damp·​en ˈdam-pən How to pronounce dampen (audio)
dampened; dampening ˈdamp-niŋ How to pronounce dampen (audio)

transitive verb

: to check or diminish the activity or vigor of : deaden
the heat dampened our spirits
: to make damp
the shower barely dampened the ground

intransitive verb

: to become damp
: to become deadened or depressed
ˈdamp-nər How to pronounce dampen (audio)

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Simply place leaves in a 3×3 wood or wire bin (a garbage bag can also work in a pinch–just make sure to punch a few holes for air flow) and fully dampen the pile. Kristin Guy, Sunset Magazine, 16 Nov. 2023 Additionally, President Joe Biden's low approval rating was thought to dampen Democratic enthusiasm. Julia Johnson, Washington Examiner, 14 Nov. 2023 Throughout the pollution season, Delhi restricts construction activity to reduce the amount of dust in the air and uses water trucks to try to dampen remaining dust. WIRED, 13 Nov. 2023 The company has added a water suppression system to its launchpad, which should help dampen the thunderous vibrations caused by the rocket’s staggering 33 first-stage engines. Christian Davenport, Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2023 Fears that Israel’s military operations could escalate into a regional conflict are clouding the global economy’s outlook, threatening to dampen growth and reignite a rise in energy and food prices. Ronen Bergman, New York Times, 3 Nov. 2023 While soaring mortgage rates have dampened demand, low inventory is causing home prices to increase. WSJ, 17 Oct. 2023 Sanctions have deterred traditional Russian clients from continuing with their purchases, and Russia’s poor military performance has dampened enthusiasm among prospective ones. Hanna Notte, Foreign Affairs, 6 Oct. 2023 Now, Lin is working to counter several economic and social trends that have dampened the desire for children in Taiwan. Stephanie Yang, Los Angeles Times, 24 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dampen.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1547, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dampen was in 1547

Dictionary Entries Near dampen

Cite this Entry

“Dampen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dampen. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


damp·​en ˈdam-pən How to pronounce dampen (audio)
dampened; dampening ˈdamp-(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce dampen (audio)
: to check or lessen in activity or vigor : deaden
: to make or become damp
dampener noun

More from Merriam-Webster on dampen

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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