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darning

[dahr-ning]
noun
  1. the act of a person or thing that darns.
  2. the result produced.
  3. articles darned or to be darned.
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Origin of darning

First recorded in 1605–15; darn1 + -ing1

darn1

[dahrn]
verb (used with object)
  1. to mend, as torn clothing, with rows of stitches, sometimes by crossing and interweaving rows to span a gap.
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noun
  1. a darned place, as in a garment: an old sock full of darns.
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Origin of darn1

1590–1600; perhaps to be identified with Middle English dernen to keep secret, conceal, Old English (Anglian) dernan

Synonyms

1. See mend.

darn2

[dahrn]Informal.
adjective, adverb
  1. darned.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to curse; damn: Darn that pesky fly!
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Idioms
  1. give a darn. damn(def 14).
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Origin of darn2

First recorded in 1775–85; see origin at darned
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

doggonedangcripesdarnationdrat

Examples from the Web for darning

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Aunt has found out the slit, and poor I will be set to the darning to-morrow.

    The Fairchild Family

    Mary Martha Sherwood

  • He is at his darning; ay, with real wool and a real needle he is darning his socks.

  • Betty, why do you sit up at this hour of the night darning your stockings?

    The New Pun Book

    Thomas A. Brown and Thomas Joseph Carey

  • Jim's mother looked thoughtfully at the sock she was darning.

    Still Jim

    Honor Willsie Morrow

  • We shan't have to do any darning, but just embroidery in our cells and wax flowers.

    Eyebright

    Susan Coolidge


British Dictionary definitions for darning

darn1

verb
  1. to mend (a hole or a garment) with a series of crossing or interwoven stitches
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noun
  1. a patch of darned work on a garment
  2. the process or act of darning
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Derived Formsdarner, noundarning, noun

Word Origin

C16: probably from French (Channel Islands dialect) darner; compare Welsh, Breton darn piece

darn2

interjection, adjective, adverb, noun
  1. a euphemistic word for damn (def. 1), damn (def. 2), damn (def. 4), damn (def. 4), damn (def. 15)
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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 darning

darn

v.

"to mend" c.1600, perhaps from Middle French darner "mend," from darne "piece," from Breton darn "piece, fragment, part." Alternative etymology is from obsolete dern (see dern). Related: Darned; darning.

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darn

interj.

tame curse word, 1781, American English euphemism for damn, said to have originated in New England when swearing was a punishable offense; if so, its spread was probably influenced by 'tarnal, short for Eternal, as in By the Eternal (God), favorite exclamation of Andrew Jackson, among others. Related: darned (past participle adjective, 1806); darndest (superlative, 1844).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper