A barrier built to block the flow of water is called a dam. If you walk along a stream, you can see where beavers have built a dam out of mud and logs.

As a verb, dam means to obstruct or blockade as with a dam. If the kids you're babysitting dam up the bathtub drain when you're not paying attention, the water might overflow and cause a waterfall into the living room downstairs. But water isn't the only thing that can be dammed. You shouldn't dam up your emotions — go ahead and scream if you need to.

Definitions of dam
  1. noun
    a barrier constructed to contain the flow of water or to keep out the sea
    synonyms: dike, dyke
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    Aswan High Dam
    one of the world's largest dams on the Nile River in southern Egypt
    Glen Canyon Dam
    a large dam built in 1964 on the Colorado River in Arizona
    Hoover Dam
    a large dam built in 1933 on the Colorado River in Nevada
    dam to make a millpond to provide power for a water mill
    a low dam built across a stream to raise its level or divert its flow
    type of:
    a structure or object that impedes free movement
  2. verb
    obstruct with, or as if with, a dam
    dam the gorges of the Yangtse River”
    synonyms: dam up
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    type of:
    block, close up, impede, jam, obstruct, obturate, occlude
    block passage through
  3. noun
    a metric unit of length equal to ten meters
    synonyms: decameter, decametre, dekameter, dekametre, dkm
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    type of:
    metric linear unit
    a linear unit of distance in metric terms
  4. noun
    female parent of an animal especially domestic livestock
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    type of:
    an animal that produces gametes (ova) that can be fertilized by male gametes (spermatozoa)
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