Damnation (from Latin damnatio) is the concept of everlasting divine punishment, especially the punishment for sin as threatened by the Christian God (e.g. Mark 3:29). A being "in damnation" is said to be either in Hell, or living in a state wherein they are divorced from Heaven. Those Christians in purgatory, the "Church Suffering", are not considered damned.
Following the religious meaning, the words damn and goddamn are a common form of religious profanity, in modern times often semantically weakened to the status of mere interjections.
Classical Latin damnum means "damage, cost, expense; penalty, fine", ultimately from a PIE root *dap-. The verb damnare in Roman law acquired a legal meaning of "to pronounce judgement upon".
The word enters Middle English usage from Old French in the early 14th century. The secular meaning survives in English "to condemn" (in a court of law), or "damning criticism". The noun damnation itself is mostly reserved for the religious sense in Modern English, while condemnation remains common in secular usage.
During the 18th century and until about 1930, use of damn as an expletive was considered a severe profanity and was mostly avoided in print. The expression "not worth a damn" is recorded 1817. Use of damn as an adjective, short for damned, is recorded 1775. Damn Yankee (a Southern US term for "Northerner") dates to 1812.
In some forms of Western Christian belief, damnation to hell is what humanity deserves for its sins, and only by the grace of God and salvation through Jesus Christ, can one atone for their sins and escape damnation. 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 God. The reasons for being damned have varied widely over the centuries, from murder to dancing.
In Eastern Christian traditions (Eastern Orthodoxy and Oriental Orthodoxy), as well as some Western traditions, it is seen as a state of opposition to the love of God, a state into which all humans are born but against which Christ is the Mediator and Redeemer.
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