dam

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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 ?
Ofttimes he drew his sleeve across his face, but there was no damming that trickle.
So there was no damming up the tide of life that was rising within him--rising with every mouthful of meat he swallowed, with every breath he drew.
wisdom of damming Elk Creek soon forced the Corps to abandon its efforts