• synonyms


[moi-suh n]
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to make or become moist.
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Origin of moisten

First recorded in 1570–80; moist + -en1
Related formsmoist·en·er, nouno·ver·mois·ten, verbpre·mois·tened, adjectivere·mois·ten, verbsu·per·mois·ten, verb (used with object)un·mois·ten, verb (used with object)


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dampen, wet, sponge, spray.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for moistening

Historical Examples

  • Mix all thoroughly, moistening it with a quart of bottled or sweet cider.

    Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches

    Eliza Leslie

  • "I can tell you nothing," he said, moistening his parched lips.

  • Roma's eyes were moistening, and the little tool was trembling in her hand.

  • “I shall not do so,” said Puma, moistening his lips with his tongue.

    The Crimson Tide

    Robert W. Chambers

  • Moistening her lips, mentally she continued: Yes, count on that.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

British Dictionary definitions for moistening


  1. to make or become moist
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Derived Formsmoistener, 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 moistening



1570s, from moist + -en (1). Related: Moistened; moistening. The earlier verb was simply moist (early 14c.), from Old French moistir.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper