1 [dam]
a barrier to obstruct the flow of water, especially one of earth, masonry, etc., built across a stream or river.
a body of water confined by a dam.
any barrier resembling a dam.
verb (used with object), dammed, damming.
to furnish with a dam; obstruct or confine with a dam.
to stop up; block up.

1275–1325; Middle English < Middle Dutch, Middle Low German, dam; akin to Old English for-demman to stop up, block

5. impede, clog, check, choke.
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2 [dam]
a female parent (used especially of four-footed domestic animals).

1250–1300; Middle English; variant of dame


[dam, dahm]
(Carl Peter) Henrik [kahrl pee-ter hen-rik; Danish kahrl pey-tuhr hen-rik] , 1895–1976, Danish biochemist: Nobel Prize in Medicine 1943.


dekameter; dekameters.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
dam1 (dæm)
1.  a barrier of concrete, earth, etc, built across a river to create a body of water for a hydroelectric power station, domestic water supply, etc
2.  a reservoir of water created by such a barrier
3.  something that resembles or functions as a dam
vb (often foll by up) , dams, damming, dammed
4.  to obstruct or restrict by or as if by a dam
[C12: probably from Middle Low German; compare Old Icelandic damma to block up]

dam2 (dæm)
the female parent of an animal, esp of domestic livestock
[C13: variant of dame]

dam3 (dæm)
interj, —adv, —adj
(often used in combination) damn damn damn a variant spelling of damn : damfool; dammit

symbol for

Dam (Danish dam)
(Carl Peter) Henrik (ˈhɛnrəɡ). 1895--1976, Danish biochemist who discovered vitamin K (1934): Nobel prize for physiology or medicine 1943

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

"water barrier," early 14c., probably from O.N. dammr or M.Du. dam, both from P.Gmc. *dammaz, of unknown origin.

"animal mother," c.1300, variant of dame (q.v.), also originally used, like that word, for "lady, mother;" but meanings diverged into separate spellings by 16c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

dam (dām)
A barrier against the passage of liquid or loose material, especially a rubber sheet used in dentistry to isolate one or more teeth from the rest of the mouth.

Dam (dām, däm), (Carl Peter) Henrik. 1895-1976.

Danish biochemist. He shared a 1943 Nobel Prize for the discovery of vitamin K.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. diacetylmonoxime

  2. divorced Asian male

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see water over the dam.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Ordinarily the wall would serve as a dam, blocking the flow of both electrolyte and electric current.
The story of any big dam is that of unintended consequences.
Dam building has experienced a resurgence, while at the same time a dam removal
  movement is gaining momentum in some areas.
The miller is at home near his millstones and beside his dam.
Idioms & Phrases
Images for dam
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