View synonyms for damper


[ dam-per ]


  1. a person or thing that damps or depresses:

    His glum mood put a damper on their party.

  2. a movable plate for regulating the draft in a stove, furnace, etc.
  3. Music.
    1. a device in stringed keyboard instruments to deaden the vibration of the strings.
    2. the mute of a brass instrument, as a horn.
  4. Electricity. an attachment to keep the indicator of a measuring instrument from oscillating excessively, as a set of vanes in a fluid or a short-circuited winding in a magnetic field.
  5. Machinery. a shock absorber.
  6. Australian.
    1. a round, flat cake made of flour and water, and cooked over a campfire.
    2. the dough for such cakes.


/ ˈdæmpə /


  1. a person, event, or circumstance that depresses or discourages
  2. put a damper on
    to produce a depressing or inhibiting effect on

    the bad news put a damper on the party

  3. a movable plate to regulate the draught in a stove or furnace flue
  4. a device to reduce electronic, mechanical, acoustic, or aerodynamic oscillations in a system
  5. music the pad in a piano or harpsichord that deadens the vibration of each string as its key is released
  6. any of various unleavened loaves and scones, typically cooked on an open fire

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of damper1

First recorded in 1740–50; damp + -er 1

Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

see put a damper on .

Discover More

Example Sentences

Many workers are being granted increasing flexibility to work from home, which will continue to put a damper on future revenue.

Any periods of downward motion put a damper on cloud cover production, allowing one to discern the atmospheric waves radiating outward.

With the pandemic putting a damper on public transit, the automotive industry continued to fare well while other verticals may have seen larger sales dips.

It doesn’t have a whoosh of air or a physical damper rubbing on the wheel to make annoying sounds as the pedaling gets tougher.

Kitchell concluded, however, that if one wants to minimize damage in the unlikely event of a rare 975-year quake, earthquake dampers should be installed at a projected multimillion-dollar cost.

Changes in the level of subsidies and feed-in tariffs can put a damper on activity.

Translation: the weather put a big damper on construction activity.

If anything, the idea of Kristen Stewart, expert wet blanket, only got even damper.

The rain here in Tampa, though not yet at tropical-storm levels, has put a damper on the now delayed convention.

Leno said he felt the same as he try to put a damper on any such talk at a post-roast press conference.

Just as the Admiral was going, Ward (of the Intelligence) crossed over with a nasty little damper.

It was such a damper as to be most mortifying to an enthusiastic girl, and she drew into herself in a moment.

His friend promised to look after mother and me, but somehow the philanthropist put a damper on the promise.

The passageway was growing damper; water trickled down the walls and gathered in fetid pools on the floor.

A damper seemed to have been placed on all their spirits, and the flow of conversation was sluggish and dull.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




dampendamper pedal