\ 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 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 And a lot of people just don’t give a damn anymore. John Carlisle, Freep.com, "Polka, bingo and fish fries are slowly saving VFW post in Michigan's U.P.," 29 Nov. 2019 And, gloriously, neither its writer nor its director appears to give a damn. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, "The Powerful Perspective of “Queen & Slim”," 27 Nov. 2019 James put the team on his damn back and almost won a game against four Hall-of-Famers by himself. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "J.R. Smith Will Never Be Forgiven," 1 June 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective or adverb 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 The only problem, which is quite common with rifles that were built 20-something years back, is that the old .270 didn’t shoot worth a damn. Matt Foster, Outdoor Life, "How to Make an Old Rifle More Accurate," 20 Apr. 2020 This doesn’t have a damn thing to do with our relationship to the institution of policing! Frank B. Wilderson Iii, Harper's Magazine, "Color Theory," 30 Mar. 2020 Enough of the Warriors’ dynasty mystique remains, and enough of the damn-the-virus spirit exists, for fans to stir up at least an approximation of NBA basketball mania. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Flu fears take a backseat for one night as Warriors play to a rockin’ crowd," 7 Mar. 2020 But either way, and to everybody in between: Yield at the damn crosswalks. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "New Study Says Expensive Cars Are Bought by Jerks Who Won't Yield," 28 Feb. 2020 Nothing is certain save for , the targeted spread of misinformation, loss of confidence in the system — and more damn debates than should ever be allowed outside a high-school debate club. Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: Four years ago, the presidential election launched a cyberwar. We’re still losing," 28 Feb. 2020 Come kick off, some friend will be burdened with the unenviable task of finding the requisite begged, borrowed, or stolen login information and figuring out how to put the damn thing on. Amiel Stanek, Bon Appétit, "Make Pretzel Focaccia, Buy Good Sausages, Win the Super Bowl," 27 Jan. 2020

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 28 May. 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

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