Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A Eurasian plum tree (Prunus insititia) cultivated since ancient times for its edible fruit.
  • n. The oval, bluish-black, juicy plum of this tree.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A deciduous tree, Prunus insititia, native to Eurasia and related to the plum.
  • n. The edible fruit of this tree.
  • adj. The color of the fruit of this tree, a very deep purple.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A small oval plum of a blue color, the fruit of a variety of the Prunus domestica; -- called also damask plum.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The fruit of Prunus communis, variety damascena, a small black, dark-bluish, or purple plum.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. dark purple plum of the damson tree

Etymologies

Middle English damson, damacene, from Latin (prūnum) Damascēnum, (plum) of Damascus, from Damascēnus; see damascene.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Middle English, from Latin (prunum ("plum")) damascenum ("of Damascus") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • To this day, I cannot divest the word damson or the word plum of a slightly saucy overtone.

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XII No 3

  • It's Lambs Pride Superwash in Mysterious Fuchsia - a beautiful heathery damson purple.

    Babette for Ariane

  • Finally, Paolo Scavino, in Castiglione Falletto in the Langhe area, has produced a tighter wine in its Barolo Bric del Fiasc 2006, with an increased minerality, with intense black cherry and damson.

    In Search of Barolo

  • The welcoming "I make my own damson preserve!" sparkle in Frances's eyes is snuffed out, replaced by the cold, vengeful stare of Steven Seagal in Hard To Kill.

    Grace Dent's TV OD: Three In A Bed

  • Or offering me a guided tour of your delightful damson orchard.

    Grace Dent's TV OD: Three In A Bed

  • Such is its success—it is now stocked in a swathe of upscale bars, including London's Savoy Hotel, Boca Grande restaurant in Barcelona and Soho House in Berlin—that Sipsmith has added sloe gin, vodka, damson vodka and a summer cup to its portfolio.

    An Adventurous Spirit

  • This has evolved beautifully into a very graceful wine The nose is very ripe with an overwhelming damson character and a little spice.

    The Remarkable Rise of Le Pin

  • Those white margins were ribbons of sloe or blackthorn, bringing brilliance to the rich pasture lands and the promise of late summer bounty if a late frost doesn't prevent the setting of these wild cousins of the damson.

    Country diary: East Cheshire Hills

  • Stir a thick fruit purée, such as blackcurrant or damson into the meringue mixture.

    Nigel Slater's classic meringue recipe

  • At the end, there was a palate-cleansing damson ice cream.

    UK Young Chef of the Year 2010: Stevie Parle

Comments

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  • *snort*

    July 21, 2009

  • I hear your father smelt of elderberries.

    July 21, 2009

  • Wot. No elderberry wine? Maybe the vintners were too busy jostling their elders.

    July 21, 2009

  • I like the phrase "smoky, yeasty den of jollity" from this article. :-)

    July 20, 2009

  • Seen here: "It was like stepping into a King Arthur movie — the stone floor, the soot-blackened beams, the wooden bar offering two draft beers, and a row of dusty demi-johns of homemade wines: damson, plum, pear. The dirty gray thatch on the roof was tattered and molting."
    —Henry Shukman, "Going Back in Time to Old England, Sip by Sip," New York Times, July 19, 2009

    July 20, 2009