dampen

verb
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

Synonyms

bedew, damp, moisten

Antonyms

dry

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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

And so, geed up by the country's coming together, English sides geared up for yet another league season with renewed optimism, that was immediately dampened by the likely prospect of Manchester City domination. SI.com, "UEFA Nations League Victory Would Crown Greatest Ever Year for English Football," 4 June 2019 As the world’s most repressive tyranny, the North Korean regime has survived by keeping its people in the dark, dampening their expectations, and instilling a fear of external enemies, especially the United States. The Christian Science Monitor, "A summit that may pop fear in North Korea," 12 June 2018 The paucity of scientific backing for charcoal’s claimed health benefits does not seem to have dampened enthusiasm in the marketplace. Laura Daily, The Seattle Times, "How charcoal escaped the grill and ended up in your bathroom," 12 Apr. 2019 Scientists despair of the way language like this excites the public—only to dampen enthusiasm when, after a few years, the breakthrough hasn’t... Carol Tavris, WSJ, "‘The Inflamed Mind’ Review: Looking in the Wrong Place," 1 Feb. 2019 This year there was a bit of rain but that certainly did not dampen the experience. Matt Hranek, Condé Nast Traveler, "Hilton Head Island, Revisited," 19 Nov. 2018 McCready's first quarter fundraising is unlikely to dampen Democrats' enthusiasm. Jim Morrill, charlotteobserver, "Parade of big-name politicians visiting for NC congressman. Will they deliver votes? | Charlotte Observer," 16 Apr. 2018 Despite the gloomy conditions, many residents refused to let the stormy conditions dampen their enthusiasm. CBS News, "Nor'easter leaves flooding, power outages in its wake along New England coast," 4 Mar. 2018 Her third book, an unauthorized biography of Estée Lauder didn't fare so well—it was released almost simultaneously with Lauder's own memoir which, along with a poor critical reception, significantly dampened sales. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "The True Story of Lee Israel and the Literary Forgeries in Can You Ever Forgive Me?," 12 Sep. 2018

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 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

dampen

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dampen

: to make (something) somewhat or slightly wet : to make (something) damp
: to make (something) less strong or active

dampen

verb
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

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