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[dam-puh n] /ˈdæm pən/
verb (used with object)
to make damp; moisten:
to dampen a sponge.
to dull or deaden; depress:
to dampen one's spirits.
damp (def 10).
verb (used without object)
to become damp.
Origin of dampen
1620-30; damp + -en1
Related forms
dampener, noun
undampened, adjective
Can be confused
damp, dampen, moist (see synonym study at damp) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for dampened
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No doubt ever troubled him; no misgivings ever dampened his ardor.

    Wilford Woodruff Matthias F. Cowley
  • Tracing cloth must be fastened by pins or thumb tacks, and not dampened.

  • She never got away from her books, and she drenched us with her successes until our ardor was more than dampened.

  • That dampened the enthusiasm and ardor of Bandy-legs considerably.

    Afloat on the Flood Lawrence J. Leslie
  • With dampened spirits his eye lights on a second substitute.

    An American at Oxford John Corbin
  • He bound up her head with a dampened bandage and left her to sleep.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
  • The afternoon smells of dampened dust and new-cut grass blew in from the street.

    Narcissus Evelyn Scott
British Dictionary definitions for dampened


to make or become damp
(transitive) to stifle; deaden
Derived Forms
dampener, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dampened



1630s, "to dull or deaden" (of force, enthusiasm, ardor, etc.), from damp (adj.) + -en (1). Meaning "to moisten" is recorded from 1827. Related: Dampened; dampening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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