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Damnation is the state of being damned; condemnation; openly expressed disapprobation. In religion, damnation is the concept of divine punishment and torment in an afterlife for actions that were committed on Earth, thus being the the antithesis of salvation.


  • DAMN, v. A word formerly much used by the Paphlagonians, the meaning of which is lost. By the learned Dr. Dolabelly Gak it is believed to have been a term of satisfaction, implying the highest possible degree of mental tranquillity. Professor Groke, on the contrary, thinks it expressed an emotion of tumultuous delight, because it so frequently occurs in combination with the word jod or god, meaning "joy." It would be with great diffidence that I should advance an opinion conflicting with that of either of these formidable authorities.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
  • Hades was quite a different place from our region of eternal damnation, and might be termed rather an intermediate state of purification. Neither does the Scandinavian Hel or Hela, imply either a state or a place of punishment; for when Frigga, the grief-stricken mother of Bal-dur, the white god, who died and found himself in the dark abodes of the shadows (Hades) sent Hermod, a son of Thor, in quest of her beloved child, the messenger found him in the inexorable region — alas! but still comfortably seated on a rock, and reading a book. The Norse kingdom of the dead is moreover situated in the higher latitudes of the Polar regions; it is a cold and cheerless abode, and neither the gelid halls of Hela, nor the occupation of Baldur present the least similitude to the blazing hell of eternal fire and the miserable "damned" sinners with which the Church so generously peoples it.
  • That each man Swore to do his best,
    To damn and perjure all the rest!
    And bid the Devil take the hin'most,
    Which at this race is like to win most.
  • Compound for sins they are inclin'd to,
    By damning those they have no mind to
  • … one damn thing after another … one damn thing over and over.
    • Edna St. Vincent Millay, from an October 1930 letter to Arthur Davison Ficke, as variously described by her biographers, e.g.:
      • [L]ife was not so much "one damn thing after another" as "one damn thing over and over"
        • As paraphrased ("she had sent [...] a half-comic note, complaining that...") with quoted phrases in Jean Gould, The Poet and Her Book: A Biography of Edna St. Vincent Millay (1969), p. 198

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