\ ˈdamp How to pronounce damp (audio) \

Definition of damp

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a noxious gas — compare black damp, firedamp
2 : moisture:
b archaic : fog, mist


damped; damping; damps

Definition of damp (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to affect with or as if with a noxious gas : choke
b : to diminish the activity or intensity of damping down the causes of inflation liquid damps out compass oscillations
c : to check the vibration or oscillation of (something, such as a string or a voltage)
2 : dampen

intransitive verb

: to diminish progressively in vibration or oscillation



Definition of damp (Entry 3 of 3)

1a archaic : being confused, bewildered, or shocked : stupefied
2 : slightly or moderately wet : moist a damp towel also : humid damp weather

Other Words from damp


dampish \ ˈdam-​pish How to pronounce damp (audio) \ adjective
damply adverb
dampness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for damp

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Adjective

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Choose the Right Synonym for damp


wet, damp, dank, moist, humid mean covered or more or less soaked with liquid. wet usually implies saturation but may suggest a covering of a surface with water or something (such as paint) not yet dry. slipped on the wet pavement damp implies a slight or moderate absorption and often connotes an unpleasant degree of moisture. clothes will mildew if stored in a damp place dank implies a more distinctly disagreeable or unwholesome dampness. a prisoner in a cold, dank cell moist applies to what is slightly damp or not felt as dry. treat the injury with moist heat humid applies to the presence of much water vapor in the air. a hot, humid climate

Examples of damp in a Sentence

Noun The boxes were left outside in the damp. the damp of the night Verb His hands were damped with sweat. refused to let the setbacks damp his drive for success Adjective Wipe up the mess with a damp cloth. Her forehead was damp with perspiration. My hair's still damp from the rain. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Tomorrow (Friday): Morning is probably gray and a little damp, but the real rain doesn’t get going until later. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, 27 July 2017 The internet is a virtual catacomb, where the skeletons of human decency line the damp, mildewed walls. Christine Flowers, Philly.com, 15 June 2017 This damp—a byproduct of industrial smog mixing with moisture from the nearby ponds—is omnipresent, and repeated mentions more than illustrate Louis’s disgust. Samuel Metz, New Republic, 8 June 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Yellen’s speech, which lacked clear rate cues, did little to calm the price swings and damped expectations of a rate hike this year. Fortune, 25 Aug. 2017 BROOKS RIVER — A brown bear sow emerged from the alder fringes of the Naknek Lake shoreline, ambled to the water's edge and dropped in a huge blond lump onto pumice pebbles and damp black volcanic sand. Clark Fair, Alaska Dispatch News, 29 July 2017 Apply the mixture to damp, clean hair and also massage it onto your scalp. Lori Keong, Marie Claire, 19 July 2017 Babies need to be constantly damp for some reason, like the whale at the end of Free Willy. Frank Kobola, Redbook, 10 Mar. 2017 A Milan judge on Saturday ordered Silvio Berlusconi to be tried on corruption charges, damping the former Italian premier’s hopes of running soon for office again after being sidelined by a tax-fraud conviction. Frances D&, Orange County Register, 29 Jan. 2017 These masterful shocks have somewhat redefined the state of the art in damping. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, 18 July 2017 But thoughts of the team’s imminent departure did not seem to be souring the sweetness of the celebration, nor damping the blaring of horns or thinning the throngs downtown and along the edges of Lake Merritt on Thursday. Erin Baldassari, The Mercury News, 15 June 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Despite the damp conditions and a cloudy sky overhanging the field, players from Wilsonville and Pendleton/Griswold got to compete in the 5A softball championship game at Jane Sanders Stadium Saturday. oregonlive, 4 June 2022 La'Pearl likes to use a damp sponge, while Meyers uses her ring finger to gently tap and blend for a softer finish. Allure, 31 May 2022 To properly blend out a cream contour, experts recommend using a soft, fluffy, or angled brush, or a slightly damp sponge for a more natural look. Tiffany Dodson, Harper's BAZAAR, 12 May 2022 Similarly, Consumer Reports uses a mix of a little vinegar, dish soap and warm water, applied with a damp sponge to the interior. Washington Post, 11 Apr. 2022 The bedding should be wet like a damp sponge but not dripping, said Chris Jung, who’s been growing and selling worms and castings from his backyard in Glendale for some 20 years. Los Angeles Times, 24 Mar. 2022 Fingers work well to achieve this look, but New York makeup artist Suzy Gerstein opts for a damp Beautyblender sponge. Fiorella Valdesolo, WSJ, 18 Mar. 2022 For a flawless complexion—and sun protection—apply YSL Beauty All Hours Foundation SPF 20 ($54) with a damp makeup sponge. Jessica Herndon, ELLE, 14 Feb. 2022 For smaller water spots, wipe the pan down with a damp sponge sprinkled with baking soda. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 5 Oct. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'damp.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of damp


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for damp


Middle English, black damp, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German, vapor; akin to Old High German damph vapor

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Time Traveler for damp

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The first known use of damp was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near damp



damp course

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Cite this Entry

“Damp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/damp. Accessed 1 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for damp


\ ˈdamp How to pronounce damp (audio) \

Kids Definition of damp

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : moisture The cold and damp made me shiver.
2 : a harmful gas found especially in coal mines


damped; damping

Kids Definition of damp (Entry 2 of 3)

: dampen


damper; dampest

Kids Definition of damp (Entry 3 of 3)

: slightly wet : moist

Other Words from damp

dampness noun


\ ˈdamp How to pronounce damp (audio) \

Medical Definition of damp

: a noxious or stifling gas or vapor especially : one occurring in coal mines usually used in plural — see black damp, firedamp

More from Merriam-Webster on damp

Nglish: Translation of damp for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of damp for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about damp


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