Bailey, universally heralded for his defensive work, was one of the few collegiate catchers who called his own game instead of getting directives on every damn pitch from the dugout. ... Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "NBA has its plan to resume season — but are the players on board?," 12 June 2020 And, there are some damn fine lawns in Canada these days. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Pledge to follow the golden rules of yard care and gardening," 11 June 2020 Almost all work settings that deal with intelligent technologies have one overarching goal: Figure out how to get value out of the damn thing. Matt Beane, Wired, "To Adapt to Tech, We're Heading Into the Shadows," 8 June 2020 On the last day of his life, Joyce will still be thinking about that damn call. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Blown Detroit Tigers call still haunts Jim Joyce, but he has learned to forgive himself," 2 June 2020 Does old man like checking out hunting stories on the old interwebs but hates those damn pop up ads? The Editors, Outdoor Life, "The Outdoor Life Father’s Day Gift Guide," 1 June 2020 The collective of Extinction was this like zombie mode walking around the beach, like a damn White Walker kind of status. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Natalie Anderson on the Survivor votes she's surprised she didn't get," 14 May 2020 Breastfeeding and making breakfast, getting 2 kids and myself dressed and packed and out the door while tripping over 4 dogs and feeding the damn fish was not easy. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Hilary Duff's Boyfriend Is Fake-Trolling Her on Instagram," 24 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'damn.' 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 damn


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1619, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective or adverb

1775, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for damn

Verb, Noun, and Adjective or adverb

Middle English dampnen, from Anglo-French dampner, from Latin damnare, from damnum damage, loss, fine

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Time Traveler for damn

Time Traveler

The first known use of damn was in the 13th century

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Statistics for damn

Last Updated

11 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Damn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/damn. Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for damn


How to pronounce damn (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of damn

 (Entry 1 of 3)

used to show that you are angry or annoyed at a person, thing, or situation
used to say in a forceful way that you do not care about something
: to send (someone) to hell as punishment after death



English Language Learners Definition of damn (Entry 2 of 3)

informal + impolite : anything at all

English Language Learners Definition of damn (Entry 3 of 3)

informal + impolite
used to show that you are angry, annoyed, surprised, etc.


\ ˈdam How to pronounce damn (audio) \
damned; damning

Kids Definition of damn

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to condemn to everlasting punishment especially in hell
2 : to declare to be bad or a failure
3 : to swear at : curse
variants: or damned \ ˈdamd \

Kids Definition of damn (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : very bad the damn weather
2 used to make a statement more forcefulThese bugs are a damned nuisance.
Hint: This word is considered impolite, and you may offend people by using it.

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More from Merriam-Webster on damn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for damn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with damn

Spanish Central: Translation of damn

Comments on damn

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