• synonyms


See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. dekameter; dekameters.


  1. a barrier to obstruct the flow of water, especially one of earth, masonry, etc., built across a stream or river.
  2. a body of water confined by a dam.
  3. any barrier resembling a dam.
verb (used with object), dammed, dam·ming.
  1. to furnish with a dam; obstruct or confine with a dam.
  2. to stop up; block up.

Origin of dam1

1275–1325; Middle English < Middle Dutch, Middle Low German, dam; akin to Old English for-demman to stop up, block


See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
5. impede, clog, check, choke.


  1. a female parent (used especially of four-footed domestic animals).

Origin of dam2

1250–1300; Middle English; variant of dame


[dam, dahm]
  1. (Carl Pe·ter) Hen·rik [kahrl pee-ter hen-rik; Danish kahrl pey-tuhr hen-rik] /kɑrl ˈpi tɛr ˈhɛn rɪk; Danish kɑrl ˈpeɪ tər ˈhɛn rɪk/, 1895–1976, Danish biochemist: Nobel Prize in Medicine 1943.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dam

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Then they tore out the dam, rinsed the screen and spread it over a rock to dry.

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

  • As in a trance, he saw more than the dam; he saw what it symbolized.

    Raiders Invisible

    Desmond Winter Hall

  • The women they shot as readily as they would the dam of the wolf or the bear.

    King Philip</p>

    John S. C. (John Stevens Cabot) Abbott

  • I wish Kenelm or some other dam' fool was here instead of me.

    Thankful's Inheritance

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • He said give you his Regards and tell you you was a dam lukky Man.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter

    Joseph C. Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for dam


  1. a barrier of concrete, earth, etc, built across a river to create a body of water for a hydroelectric power station, domestic water supply, etc
  2. a reservoir of water created by such a barrier
  3. something that resembles or functions as a dam
verb dams, damming or dammed
  1. (tr often foll by up) to obstruct or restrict by or as if by a dam

Word Origin

C12: probably from Middle Low German; compare Old Icelandic damma to block up


  1. the female parent of an animal, esp of domestic livestock

Word Origin

C13: variant of dame


interjection, adverb, adjective
  1. (often used in combination) a variant spelling of damn (def. 1), damn (def. 2), damn (def. 3), damn (def. 4) damfool; dammit


symbol for
  1. decametre(s)


  1. (Carl Peter) Henrik (ˈhɛnrəɡ). 1895–1976, Danish biochemist who discovered vitamin K (1934): Nobel prize for physiology or medicine 1943
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for dam


"water barrier," early 14c., probably from Old Norse dammr or Middle Dutch dam, both from Proto-Germanic *dammaz (cf. Old Frisian damm, German Damm), of unknown origin.


"animal mother," c.1300, variant of dame (q.v.), also originally used, like that word, for "lady, mother;" but meanings diverged into separate spellings by 16c.


late 15c., from dam (n.1). Related: Dammed; damming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dam in Medicine


([object Object])
  1. A barrier against the passage of liquid or loose material, especially a rubber sheet used in dentistry to isolate one or more teeth from the rest of the mouth.


([object Object])
  1. Danish biochemist. He shared a 1943 Nobel Prize for the discovery of vitamin K.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with dam


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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