AskDefine | Define damn

Dictionary Definition

damn adj
1 used as expletives; "oh, damn (or goddamn)!" [syn: goddamn]
2 expletives used informally as intensifiers; "he's a blasted idiot"; "it's a blamed shame"; "a blame cold winter"; "not a blessed dime"; "I'll be damned (or blessed or darned or goddamned) if I'll do any such thing"; "he's a damn (or goddam or goddamned) fool"; "a deuced idiot"; "tired or his everlasting whimpering"; "an infernal nuisance" [syn: blasted, blame, blamed, blessed, damned, darned, deuced, everlasting, goddam, goddamn, goddamned, infernal] n : something of little value; "his promise is not worth a damn"; "not worth one red cent"; "not worth shucks" [syn: darn, hoot, red cent, shit, shucks, tinker's damn, tinker's dam] adv : extremely; "you are bloody right"; "Why are you so all-fired aggressive?" [syn: bloody, all-fired] v : wish harm upon; invoke evil upon; "The bad witch cursed the child" [syn: curse, beshrew, bedamn, anathemize, anathemise, imprecate, maledict] [ant: bless]

User Contributed Dictionary



dampnen > dampner > damnare, from damnum.


  • /dæm/
  • Rhymes with: -æm



  1. In the context of "theology": To condemn to hell.
    The official position is that anyone who does this will be damned for all eternity.
  2. To put out of favor; to ruin; to label negatively.
    I’m afraid that if I speak out on this, I’ll be damned as a troublemaker.
  3. To condemn as unfit, harmful, of poor quality, unsuccessful, invalid, immoral or illegal.
  4. In the context of "profane": To curse; put a curse upon.
to condemn to hell
to condemn as unfit etc.


  1. In the context of "profane": Generic intensifier.
    Shut the damn door!


  1. In the context of "profane": Used to express anger, irritation, disappointment, annoyance, contempt, etc. See also dammit.


expression of contempt etc.


  1. The use of "damn" as a curse.
  2. In the context of "profane": A small, negligible quantity, being of little value.
    The new hires aren't worth a damn.
  3. In the context of "profane": The smallest amount of concern or consideration.
    I don’t give a damn.


use of damn as a swear word

Extensive Definition

Dammit redirects here, to see the blink-182 song see Dammit (song). For other meanings, see Damn (disambiguation).
"Damnation" (or, more commonly, "damn", or "goddamn") is widely used as a moderate profanity, which originated as such from the concept of punishment by God . Until around the mid-20th century, damn was a more offensive term than it is today, and was frequently represented as "D--n," "D---," or abbreviated to just "D."


In some forms of Western Christian belief, damnation to hell is the punishment of God for persons with unredeemed sin.
One conception is of eternal suffering and denial of entrance to heaven, often described in the Bible as burning in fire. Another conception, derived from the scripture about Gehenna is simply that people will be discarded (burned), as being unworthy of preservation by their Gods.
In Eastern Christian traditions (Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy), as well as some Western traditions, it is seen as a state of separation from God, a state into which all humans are born but against which Christ is the Mediator and "Great Physician".
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sees damnation as a halt in progress rather than an eternal suffering. It is likened to a dam in a river that prevents the river from flowing as it normally would.

Non-religious formal uses

Sometimes the word damned refers to condemnation by humans, for example:


"Damn" is a mildly profane word used in North America while debatably cursing or swearing since some think it's a swear and some don't. The use of "damn" in Rhett Butler's parting line to Scarlett O'Hara in the film Gone with the Wind in 1939 captivated moviegoers with "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
"God damn" is usually seen as more profane than simply "damn", and in present-day radio or television broadcasts of North America, the word "God" is usually censored or blurred, leaving "damn" uncensored.
In the USA, "damn" is also commonly used as an exclamation when an extremely attractive person or object of approval is located; e.g. "Damn, he/she is fine" or perhaps "Damn, he has a nice car!". "Hot damn" may be used similarly, but it is somewhat distinct; for example, if one says, "Joe just won the lottery," a response of "Damn!" on its own can indicate disapproval, but "Hot damn!" indicates approval or surprise.
"Damned" is also used as an adjective synonymous with "annoying" or "uncooperative," or as a means of giving emphasis. For example, "The damned furnace is not working again!" or, "I did wash the damned car!" or, "The damned dog won't stop barking!"


Its Proto-Indo-European language origin is usually said to be a root dap-, which appears in Latin and Greek words meaning "feast" and "expense". (The connection is that feasts tend to be expensive.) In Latin this root provided a theorized early Latin noun *dapnom, which became Classical Latin damnum = "damage" or "expense". But there is a Vedic Sanskrit root dabh or dambh = "harm". The word damnum did not have exclusively religious overtones. From it in English came "condemn"; "damnified" (an obsolete adjective meaning "damaged"); "damage" (via French from Latin damnaticum). It began to be used for being found guilty in a court of law; but, for example, an early French treaty called the Strasbourg Oaths includes the Latin phrase in damno sit = "would cause harm". From the judicial meaning came the religious meaning.

Further reading

  • The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners Jonathan Edwards, Diggory Press, ISBN 978-1846856723

See also

damn in German: Verdammung
damn in Spanish: Condenación
damn in French: Damnation
damn in Italian: Dannazione
damn in Dutch: Godverdomme
damn in Polish: Potępienie
damn in Portuguese: Condenação
damn in Sicilian: Addannazzioni
damn in Simple English: Damnation

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

a continental, a curse, a damn, a darn, a hoot, abominate, abuse, accurse, accursed, accuse, ace, anathematize, anathemize, animadvert on, arraign, attack, attaint, bagatelle, banish, bauble, be concerned, bean, berate, bibelot, bit, blackguard, blacklist, blame, blaspheme, blast, brass farthing, bring home to, bring to ruin, button, call names, call to account, care, cast blame upon, cast into hell, cast out, cast reflection upon, castigate, censure, cent, complain against, condemn, condemn to hell, confound, consign to hell, consume, convict, criticize, cry down, cry out against, cry out on, cry shame upon, curio, curse, cursed, cuss, cuss out, damnable, damned, darn, deal destruction, decimate, decry, denounce, denunciate, depredate, desolate, despoil, destroy, devastate, devour, discipline, dissolve, doom, doom to perdition, engorge, epithet, epithetize, excommunicate, execrable, execrate, expel, farce, farthing, feather, fig, find guilty, fleabite, folderol, fribble, frippery, fulminate against, gaud, gewgaw, gimcrack, gobble, gobble up, goddamn, goddamned, gut, gut with fire, hair, halfpenny, havoc, hex, hill of beans, hoot, impeach, imprecate, impugn, incinerate, indict, inveigh against, jest, joke, jot, kickshaw, knickknack, knickknackery, lay in ruins, lay waste, lota, mind, minikin, mockery, modicum, molehill, objurgate, ounce, pass sentence on, penalize, peppercorn, picayune, pin, pinch of snuff, pinprick, pronounce judgment, pronounce sentence, proscribe, punish, rap, ravage, red cent, reflect upon, remonstrate, reprehend, reprimand, reproach, reprobate, reprove, revile, row of pins, ruin, ruinate, rush, sentence, shake up, shipwreck, shit, shred, snap, sneeshing, sou, straw, swallow up, swear, swear at, throw a whammy, throw into disorder, thunder against, toy, trifle, trinket, triviality, tuppence, two cents, twopence, unleash destruction, unleash the hurricane, upbraid, upheave, vandalize, vaporize, vilify, vituperate, waste, whim-wham, whit, whoop, worry, wrack, wreak havoc, wreck
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