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damp squib

noun, British Informal.
something meant but failing to impress or succeed.
Origin of damp squib
First recorded in 1965-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for damp squib
Historical Examples
  • "No you don't," said the dragon in a spluttering voice, like a damp squib.

    The Book of Dragons Edith Nesbit
  • Such love must come to disaster; it is like a damp squib, it is never properly alight and fades out swiftly in noisy splutters.

    Women's Wild Oats C. Gasquoine Hartley
  • Our artillery put salvoes at once upon those trenches; and the raid of that night proved a damp squib.

Slang definitions & phrases for damp squib

damp squib


Something anticlimactic; something that fails to come to a conclusion; a fiasco: his attempt at painting the house is something of a damp squib (1845+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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