• (British, America) IPA: /dæm/

dam (plural dams)

  1. 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.
  2. The water reservoir resulting from placing such structure.
    Boats may only be used at places set aside for boating on the dam
  3. (dentistry) A device to prevent a tooth from getting wet during dental work, consisting of a rubber sheet held with a band.
  4. (South Africa, Australia) A reservoir.
  5. A firebrick wall, or a stone, which forms the front of the hearth of a blast furnace.
Translations Verb

dam (dams, present participle damming; past and past participle dammed)

  1. (transitive) To block#Verb|block the flow#Noun|flow of water#Noun|water.
    • 1682, Thomas Otway, Venice Preserv’d, or, A Plot Discover’d. A Tragedy. […], London: Printed for Jos[eph] Hindmarsh […], OCLC 664400715 ↗, Act I, scene i, pages 3–4 ↗:
      Home I would go, / But that my doors#English|Dores are hatefull to my eyes. / Fill'd and damm'd up with gaping Creditors, / Watchful as Fowlers when their Game will spring; [...]
Translations Noun

dam (plural dams)

  1. Female parent, mother, generally regarding breeding of animals (correlative to sire).
    • 1591, William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene i]:
      The dam runs lowing up and down, / Looking the way her harmless young one went.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 12, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      Hunters assure us, that to chuse the best dog, and which they purpose to keepe from out a litter of other young whelps, there is no better meane than the damme herselfe […].
    • 1819, Lord Byron, Don Juan, I
      she / Resolved that Juan should be quite a paragon, / And worthy of the noblest pedigree / (His sire was from Castile, his dam from Aragon) […].
    • 1974, Lawrence Durrell, Monsieur, Faber & Faber, 1992, p.112
      The sky was cloudless—the moon rolled across the surface like a lamb searching for its dam.
  2. A kind of crowned piece in the game of draughts.
Translations Noun

dam (plural dams)

  1. (India) An obsolete Indian copper coin, equal to a fortieth of a rupee.
  2. A former coin of Nepal, 128 of which were worth one mohar.
  1. (slang or pronunciation spelling) damn#Interjection|Damn.


dam (uncountable)

  1. Initialism of digital#English|digital asset#English|asset management#English|management.

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