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90s Slang You Should Know


[kwench] /kwɛntʃ/
verb (used with object)
to slake, satisfy, or allay (thirst, desires, passion, etc.).
to put out or extinguish (fire, flames, etc.).
to cool suddenly by plunging into a liquid, as in tempering steel by immersion in water.
to subdue or destroy; overcome; quell:
to quench an uprising.
Electronics. to terminate (the flow of electrons in a vacuum tube) by application of a voltage.
Origin of quench
1150-1200; Middle English quenchen, earlier cwenken; compare Old English -cwencan in ācwencan to quench (cf. a-3)
Related forms
quenchable, adjective
quenchableness, noun
quencher, noun
unquenchable, adjective
unquenched, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for quench
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They make the spirit in the body quiver; They quench the Light!

  • The steward tried to quench the flames with his feet, but his efforts were unavailing.

    Freaks of Fortune Oliver Optic
  • Of still another:—'He could quench a candle at the other side of the kitchen with a curse.'

  • I've been chewing snow to quench my thirst but I could eat a horse.

    Accidental Death Peter Baily
  • He shall not advertise Himself nor quench a single smouldering wick.

    Faces in the Fire Frank W. Boreham
  • Then he meant to shake off his companions and go where he could quench that inward fire.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • He took out his flask, now so dim, hoping to quench the terrible thirst that was overpowering him; but alas!

    That Little Beggar E. King Hall
  • We forgot the tortoise, and dashed forward, eager to quench our thirst.

    In the Wilds of Florida W.H.G. Kingston
British Dictionary definitions for quench


verb (transitive)
to satisfy (one's thirst, desires, etc); slake
to put out (a fire, flame, etc); extinguish
to put down or quell; suppress: to quench a rebellion
to cool (hot metal) by plunging it into cold water
(physics) to reduce the degree of (luminescence or phosphorescence) in (excited molecules or a material) by adding a suitable substance
  1. to suppress (sparking) when the current is cut off in an inductive circuit
  2. to suppress (an oscillation or discharge) in a component or device
Derived Forms
quenchable, adjective
quencher, noun
quenchless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English ācwencan to extinguish; related to Old Frisian quinka to vanish
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 quench

Old English acwencan "to quench" (of fire, light), from Proto-Germanic *cwandjan, probably a causative form of root of Old English cwincan "to go out, be extinguished," Old Frisian kwinka. Related: Quenched; quenching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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