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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from dampen

dampener \ ˈdamp-​nər How to pronounce dampen (audio) , ˈdam-​pə-​ \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dampen



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Merely feeling the soil surface can be deceiving; a light or brief rainfall may dampen the surface of the soil without delivering enough water to soak down to where plants’ roots can reach it. Beth Botts, chicagotribune.com, "Warm spring days, sporadic rain mean gardens might need extra watering in April," 25 Apr. 2021 But nothing could dampen the opportunity to hear live music, performed in real time, by superior artists whose instrumental mastery did not appear to be dulled one iota by the yearlong concert shutdown. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: La Jolla Music Society soars with outdoor concert by Inon Barnatan, Alisa Weilerstein, Philippe Quint," 12 Apr. 2021 Then, dampen a microfiber cloth to rinse off the excess soap. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "How to Clean Baseboards for Shining Floors," 6 Apr. 2021 Vaccine distribution hiccups could dampen prices, as could surges in COVID-19 variants. Sam Kemmis, USA TODAY, "Flight, hotel prices set to take off as more people get vaccinated against COVID-19," 1 Apr. 2021 In addition, the vaccine’s side effects might temporarily dampen any strong urge to leave the couch, much less run off to explore the world. Washington Post, "Doctors advise against traveling immediately after your vaccination. Here’s why.," 31 Mar. 2021 Overnight showers will dampen the ground, reducing the chances that fire will spread out of control. Jay R. Jordan, Chron, "Don't be alarmed: Prescribed burn planned at Houston Arboretum," 24 Mar. 2021 Nothing, not even a small, mostly quiet arena, could dampen his enthusiasm. Michael Marot, ajc, "Texas Southern beats Mount St. Mary's 60-52 in NCAA opener," 19 Mar. 2021 In 1984, not even rain could dampen spirits at competing parades in downtown and on Greenville Avenue. Meagan Hurley, Dallas News, "From mild to wild: A look at past St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Dallas," 14 Mar. 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.

See More

First Known Use of dampen

1547, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dampen

Statistics for dampen

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dampen.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dampen. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!