[dam-puh n]

verb (used with object)

to make damp; moisten: to dampen a sponge.
to dull or deaden; depress: to dampen one's spirits.

verb (used without object)

to become damp.

Nearby words

  1. damp squib,
  2. damp-dry,
  3. damp-mop,
  4. damp-proof,
  5. dampcourse,
  6. dampener,
  7. damper,
  8. damper pedal,
  9. dampier,
  10. dampier, william

Origin of dampen

First recorded in 1620–30; damp + -en1

Related formsdamp·en·er, nounun·damp·ened, adjective

Can be confuseddamp dampen moist (see synonym study at damp)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dampen

British Dictionary definitions for dampen



to make or become damp
(tr) to stifle; deaden
Derived Formsdampener, 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

Word Origin and History for dampen



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