Main definitions of darn in English

: darn1darn2

darn1

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Mend (a hole in knitted material) by interweaving yarn with a needle.

    ‘I don't expect you to darn my socks’
    • ‘However, Gates will not be darning his own socks just yet; his personal wealth fell from £53 to £37.5 billion, according to the Sunday Times.’
    • ‘Often she works till 10 pm, and then returns home to darn holes in clothing for her extended family.’
    • ‘‘You darn a sock, dear,’ she said slowly and clearly, making sure he understood.’
    • ‘In a small tin in the bottom of the pillowcase she finds needles and cotton and between sips of her tea and another pipe, she darns the holes in the hessian bag with those same deliberate tiny stitches.’
    • ‘Many of the gypsies ignored her, sitting outside their tents, preparing a meal or darning a sock or mending a hem.’
    • ‘She's in her usual place at the other end of the table darning socks.’
    • ‘At first I gave it some rudimentary household chores, such as changing gramophone needles and darning stockings.’
    • ‘However, he has revealed that he darns his own socks as part of a superstition that he must sport the same pair all season.’
    • ‘Hardly any clothes were inside, except for two darned white shirts, one pair of brown pants, and two finely tailored suits, one gray, the other brown.’
    • ‘I still darn my own socks, having learnt how to when I was young.’
    • ‘While Linda is in the kitchen darning stockings, he moves to the edge of the stage.’
    • ‘Over the last few days Laoise had been in the camp she had made friends with many of the men, using her spare time to darn their socks and make them meals.’
    • ‘Aiming for the best possible results, I took an ultra-casual approach, snatching up ingredients at random while drinking a glass of wine, reading a newspaper and darning a hole in my daughter's socks.’
    • ‘It would be easier to imagine Maria Callas darning socks.’
    • ‘Socks are so cheap that it would be lunacy to spend time darning them and plastic is so cheap it is almost free.’
    • ‘Nowadays, however, marriage afflicts everyone rather later in life, women aren't desperate to wed for economic security, and no one knows how to darn a sock.’
    • ‘We microwave our dinners, movies come out on DVD mere weeks after they're released, and instead of darning a sock with a hole in it, folks simply buy a new pair.’
    • ‘Detached from our heads, hair can be used to mend garments, to darn holes in stockings.’
    • ‘Most people would rather darn socks than clean their home.’
    • ‘She darned socks each Sunday for the Uncle as it was, receiving them by mail.’
    mend, repair, reinforce
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Embroider (material) with a large running stitch.

noun

  • A place in a garment that has been darned.

    • ‘Later as a young adult she graduated to darning socks and clothing patching as an art form with patterns woven into the darns.’
    • ‘Near evening in the cool blue mountains, I would sit and smoke my pipe, surveying the exquisite landscape all around, forest dotted here and there with the patches of beautiful vegetable gardens like darns in an old garment.’
    • ‘And being so close to the stage I could see the darns in the showgirls' tights, so much for the glamour of Show Biz!’
    • ‘Then she unfolded her napkin as if to examine the darns, and she really thought of applying herself to this work, counting the threads in the linen.’
    • ‘Clothing was rationed in just the same way as food and Mother was always altering my clothes, patching, turning collars and darning the darns on my socks.’
    patch, repair, reinforcement, stitch, mend
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 17th century: perhaps from dialect dern ‘to hide’, which is from Old English diernan, of West Germanic origin; compare with Middle Dutch dernen ‘stop holes in (a dyke)’.

Pronunciation

darn

/dɑrn//därn/

Main definitions of darn in English

: darn1darn2

darn2

(also durn)

exclamation, adjective, & verb

North American
informal
  • as verb ‘darn it all, Poppa’
    euphemism for damn
    as adjective ‘the darn things were expensive’
    • ‘That's why great and near-great Canadian rock acts have absolutely, unequivocally refused to cross that darn picket line, Grey Cup or no Grey Cup.’
    • ‘I like boots and I would have another pair if they weren't so darn expensive.’
    • ‘Greenleaf Forest was a pretty darn average, and therefore a pretty darn boring forest.’
    • ‘But we did have a team, and a pretty darn good one, too.’
    • ‘I mean, before you tell a tour player something about his golf swing, you'd better be darned sure you know what you're talking about.’
    • ‘They are just so darn reassuring and they were traveling in a pretty darn good direction, about 160 degrees, at about 15 mph.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, fresh fruit in the upper Midwest is darn, darn expensive - unless you go to Eisenberg's.’
    • ‘Nestled just off the main drag of expat ghetto Holland Village, Original Sin offers laid-back ambience, attentive staff - and darn good food.’
    • ‘Just as well the dinner was good because it was a darned expensive shopping trip.’
    • ‘The fact is, Tom Fazio's architecture is extremely expensive to create, and darned expensive to maintain.’
    • ‘One of the best titles in the ongoing Asia Extreme season, it's a darn sight more entertaining than most American genre films of recent months.’
    • ‘I've held that darn gold card now for a long, long time, and paid an annual fee for it.’
    • ‘Sixth and last, some polluters felt that meeting the standards was just too darn expensive and threatened plant closures.’
    • ‘If you follow my diet, you may not lose weight but, darn it, you can always blame it on someone or something else.’
    • ‘You may not like stuff that gets described as epic but, darn it, you do.’
    • ‘Air conditioning is darned expensive but somewhat less disruptive than moving house.’
    • ‘I'd say that Erwin Schrodinger is a pretty darn cool scientist.’
    • ‘What is a lot more practical, and a darn sight more convenient, is to get a computer to simulate these immersion aspects for us.’
    • ‘You can play with controllers, but it's so much more fun with the maracas - too bad they're so darn expensive!’
    • ‘They reckon running a mobile phone in Nigeria is just too darned expensive.’
    • ‘The obvious question it doesn't ask Linux developers is, if it's so darned expensive, why are you doing this to yourselves?’
    • ‘In short, network operators believe it's too darn expensive.’
    • ‘The stories themselves I thought were darn interesting.’
    • ‘But the basic problem is that the Space Shuttle is just too darned expensive and inefficient as a reliable space transportation system.’
    • ‘So the Pentagon is basically telling us that the reason Stars and Stripes exists - to provide a real newspaper to troops during wartime - is just too gosh darned expensive to fund.’
    • ‘Just south of Los Angeles, Elon Musk is trying to build a better rocket and to solve a problem that is dogging NASA, why is it so darned expensive to get into space?’
    • ‘The big problem with consumer credit (or consumer debt, as it should be called) is that it's pretty darned expensive.’
    • ‘I can't help thinking, though, that if I suffered under such an affliction I'd be a darn sight more careful with my eardrums’
    • ‘My take is that helping these folks live a normal life in the community is a darn sight better than the old way of simply locking up the poor souls in asylums and throwing the key away.’
    • ‘Other dealers pass up promotional opportunities because they say they're too busy, and, of course, many say it is just too darned expensive.’
    • ‘Nature is a darn sight better and more thorough than any yard broom when it comes to clearing up leaves.’
    • ‘Lake Conroe has a darned good predator population, what with its black, white and hybrid bass along with all those crappie and catfish.’
    • ‘That's a long way from the top-notch victories he served up a few years ago, but it's a darn sight better than the dismal showings he's had the last two years.’
    • ‘You can grow tobacco, and you may be able to grow a moustache, but I'll be darned if you can ‘grow’ the economy.’
    • ‘It is a darn shame he did not go to his own electorate.’
    • ‘So I hope they have a happy Christmas, because they will have a darn hard new year.’
    • ‘There'll be light touch regulation for those who behave responsibly and a darn sight heavier for those who don't.’
    • ‘I thought about going into a course, but they're are either darn expensive or way too basic.’
    • ‘I think we would have sold more had the weak Dollar not made them so darn expensive for the American buyers.’
    • ‘And that's all thanks to what most people call the best darn thing ever; beer.’

Pronunciation

darn

/därn//dɑrn/