1. A female parent; used of beasts, especially of quadrupeds; sometimes applied in contempt to a human mother. Our sire and dam, now confined to horses, are a relic of this age (13th century) . . . .Dame is used of a hen; we now make a great difference between dame and dam. (t. L. K. Oliphant) The dam runs lowing up end down, Looking the way her harmless young one went. (Shak)
2. A kind or crowned piece in the game of draughts.
Origin: oe. Dame mistress, lady; also, mother, dam. See dame.
1. A barrier to prevent the flow of a liquid; especially, a bank of earth, or wall of any kind, as of masonry or wood, built across a water course, to confine and keep back flowing water.
2. (Science: chemistry) a firebrick wall, or a stone, which forms the front of the hearth of a blast furnace. Dam plate, an iron plate in front of the dam, to strengthen it.
Origin: akin to OLG, D, & dan. Dam, g. & Sw. Damm, Icel. Dammr, and as. Fordemman to stop up, goth. Faordammjan.