damp·​en | \ ˈdam-pən How to pronounce dampen (audio) \
dampened; dampening\ ˈdamp-​niŋ How to pronounce dampen (audio) , 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 \ ˈdamp-​nər How to pronounce dampen (audio) , ˈdam-​pə-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dampen



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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 But a hug can dampen our response, thereby protecting us from the harmful effects of stress. Rachel Hutton, Star Tribune, 28 May 2021 The $815,000 price could dampen enthusiasm, especially when a DBS Superleggera Volante, with the same 5.2-liter V-12 engine, is less than half the cost. Jeremy Taylor, Robb Report, 26 May 2021 For investors, racial equity audits could also dampen the risk of public relations crises. David Jeans, Forbes, 21 May 2021 But the medications can significantly dampen a vaccine’s effectiveness. BostonGlobe.com, 21 May 2021 For stubborn smudges and fingerprints, lightly dampen the cloth with distilled water. USA TODAY, 6 May 2021 In the current atmosphere, however, these projections will not dampen the enthusiasm for spending. Steve Chapman, chicagotribune.com, 30 Apr. 2021 But the family didn’t let the delay dampen their party. Brandon Lingle, San Antonio Express-News, 24 Apr. 2021 But experts fear the confusing messages about the vaccine could still dampen enthusiasm for it at a time when Europe and many other parts of the world are facing surging cases. BostonGlobe.com, 8 Apr. 2021

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

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dampen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dampen. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce dampen (audio) \
dampened; dampening

Kids Definition of dampen

1 : to make or become slightly wet Please dampen this washcloth.
2 : to make dull or less active A bad start didn't dampen our confidence.


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