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



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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 There are concerns that the recent slowdown in economic growth will mean unemployment starts to rise again, dampening inflation again. Washington Post, "Eurozone unemployment’s falls to lowest rate since July 2008," 29 Nov. 2019 Please don't let the incivility of our roads dampen your own kindness — Jeffrey Tumlin (@jeffreytumlin) November 21, 2019 So what would help? Dramatically slowing traffic. Heather Knight, SFChronicle.com, "Muni’s next chief imagines a city where cars are no longer king," 23 Nov. 2019 The news is unlikely help dampen the firestorm that has enveloped Andrew. Max Foster, CNN, "Why Britain's Queen Elizabeth had to let Prince Andrew go," 22 Nov. 2019 Nor has a charitable mission dampened the ambition of bosses at big hospital chains; seven-figure salaries are not unheard of at those with revenues exceeding $500m a year. The Economist, "Donald Trump wants hospitals to be more upfront about prices," 21 Nov. 2019 If this were infection, medicines that dampen a patient’s immune system would be the opposite of what you’d want to give. Ilana Yurkiewicz, Smithsonian, "The Possibilities and Risks of Genetically Altering Immune Cells to Fight Cancer," 26 Oct. 2019 Harris has not commented on the theft, but didn’t let the incident dampen her spirits. Sydney Scott, Essence, "Nearly $1 Million Worth Of Jewelry Stolen From Tiny Harris' Lamborghini," 8 Oct. 2019 Most growth has been in the lower and middle levels, and the downward effects of reduced benefit and welfare payments, which dampen the income-growth number slightly, are themselves a positive indicator of reduced need for assistance. Conrad Black, National Review, "Trump’s Economic Triumph," 26 Sep. 2019 The news organization, citing an anonymous government source, reported that President Donald Trump's reluctance to roll back tariffs was dampening China's outlook on trade talks. Jill Disis, CNN, "Investors don't seem to know what to make of the US-China trade war," 18 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for dampen

Time Traveler

The first known use of dampen was in 1547

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Statistics for dampen

Last Updated

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Dampen.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dampening. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for dampen


How to pronounce dampen (audio)

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

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very cautious or careful

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