She went down the worn stairway and came out into the dankness of the street.
The breath of primroses and violets mingled with the dankness of stagnant water.
The silk of the curls on the forehead had a dankness and lifelessness which almost made her catch her breath again.
The odour of hot smoke is easily distinguished from the dankness of cold tobacco.
c.1400, earlier as a verb (early 14c.), now obsolete, meaning "to moisten," used of mists, dews, etc. Perhaps from Scandinavian (cf. Swedish dank "moist place," dänka "to moisten") or German (cf. Middle High German damph, Dutch damp "vapor"). Now largely superseded by damp (adj.). Related: Dankness.