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damper

[dam-per]
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noun
  1. a person or thing that damps or depresses: His glum mood put a damper on their party.
  2. a movable plate for regulating the draft in a stove, furnace, etc.
  3. Music.
    1. a device in stringed keyboard instruments to deaden the vibration of the strings.
    2. the mute of a brass instrument, as a horn.
  4. Electricity. an attachment to keep the indicator of a measuring instrument from oscillating excessively, as a set of vanes in a fluid or a short-circuited winding in a magnetic field.
  5. Machinery. a shock absorber.
  6. Australian.
    1. a round, flat cake made of flour and water, and cooked over a campfire.
    2. the dough for such cakes.

Origin of damper

First recorded in 1740–50; damp + -er1

damp

[damp]
adjective, damp·er, damp·est.
  1. slightly wet; moist: damp weather; a damp towel.
  2. unenthusiastic; dejected; depressed: The welcoming committee gave them a rather damp reception.
noun
  1. moisture; humidity; moist air: damp that goes through your warmest clothes.
  2. a noxious or stifling vapor or gas, especially in a mine.
  3. depression of spirits; dejection.
  4. a restraining or discouraging force or factor.
verb (used with object)
  1. to make damp; moisten.
  2. to check or retard the energy, action, etc., of; deaden; dampen: A series of failures damped her enthusiasm.
  3. to stifle or suffocate; extinguish: to damp a furnace.
  4. Acoustics, Music. to check or retard the action of (a vibrating string); dull; deaden.
  5. Physics. to cause a decrease in amplitude of (successive oscillations or waves).
Verb Phrases
  1. damp off, to undergo damping-off.

Origin of damp

1300–50; Middle English (in sense of def. 4); compare Middle Dutch damp, Middle High German dampf vapor, smoke
Related formsdamp·ish, adjectivedamp·ish·ly, adverbdamp·ish·ness, noundamp·ly, adverbdamp·ness, noun
Can be confuseddamp moist (see synonym study at the current entry)damp dampen

Synonyms

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1. dank, steamy. 3. dankness, dampness, fog, vapor. 7. humidify. 8. slow, inhibit, restrain, moderate, abate.

Synonym study

1. Damp, humid, moist mean slightly wet. Damp usually implies slight and extraneous wetness, generally undesirable or unpleasant unless the result of intention: a damp cellar; to put a damp cloth on a patient's forehead. Humid is applied to unpleasant dampness in the air: The air is oppressively humid today. Moist denotes something that is slightly wet, naturally or properly: moist ground; moist leather.

Antonyms

1. dry.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for damper

damper

noun
  1. a person, event, or circumstance that depresses or discourages
  2. put a damper on to produce a depressing or inhibiting effect onthe bad news put a damper on the party
  3. a movable plate to regulate the draught in a stove or furnace flue
  4. a device to reduce electronic, mechanical, acoustic, or aerodynamic oscillations in a system
  5. music the pad in a piano or harpsichord that deadens the vibration of each string as its key is released
  6. mainly Australian and NZ any of various unleavened loaves and scones, typically cooked on an open fire

damp

adjective
  1. slightly wet, as from dew, steam, etc
  2. archaic dejected
noun
  1. slight wetness; moisture; humidity
  2. rank air or poisonous gas, esp in a mineSee also firedamp
  3. a discouragement; damper
  4. archaic dejection
verb (tr)
  1. to make slightly wet
  2. (often foll by down) to stifle or deadento damp one's ardour
  3. (often foll by down) to reduce the flow of air to (a fire) to make it burn more slowly or to extinguish it
  4. physics to reduce the amplitude of (an oscillation or wave)
  5. music to muffle (the sound of an instrument)
See also damp off
Derived Formsdampish, adjectivedamply, adverbdampness, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Middle Low German damp steam; related to Old High German demphen to cause to steam
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

Word Origin and History for damper

n.

of a piano, 1783; of a chimney, 1788; agent noun from damp (v.). Either or both led to various figurative senses.

damp

v.

late 14c., "to suffocate," from damp (n.). Figurative meaning "to deaden (the spirits, etc.)" attested by 1540s. Meaning "to moisten" is recorded from 1670s. Related: Damped; damping.

damp

adj.

1580s, "dazed," from damp (n.). Meaning "slightly wet" is from 1706. Related: Dampness.

damp

n.

early 14c., "a noxious vapor," perhaps in Old English but there is no record of it. If not, probably from Middle Low German damp; ultimately in either case from Proto-Germanic *dampaz (cf. Old High German damph, German Dampf "vapor;" Old Norse dampi "dust"). Sense of "moisture, humidity" is first certainly attested 1706.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with damper

damper

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.