- a person or thing that damps or depresses: His glum mood put a damper on their party.
- a movable plate for regulating the draft in a stove, furnace, etc.
- a device in stringed keyboard instruments to deaden the vibration of the strings.
- the mute of a brass instrument, as a horn.
- 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.
- Machinery. a shock absorber.
- a round, flat cake made of flour and water, and cooked over a campfire.
- the dough for such cakes.
Origin of damper
- slightly wet; moist: damp weather; a damp towel.
- unenthusiastic; dejected; depressed: The welcoming committee gave them a rather damp reception.
- moisture; humidity; moist air: damp that goes through your warmest clothes.
- a noxious or stifling vapor or gas, especially in a mine.
- depression of spirits; dejection.
- a restraining or discouraging force or factor.
- to make damp; moisten.
- to check or retard the energy, action, etc., of; deaden; dampen: A series of failures damped her enthusiasm.
- to stifle or suffocate; extinguish: to damp a furnace.
- Acoustics, Music. to check or retard the action of (a vibrating string); dull; deaden.
- Physics. to cause a decrease in amplitude of (successive oscillations or waves).
- damp off, to undergo damping-off.
Origin of damp
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for damper
Changes in the level of subsidies and feed-in tariffs can put a damper on activity.It’s Always Sunny In England
The Daily Beast
September 17, 2014
The rain here in Tampa, though not yet at tropical-storm levels, has put a damper on the now delayed convention.Romney: Personality Isn’t Everything
August 27, 2012
Leno said he felt the same as he try to put a damper on any such talk at a post-roast press conference.Jay Leno Wins Hasty Pudding Man of the Year Award
Samuel P. Jacobs
February 4, 2011
Finished our bacon this morning, and for the future will only have damper and tea.
The white men were rushed upon while making a damper, and clubbed and speared.
She did not seem frightened, and ate readily the damper and sugar given her.
She rose, took her stockings over to the stove, and hung them on the damper.Father Sergius
The damper in the lower door had a bad habit of opening when it was jarred.Polly of Lady Gay Cottage
Emma C. Dowd
- a person, event, or circumstance that depresses or discourages
- put a damper on to produce a depressing or inhibiting effect onthe bad news put a damper on the party
- a movable plate to regulate the draught in a stove or furnace flue
- a device to reduce electronic, mechanical, acoustic, or aerodynamic oscillations in a system
- music the pad in a piano or harpsichord that deadens the vibration of each string as its key is released
- mainly Australian and NZ any of various unleavened loaves and scones, typically cooked on an open fire
- slightly wet, as from dew, steam, etc
- archaic dejected
- slight wetness; moisture; humidity
- rank air or poisonous gas, esp in a mineSee also firedamp
- a discouragement; damper
- archaic dejection
- to make slightly wet
- (often foll by down) to stifle or deadento damp one's ardour
- (often foll by down) to reduce the flow of air to (a fire) to make it burn more slowly or to extinguish it
- physics to reduce the amplitude of (an oscillation or wave)
- music to muffle (the sound of an instrument)
Word Origin and History for damper
of a piano, 1783; of a chimney, 1788; agent noun from damp (v.). Either or both led to various figurative senses.
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.
1580s, "dazed," from damp (n.). Meaning "slightly wet" is from 1706. Related: Dampness.
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.
Idioms and Phrases with damper
see put a damper on.