[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.

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

Related Words for dampener

pessimist, complainer, grouch, whiner, dampener, doomsdayer, grinch

Examples from the Web for dampener

Contemporary Examples of dampener

Historical Examples of dampener

  • Then he had the sense to see that it was he, Gerald, who acted as a spoil-feast, a dampener.

  • She was beautiful and attractive, and he had feared she might be ugly, which would have been a dampener on his satisfaction.

    The Fatal Glove

    Clara Augusta Jones Trask

British Dictionary definitions for dampener



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 dampener

1887, agent noun from 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