1. best; utmost: They did their damnedest to finish on time.

Origin of damnedest

First recorded in 1820–30; damned + -est1


adjective, superlative damned·est, damnd·est.
  1. condemned or doomed, especially to eternal punishment: the wailing of damned souls.
  2. detestable; loathsome: Get that damned dog out of here!
  3. complete; absolute; utter: a damned nuisance; a damned fool.
  4. Informal. extraordinary; amazing: It was the damnedest thing I'd ever seen.
  1. the damned, those condemned to suffer eternal punishment.
  1. extremely; very; absolutely: a damned good singer; too damned lazy.
  1. 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for damnedest

Contemporary Examples of damnedest

Historical Examples of damnedest

  • Isn't that just about the damnedest thing you ever saw, Professor?

    The Leech

    Phillips Barbee

  • They'd speak up, and do their damnedest to save their friend.


    Poul William Anderson

  • "I'll be gosh-darned ef that ain't the damnedest," said he, slowly.

    Earth's Enigmas

    Charles G. D. Roberts

  • What's left of it is the damnedest mess of goldbergery I ever saw.

    A Slave is a Slave

    Henry Beam Piper

  • Are you the damnedest fool or the biggest scoundrel out of jail?

    The Lady Doc

    Caroline Lockhart

British Dictionary definitions for damnedest


  1. informal utmost; best (esp in the phrases do or try one's damnedest)


    1. condemned to hell
    2. (as noun)the damned
adverb, adjective slang
  1. (intensifier)a damned good try; a damned liar; I should damned well think so!
  2. used to indicate amazement, disavowal, or refusal (in such phrases as I'll be damned and damned if I care)
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 damnedest

also damndest, originally damnedst, 1830, superlative of damned (see damn).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper