tar·​na·​tion | \ ˌtär-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce tarnation (audio) \

Definition of tarnation

: damnation often used as an interjection or intensive often used with in tarnation strike me— James Joycewhere in tarnation you from?— Jessamyn West

Examples of tarnation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web What in the wide tarnation is better on a winter’s day than the smell of something sweet baking in your oven? James P. Dewan, chicagotribune.com, 13 Dec. 2017 The last thing Iowa needs is for its defense to run all over tarnation for 30 minutes while the offense stumbles. Scott Dochterman, ajc, 15 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tarnation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of tarnation

1790, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tarnation

alteration of darnation, euphemism for damnation

Learn More About tarnation

Time Traveler for tarnation

Time Traveler

The first known use of tarnation was in 1790

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near tarnation




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for tarnation

Cite this Entry

“Tarnation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tarnation. Accessed 6 Dec. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on tarnation

Nglish: Translation of tarnation for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!