• synonyms


[dam-puh n]
verb (used with object)
  1. to make damp; moisten: to dampen a sponge.
  2. to dull or deaden; depress: to dampen one's spirits.
  3. damp(def 10).
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become damp.
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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. 2018

Related Words for dampening

depress, discourage, moderate, mute, inhibit, restrain, chill, curb, diminish, allay, stifle, dull, cloud, cool, dabble, moisten, sprinkle, water, spray, wet

Examples from the Web for dampening

Contemporary Examples of dampening

Historical Examples of dampening

British Dictionary definitions for dampening


  1. to make or become damp
  2. (tr) to stifle; deaden
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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 dampening



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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper