AskDefine | Define damnation

Dictionary Definition



1 the act of damning
2 the state of being condemned to eternal punishment in Hell [syn: eternal damnation]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. The state of being damned; condemnation; openly expressed disapprobation.
  2. Condemnation to everlasting punishment in the future state, or the punishment itself.


The state of being damned; condemnation; openly expressed disapprobation
Condemnation to everlasting punishment in the future state, or the punishment itself

Extensive Definition

Dammit redirects here, to see the blink-182 song see Dammit (song). For other meanings, see Damn (disambiguation).
"Damnation" (or, more commonly, "damn", or "goddamn") is widely used as a moderate profanity, which originated as such from the concept of punishment by God . Until around the mid-20th century, damn was a more offensive term than it is today, and was frequently represented as "D--n," "D---," or abbreviated to just "D."


In some forms of Western Christian belief, damnation to hell is the punishment of God for persons with unredeemed sin.
One conception is of eternal suffering and denial of entrance to heaven, often described in the Bible as burning in fire. Another conception, derived from the scripture about Gehenna is simply that people will be discarded (burned), as being unworthy of preservation by their Gods.
In Eastern Christian traditions (Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy), as well as some Western traditions, it is seen as a state of separation from God, a state into which all humans are born but against which Christ is the Mediator and "Great Physician".
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sees damnation as a halt in progress rather than an eternal suffering. It is likened to a dam in a river that prevents the river from flowing as it normally would.

Non-religious formal uses

Sometimes the word damned refers to condemnation by humans, for example:


"Damn" is a mildly profane word used in North America while debatably cursing or swearing since some think it's a swear and some don't. The use of "damn" in Rhett Butler's parting line to Scarlett O'Hara in the film Gone with the Wind in 1939 captivated moviegoers with "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."
"God damn" is usually seen as more profane than simply "damn", and in present-day radio or television broadcasts of North America, the word "God" is usually censored or blurred, leaving "damn" uncensored.
In the USA, "damn" is also commonly used as an exclamation when an extremely attractive person or object of approval is located; e.g. "Damn, he/she is fine" or perhaps "Damn, he has a nice car!". "Hot damn" may be used similarly, but it is somewhat distinct; for example, if one says, "Joe just won the lottery," a response of "Damn!" on its own can indicate disapproval, but "Hot damn!" indicates approval or surprise.
"Damned" is also used as an adjective synonymous with "annoying" or "uncooperative," or as a means of giving emphasis. For example, "The damned furnace is not working again!" or, "I did wash the damned car!" or, "The damned dog won't stop barking!"


Its Proto-Indo-European language origin is usually said to be a root dap-, which appears in Latin and Greek words meaning "feast" and "expense". (The connection is that feasts tend to be expensive.) In Latin this root provided a theorized early Latin noun *dapnom, which became Classical Latin damnum = "damage" or "expense". But there is a Vedic Sanskrit root dabh or dambh = "harm". The word damnum did not have exclusively religious overtones. From it in English came "condemn"; "damnified" (an obsolete adjective meaning "damaged"); "damage" (via French from Latin damnaticum). It began to be used for being found guilty in a court of law; but, for example, an early French treaty called the Strasbourg Oaths includes the Latin phrase in damno sit = "would cause harm". From the judicial meaning came the religious meaning.

Further reading

  • The Justice of God in the Damnation of Sinners Jonathan Edwards, Diggory Press, ISBN 978-1846856723

See also

damnation in German: Verdammung
damnation in Spanish: Condenación
damnation in French: Damnation
damnation in Italian: Dannazione
damnation in Dutch: Godverdomme
damnation in Polish: Potępienie
damnation in Portuguese: Condenação
damnation in Sicilian: Addannazzioni
damnation in Simple English: Damnation

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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