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[dam-uh sk] /ˈdæm əsk/
a reversible fabric of linen, silk, cotton, or wool, woven with patterns.
napery of this material.
  1. Also called damask steel. Damascus steel.
  2. the pattern or wavy appearance peculiar to the surface of such steel.
the pink color of the damask rose.
made of or resembling damask:
damask cloth.
of the pink color of the damask rose.
verb (used with object)
to damascene.
to weave or adorn with elaborate design, as damask cloth.
1200-50; Middle English damaske < Medieval Latin damascus, named after Damascus where fabrics were first made
Related forms
undamasked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for damask
  • All of it done to not look done, as if any mortal could mix red velvet portieres with pink damask walls.
  • We settled into a stately sitting room furnished with a plump damask sofa and large armchairs.
  • Ruffles cascaded merrily, pitting their floating lightness against heavier, embellished fabrics such as damask.
  • At a photographer's request, she curled up on the damask ottoman in the nook formed by one wing of her butterfly staircase.
  • His eyes downcast, he seems to want to sink into its deep red damask covering.
  • Carter explained the technique with a damask napkin.
  • It is covered with a plain white damask cloth-or it may be of embroidered linen and lace insertion.
  • The damask-heavy atmosphere comes straight out of the nineteen-thirties.
  • Gaze at the stalls selling damask roses and leeches.
  • Add a glint of metallic, and an allover damask pattern dances in the light.
British Dictionary definitions for damask


  1. a reversible fabric, usually silk or linen, with a pattern woven into it. It is used for table linen, curtains, etc
  2. table linen made from this
  3. (as modifier): a damask tablecloth
short for Damascus steel
the wavy markings on such steel
  1. the greyish-pink colour of the damask rose
  2. (as adjective): damask wallpaper
(transitive) another word for damascene (sense 1)
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin damascus, from Damascus, where this fabric was originally made
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
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Word Origin and History for damask

late 14c., Damaske "cloth from Damascus," the Syrian city.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for damask

patterned textile, deriving its name from the fine patterned fabrics produced in Damascus (Syria) in the European Middle Ages. True damask was originally wholly of silk, but gradually the name came to be applied to a certain type of patterned fabric regardless of fibre. Single damask has one set each of warps and wefts, or fillings, and may be woven in one or two colours; compound or double damask has a greater number of fillings. Damask is woven on a Jacquard loom, the satin field being produced by floats of warp that pass over from two to seven and in some instances nine fillings. The design is a plain or taffeta weave, the warp and filling being at right angles that create less lustre than the satin areas

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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