Dam vs. Damn

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Dam and Damn is that the Dam is a barrier that impounds water or underground streams and Damn is a supernatural punishment.

  • Dam

    A dam is a barrier that stops or restricts the flow of water or underground streams. Reservoirs created by dams not only suppress floods but also provide water for activities such as irrigation, human consumption, industrial use, aquaculture, and navigability. Hydropower is often used in conjunction with dams to generate electricity. A dam can also be used to collect water or for storage of water which can be evenly distributed between locations. Dams generally serve the primary purpose of retaining water, while other structures such as floodgates or levees (also known as dikes) are used to manage or prevent water flow into specific land regions. The earliest known dam is the Jawa Dam in Jordan, dating to 3,000 BC.

    The word dam can be traced back to Middle English, and before that, from Middle Dutch, as seen in the names of many old cities. The first known appearance of dam occurs in 1165. However, there is one village, Obdam, that is already mentioned in 1120. The word seems to be related to the Greek word taphos, meaning “grave” or “grave hill”. So the word should be understood as “dike from dug out earth”. The names of more than 40 places (with minor changes) from the Middle Dutch era (1150–1500 CE) such as Amsterdam (founded as ‘Amstelredam’ in the late 12th century) and Rotterdam, also bear testimony to the use of the word in Middle Dutch at that time.

  • Damn

    Damnation (from Latin damnatio) is the concept of divine punishment and torment in an afterlife for actions that were committed on Earth. In Ancient Egyptian religious tradition, citizens would recite the 42 negative confessions of Maat as their heart was weighed against the feather of truth. If the citizen’s heart was heavier than a feather they would be devoured by Ammit. Zoroastrianism developed an eschatological concept of a Last Judgment called Frashokereti where the dead will be raised and the righteous wade through a river of milk while the wicked will be burned in a river of molten metal. Abrahamic religions such as Christianity have similar concepts of believers facing judgement on a last day to determine if they will spend eternity in Gehenna or heaven for their sin [Mark 3:29]. A damned human “in damnation” is said to be either in Hell, or living in a state wherein they are divorced from Heaven and/or in a state of disgrace from God’s favor. In traditional Abrahamic demonology, the Devil rules Hell, where he and his demons punish the damned.

    Following the religious meaning, the words damn and goddamn are a common form of religious profanity, in modern times often semantically weakened to the status of mere interjections.

  • Dam (noun)

    A structure placed across a flowing body of water to stop the flow or part of the flow, generally for purposes such as retaining or diverting
    some of the water or retarding the release of accumulated water to avoid abrupt flooding

    “A dam is often an essential source of water to farmers of hilly country.”

  • Dam (noun)

    The water reservoir resulting from placing such structure.

    “Boats may only be used at places set aside for boating on the dam”

  • Dam (noun)

    A device to prevent a tooth from getting wet during dental work, consisting of a rubber sheet held with a band.

  • Dam (noun)

    A reservoir.

  • Dam (noun)

    A firebrick wall, or a stone, which forms the front of the hearth of a blast furnace.

  • Dam (noun)

    An obsolete Indian copper coin, equal to a fortieth of a rupee.

  • Dam (noun)

    Female parent, mother, generally regarding breeding of animals (correlative to sire).

  • Dam (noun)

    A kind of crowned piece in the game of draughts.

  • Dam (verb)

    To block the flow of water.

  • Damn (verb)

    To condemn to hell.

    “The official position is that anyone who does this will be damned for all eternity.”

    “Only God can damn. — I damn you eternally, fiend!”

  • Damn (verb)

    To condemn; to declare guilty; to doom; to adjudge to punishment; to sentence; to censure.

  • Damn (verb)

    To put out of favor; to ruin; to label negatively.

    “I’m afraid that if I speak out on this, I’ll be damned as a troublemaker.”

  • Damn (verb)

    To condemn as unfit, harmful, of poor quality, unsuccessful, invalid, immoral or illegal.

  • Damn (verb)

    To curse; put a curse upon.

    “That man stole my wallet. Damn him!”

  • Damn (verb)

    To invoke damnation; to curse.

  • Damn (adjective)

    Generic intensifier. Fucking; bloody.

    “Shut the damn door!”

  • Damn (adverb)

    Very, extremely.

    “That car was going damn fast!”

  • Damn (interjection)

    Used to express anger, irritation, disappointment, annoyance, contempt, etc. See also dammit.

  • Damn (noun)

    The use of “damn” as a curse.

    “said a few damns and left”

  • Damn (noun)

    A small, negligible quantity, being of little value.

    “The new hires aren’t worth a damn.”

  • Damn (noun)

    The smallest amount of not give a damn).

    “I don’t give a damn.”

  • Dam (noun)

    a barrier constructed to hold back water and raise its level, forming a reservoir used to generate electricity or as a water supply

    “the dam burst after torrential rain”

    “the Hoover Dam”

  • Dam (noun)

    a barrier of branches in a stream, constructed by a beaver to provide a deep pool and a lodge.

  • Dam (noun)

    an artificial pond or reservoir where rain or spring water is collected for storage

    “the dam was full of water”

  • Dam (noun)

    a rubber sheet used to keep saliva from the teeth during dental operations, or as a prophylactic device during cunnilingus and anilingus.

  • Dam (noun)

    the female parent of an animal, especially a domestic mammal.

  • Dam (verb)

    build a dam across (a river or lake)

    “the river was dammed to form Lake Powell”

  • Dam (verb)

    hold back or obstruct (something)

    “discussion was in full flow and refused to be dammed”

    “the closed lock gates dammed up the canal”

Oxford Dictionary

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