See more synonyms for dam on Thesaurus.com
  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 dam

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

Synonyms for dam

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dammed

Historical Examples of dammed

  • In the main working; but the water is dammed up; we can never pass.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine

  • But democracy is the rising tide; it may be dammed or delayed, but cannot be stopped.

    Another Sheaf

    John Galsworthy

  • The dammed streams made a chain of lakes set in the green meadows.

    Tales Of Hearsay

    Joseph Conrad

  • As a final measure they dammed up the springs and drained the lake.

    The Boy Scout Treasure Hunters

    Charles Henry Lerrigo

  • It made her mad and she say, "I'll be dammed if I don't go."

British Dictionary definitions for dammed


  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 for dam

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 for dam

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 dammed



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



"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

dammed in Medicine


  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.


[dăm, däm](Carl Peter) Henrik 1895-1976
  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 dammed


see water over the dam.

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