adjective, superlative damned·est, damnd·est.

condemned or doomed, especially to eternal punishment: the wailing of damned souls.
detestable; loathsome: Get that damned dog out of here!
complete; absolute; utter: a damned nuisance; a damned fool.
Informal. extraordinary; amazing: It was the damnedest thing I'd ever seen.


the damned, those condemned to suffer eternal punishment.


extremely; very; absolutely: a damned good singer; too damned lazy.


    damned well, Informal. certainly or without doubt; emphatically: You damned well better say you're sorry!Also damn well.

Origin of damned

First recorded in 1350–1400, damned is from the Middle English word dam(p)ned. See damn, -ed2



verb (used with object)

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!

verb (used without object)

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.



Origin of damn

1250–1300; Middle English dam(p)nen < Old French dam(p)ner < Latin damnāre to condemn, derivative of damnum damage, fine, harm
Related formsdamn·er, nounpre·damn, verb (used with object)

Synonyms for damn

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for damned

Contemporary Examples of damned

Historical Examples of damned

  • What you say in New York—'a damned fine old family,' yes, is it not?

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Banstead at last relieved his feelings with a gasping, "Well, I'm damned!"


    William J. Locke

  • "You've treated me damned badly," said Banstead, turning on his heel.


    William J. Locke

  • This fellow, who had offered to take money for a guest, was damned for life and branded.

  • What damned jolly fun it will be to send her out of the house in a rage!

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for damned



  1. condemned to hell
  2. (as noun)the damned

adverb, adjective slang

(intensifier)a damned good try; a damned liar; I should damned well think so!
used to indicate amazement, disavowal, or refusal (in such phrases as I'll be damned and damned if I care)



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

adverb, adjective (prenominal)

slang (intensifier)damn fool; a damn good pianist


damn all slang absolutely nothing

verb (mainly tr)

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

C13: from Old French dampner, from Latin damnāre to injure, condemn, from damnum loss, injury, penalty
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 damned



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with damned


In addition to the idioms beginning with damn

  • damned if I do, damned if I don't
  • damn well
  • damn with faint praise

also see:

  • do one's damnedest
  • give a damn
  • not worth a dime (tinker's damn)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.