dam

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See: block, clog, constrict, halt, inhibit, lock, obstacle, obstruction, shut

DAM. A construction of wood, stone, or other materials, made across a stream of water for the purpose of confining it; a mole.
     2. The owner of a stream not navigable, may erect a dam across it, and employ the water in any reasonable manner, either for his use or pleasure, so as not to destroy or render useless, materially diminish, or affect the application of the water by the proprietors below on the stream. He must not shut the gates of his dams and detain the water unreasonably, nor let it off in unusual quantities to the annoyance of his neighbors. 4 Dall. 211; 3 Caines, 207; 13 Mass. 420; 3 Pick, 268; 2 N. H. Rep. 532; 17 John. 306; 3 John. Ch. Rep. 282; 3 Rawle, 256; 2 Conn. Rep. 584; 5 Pick. 199; 20 John. 90; 1 Pick. 180; 4 Id. 460; 2 Binn. 475; 14 Serg. & Rawle, 71; Id. 9; 13 John. 212; 1 McCord, 580; 3 N. H. Rep. 321; 1 Halst. R. 1; 3 Kents Com. 354.
     3. When one side of the stream is owned by one person and the other by another, neither, without the consent of the other, can build a dam which extends beyond the filum aqua, thread of the river, without committing a trespass. Cro. Eliz. 269; 12 Mass. 211; Ang. on W. C. 14, 104, 141; vide Lois des Bat. P. 1, c. 3, s. 1, a. 3; Poth. Traite du Contrat de Societe, second app. 236; Hill. Ab. Index, h.t.; 7 Cowen, R. 266; 2 Watts, R. 327; 3 Rawle, R. 90; 17 Mass. R. 289; 5 Pick. R. 175; 4 Mass. R. 401. Vide Inundation.

References in classic literature ?
With a gesture of impotent fury, he dashed away in the direction of an equally excited crowd, that on a point of the slope nearer the island were gesticulating and shouting to a second group of men, who on the opposite shore were clambering on over the choked debris of the flume that had dammed and diverted the current.
Here, not merely the river itself, but every rivulet flowing into it, was dammed up by communities of industrious beavers, so as to inundate the neighborhood, and make continual swamps.
by a cry, at first muffled and broken, like the sobbing of a child, and then quickly swelling into one long, loud, and continuous scream, utterly anomalous and inhuman - a howl - a wailing shriek, half of horror and half of triumph, such as might have arisen only out of hell, conjointly from the throats of the dammed in their agony and of the demons that exult in the damnation.