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

Synonyms & Antonyms for dampen


bedew, damp, moisten



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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

This may dampen the enthusiasm for some of these buyers. Benny L. Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Association lawyer says board not responsible for parking garage leak," 27 June 2018 Ashford -- who represented the seat from 2013-2015 -- needs to defeat progressive challenger Kara Eastman, and while the race has been civil, a liberal upset might dampen Democrats' chances to defeat GOP Rep. Don Bacon in the fall. Wade Payson-denney, CNN, "Election Day in Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon and Pennsylvania: What to watch," 15 May 2018 As was the case with Trump, the controversy does not appear to have dampened Colbeck's support among his most avid supporters. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "He's Michigan's most conservative Republican candidate for governor," 11 May 2018 And the interest-rate rise may dampen growth as well as inflation. The Economist, "The crisis of Argentine gradualism," 3 May 2018 Bad weather may have dampened housing starts, as did shortages of construction workers and rising home prices. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Economy grew solid 2.3% in Q1," 27 Apr. 2018 Another number that may have dampened investor enthusiasm was the impact of foreign currency fluctuations. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Why Google's Stock Price Leapt and Crashed In an Instant," 24 Apr. 2018 Demographics may also finally dampen enthusiasm for the storage sector, according to the Wall Street Journal. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Self-storage: How warehouses for personal junk became a $38 billion industry," 27 Mar. 2018 The Quadrifoglio has active suspension with a four-channel chassis dampening system to quickly adapt to changing driving conditions. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "1,160 miles in 11 days: A grand tour with the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio," 15 Aug. 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

4 Jan 2019

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

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