For example, the dam in the image above was built by people in order to make the lake bigger (so people can use it) and to capture the power of the moving water (so it can generate electricity). Dams are really useful!
Beavers think so, too. They build dams to create safe pools for themselves where they can live comfortably and hide from predators.
The word "dam" is also a verb. If you dam a creek, dam a river, or even dam up a strong feeling (like anger or sadness) that flows through you like a rushing river, then that means you block it so that it can't flow out.
Let's say, you're very sad, but you don't want to cry in front of your friends. You've dammed up your sadness: you won't let it flow. But then your sadness gets too strong, and the dam bursts. Your tears spill out.
Lastly, "dam" has a homophone, "damn." These two words sound exactly the same but have different meanings and different spellings. "Damn" with the silent N means "to curse someone, or to doom someone," and if you say "damn it!" (also spelled "dammit!"), then you mean "Curse it! Ugh!" Or just "Wow!" or "Oh!"
Now, "damn" is a mild swear word; you should probably avoid it whenever you need to be formal or polite, and you might get in trouble for using it, depending on where you are and who you're with. (Don't use it at school!) But when you don't need to be polite, you can have some fun with these homophones!
Remember: dams are structures that control how water flows, and to dam something is to stop it from flowing out naturally.
Idea 1: "When (something very sad, very bad, or very happy took place), I stayed still and silent, but the feeling of (sadness, anger, or happiness) rushed through me, like water surging against a dam."
Idea 2: "There was so much I wanted to (say, shout, or ask), but I had to dam up the words so I could (get something done)."
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