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

transitive verb

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


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


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adjective or adverb

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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Through an hour of damning chat logs and audio recordings, Dalton showed no emotion. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, 14 Nov. 2023 An enraged Angelique would damn Barnabas to enteral life as a vampire, kicking off a battle between the two that would continue through different time periods. Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Oct. 2023 Among the treasure trove of damning government documents leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013 that exposed the NSA’s vast surveillance activities was one that detailed a secret U.K. program known as Phantom Parrot. Ed Meza, Variety, 29 Sep. 2023 In 2019, after damning media reports and whistleblower disclosures, Facebook’s parent company, now named Meta, bowed to pressure and hired an outside law firm to examine its handling of human rights in India. Gerry Shih, Washington Post, 27 Sep. 2023 The Center for Biological Diversity called the report damning. Brandon Loomis, The Arizona Republic, 9 Sep. 2023 His error on a routine throw to second allowed the runner to take third, a mistake made especially damning given that the score was tied in the top of the seventh inning. Emma Healy, BostonGlobe.com, 18 Aug. 2023 Babylon was the government that had outlawed them, the police that had pummelled them, the church that had damned them to hellfire. Safiya Sinclair, The New Yorker, 31 July 2023 Despite being praised or damned for its fealty to the hammering of certain gods, the Michigan band is still not remotely backing down from its mission. David Browne, Rolling Stone, 20 July 2023
The small Central American nation switched alliances from Taiwan to China last month, not long after a Chinese company built a $300 million hydroelectric damn in the country, fully funded by the Chinese government. Clarisa Diaz, Quartz, 27 Apr. 2023 And baseball doesn’t give one damn. Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 Feb. 2022 As a band geek in school, nobody gives a damn. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, 12 July 2022 While the vast majority are eligible for alternate insurance, the level to which they’ll be notified and guided through a process of research and reenrollment is largely a function of whether their state is ideologically and financially invested in giving a damn. Natalie Shure, The New Republic, 22 Feb. 2022 Nobody gives a damn. Bywill Daniel, Fortune, 8 Feb. 2023 Too glam to give a damn. Samantha Olson, Seventeen, 24 Jan. 2023 That's because Reed doesn't give a damn. Mike Freeman, USA TODAY, 22 Jan. 2023 But many had succeeded at something, because they had been helped by somebody — a mother, a teacher — who, as the film made clear, had given a damn. Sam Roberts, New York Times, 3 Nov. 2022
Adjective or adverb
Nothing good ever happens by sitting on a damn couch. Marissa Charles, Peoplemag, 11 Oct. 2023 Return it to the people or scrap the whole damn thing. Corey Robin, The New Yorker, 4 Oct. 2023 After Swifties and football lovers lost their damn minds at the mere sight of the singer sitting in Kelce’s suite, the Chiefs’ tight end went on his podcast New Heights to kinda-sorta discuss the budding romance. Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, 4 Oct. 2023 Of course, Lady Gaga is always in that damn city, and if her penchant for Vegas-style residencies means anything, a performance at Sphere would fit into both her and the stadium’s oeuvre perfectly. Vulture Staff, Vulture, 3 Oct. 2023 The interesting thing to me was with all them rough ass niggas they were supposed to have with them, none of them did a damn thing and tried to come after us. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 29 Sep. 2023 While Glossier can’t get your boss off your back or shorten your commute (damn housing crisis), the Stretch Fluid foundation can leave your face feeling light and hydrated after 12 hours. ELLE, 5 Sep. 2023 Police are investigating the letter sent to the film-crew union offices as the writers’ and actors’ strikes drag on. SPORTS Plaschke: USC wins its opener, but there’s no defense for its damn defense. Karim Doumar, Los Angeles Times, 28 Aug. 2023 Young men are putting themselves 6 feet in the ground / 'Cause all this damn country does is keep on kicking them down. Luke Gentile, Washington Examiner, 11 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'damn.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Verb, Noun, and Adjective or adverb

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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


circa 1625, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective Or Adverb

circa 1708, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near damn

Cite this Entry

“Damn.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/damn. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
: to condemn to a punishment or fate
especially : to condemn to hell
: to condemn as bad or as a failure
: to swear at : curse


2 of 2 noun
: the saying of the word damn as a curse
: the least bit
not worth a damn
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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