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

Overhead lighting is highly adjustable, a switch can make clear windows opaque and noise-dampening tiles create a more serene environment. Alaska Regional Hospital, Anchorage Daily News, "Bringing babies in need home with NEST," 12 Sep. 2019 The line announced Thursday is part of Tiffany’s strategy to attract younger shoppers and pump up sales, which have been dampened by a decline in spending by tourists from China and elsewhere. Anne D’innocenzio, BostonGlobe.com, "Bro bling: Tiffany introduces men’s jewelry collection," 23 Aug. 2019 The line is part of Tiffany's strategy to attract younger shoppers and pump up sales, which have been dampened by a decline in spending by tourists from China and elsewhere. Fortune, "Why Tiffany & Co. Created its First Men’s Collection," 21 Aug. 2019 But Sunday, even the rain falling over Comerica Park couldn’t dampen Baltimore’s ability to respond. Nathan Ruiz, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles bounce back with rain-soaked 8-2 victory over Tigers as Rio Ruiz’s go-ahead homer holds up," 15 Sep. 2019 The Hurricanes and Gators don’t play each other often, but that hasn’t dampened an intense rivalry that will, this year, kick off a national celebration of 150 years of college football. Christy Cabrera Chirinos, sun-sentinel.com, "UM 2019 football playbook: Players to watch, crucial games and keys to the season," 22 Aug. 2019 But those remarks did not dampen the criticism over his previous rhetoric. Shannon Pettypiece, NBC News, "Trump on Democratic critics: 'They call anybody a racist when they run out of cards'," 9 Aug. 2019 Oddly, segregation does not dampen America’s unique brand of optimism, but augments it. Patricia Cohen, New York Times, "Southerners, Facing Big Odds, Believe in a Path Out of Poverty," 4 July 2019 But that hasn’t dampened Facebook’s enthusiasm for it. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "The Fall and Rise of VR: The Struggle to Make Virtual Reality Get Real," 20 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

11 Oct 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 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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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 wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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