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

The sweltering summer heat did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the massive crowd that turned out to catch a glimpse of the stars, and both Statham and Johnson took the time to sign autographs and take selfies with fans. Alex Cramer, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Hobbs & Shaw' Premiere: Dwayne Johnson Showcases Samoan Heritage," 15 July 2019 When these folks find something that's pleasant, part of their brain comes online quickly to dampen that experience. Matt Simon, WIRED, "The Strange Saga of the Butt Plug Turned Research Device," 11 July 2019 Leaders of both groups have made some efforts to dampen down tensions. The Economist, "Orange Order parades cause growing tension in Scotland," 11 July 2019 There have been cars that had to be eased along to dampen the roar of the burned-out muffler and some that must have proceeded only because of prayer. Sainted & Tainted Writers, Twin Cities, "Sainted and Tainted: For five years I’ve watched this mother and her children …," 6 July 2019 The 23-year-old has been touted as a potential Manchester City target for a number of months, and his performances will do little to dampen speculation of a move to the Etihad. SI.com, "Everton: 5 Things to Know About Brazil's Copa America Star & Man City Transfer Target," 26 June 2019 That move is expected to trigger many thousands of lawsuits, demanding billions of dollars in compensation from Cuba for properties expropriated after the 1959 revolution, and also to dampen the appetites of foreign investors interested in Cuba. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, "Mexico, Cuba, and Trump’s Increasing Preference for Punishment Over Diplomacy," 11 June 2019 But the statement did little to dampen criticism by the independent researchers. Jeré Longman, New York Times, "Did Flawed Data Lead Track Astray on Testosterone in Women?," 12 July 2018 But the lawmakers who sponsored the plan, Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy, both Chicago Democrats, have dampened that prediction, lowering estimates to $58 million in the first year and $500 million annually within five years. NBC News, "Illinois becomes 11th state to allow recreational marijuana," 25 June 2019

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

19 Jul 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 How to pronounce dampen (audio) \
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).


to complain fretfully

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