damp·​en | \ˈdam-pən \
dampened; dampening\ ˈdamp-​niŋ , ˈdam-​pə-​ \

Definition of dampen 

transitive verb

1 : to check or diminish the activity or vigor of : deaden the heat dampened our spirits

2 : to make damp the shower barely dampened the ground

intransitive verb

1 : to become damp

2 : to become deadened or depressed

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Other Words from dampen

dampener \ -​nər \ noun

Examples of dampen in a Sentence

Dampen the spot with a wet cloth. The shower barely dampened the ground. We wouldn't let the bad weather dampen our excitement.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Anything that dampens the global spread of electric cars — falling oil prices, a shortage of charging infrastructure, or policy changes in Europe, China, or the U.S. — could spell trouble. Philly.com, "How batteries went from primitive power to global domination," 16 June 2018 There are also sculptures that incorporate foam, carpet, and other things that dampen noise. Gwynedd Stuart, Los Angeles Magazine, "The Hammer Museum Is Tapping Into Local Talent with Made in L.A.," 4 June 2018 But heavier traffic won’t be the only thing that dampens moods. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "Higher Gas May Leave You Less Money to Spend on Memorial Day Sales," 25 May 2018 President Trump’s frequent criticisms of his own party are self-destructive, enhancing the impression of a do-little Congress that could dampen GOP turnout in November and leave the White House stymied. Andrew Malcolm, San Francisco Chronicle, "How a GOP-led Congress defeats GOP members," 22 May 2018 Both men have taken positions that could dampen enthusiasm from their base. Tony Cook, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana Senate race: Do Braun or Donnelly have the juice to rev up voters?," 10 May 2018 Alaska halibut is facing strong headwinds that have dampened the value of the catch shares needed to go fishing. Laine Welch, Anchorage Daily News, "Value of Alaska halibut catch shares declines; Bering Sea crab season wraps up," 15 Apr. 2018 The offering comes amid market volatility that temporarily dampened investor appetite. Oliver Sachgau, Bloomberg.com, "Siemens Plans Health IPO Valuing Unit at $38 Billion," 4 Mar. 2018 Several cities on the West Coast, including Portland and Seattle, are struggling with a growing homeless population, an issue that may dampen some visitors' enjoyment of these communities. Susan Glaser, cleveland.com, "Do social problems affect your travel plans? Calling all readers," 22 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dampen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dampen

1547, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for dampen

Last Updated

8 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dampen

The first known use of dampen was in 1547

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More Definitions for dampen



English Language Learners Definition of dampen

: to make (something) somewhat or slightly wet : to make (something) damp

: to make (something) less strong or active


damp·​en | \ˈdam-pən \
dampened; dampening

Kids Definition of dampen

1 : to make or become slighty wet Please dampen this washcloth.

2 : to make dull or less active A bad start didn't dampen our confidence.

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More from Merriam-Webster on dampen

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dampen

Spanish Central: Translation of dampen

Nglish: Translation of dampen for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dampen for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dampen

What made you want to look up dampen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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