- to declare (something) to be bad, unfit, invalid, or illegal.
- to condemn as a failure: to damn a play.
- to bring condemnation upon; ruin.
- to doom to eternal punishment or condemn to hell.
- to swear at or curse, using the word “damn”: Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!
- to use the word “damn”; swear.
- (used as an expletive to express anger, annoyance, disgust, etc.)
- the utterance of “damn” in swearing or for emphasis.
- something of negligible value: not worth a damn.
- damn well, Informal. damned(def 7).
- damn with faint praise, to praise so moderately as, in effect, to condemn: The critic damned the opera with faint praise when he termed the production adequate.
- give a damn, Informal. to care; be concerned; consider as important: You shouldn't give a damn about their opinions.Also give a darn.
Origin of damn
Synonyms for damn
- slang an exclamation of annoyance (often in exclamatory phrases such as damn it! damn you! etc)
- informal an exclamation of surprise or pleasure (esp in the exclamatory phrase damn me!)
- (prenominal) slang deserving damnation; detestable
- slang (intensifier)damn fool; a damn good pianist
- damn all slang absolutely nothing
- to condemn as bad, worthless, etc
- to curse
- to condemn to eternal damnation
- (often passive) to doom to ruin; cause to failthe venture was damned from the start
- (also intr) to prove (someone) guiltydamning evidence
- to swear (at) using the word damn
- as near as damn it British informal as near as possible; very near
- damn with faint praise to praise so unenthusiastically that the effect is condemnation
- slang something of negligible value; jot (esp in the phrase not worth a damn)
- not give a damn informal to be unconcerned; not care
Word Origin for damn
late 13c., "to condemn," from Old French damner "damn, condemn; convict, blame; injure," derivative of Latin damnare "to adjudge guilty; to doom; to condemn, blame, reject," from noun damnum "damage, hurt, harm; loss, injury; a fine, penalty," possibly from an ancient religious term from PIE *dap- "to apportion in exchange" [see Watkins]. The Latin word evolved a legal meaning of "pronounce judgment upon." Theological sense is first recorded early 14c.; the optative expletive use likely is as old.
Damn and its derivatives generally were avoided in print from 18c. to c.1930s (the famous line in the film version of "Gone with the Wind" was a breakthrough and required much effort by the studio). The noun is recorded from 1610s; to be not worth a damn is from 1817. The adjective is 1775, short for damned; Damn Yankee, characteristic Southern U.S. term for "Northerner," is attested from 1812. Related: Damning.
damn with faint praise
To criticize someone or something indirectly by giving a slight compliment: “When the critic remarked that Miller's book was ‘not as bad as some I've read,’ she was obviously damning it with faint praise.”
damn with faint praise
Compliment so feebly that it amounts to no compliment at all, or even implies condemnation. For example, The reviewer damned the singer with faint praise, admiring her dress but not mentioning her voice. This idea was already expressed in Roman times by Favorinus (c. a.d. 110) but the actual expression comes from Alexander Pope's Epistle to Doctor Arbuthnot (1733): “Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, and, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer.”
In addition to the idioms beginning with damn
- damned if I do, damned if I don't
- damn well
- damn with faint praise
- do one's damnedest
- give a damn
- not worth a dime (tinker's damn)