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damp

[damp] /dæmp/
adjective, damper, dampest.
1.
slightly wet; moist:
damp weather; a damp towel.
2.
unenthusiastic; dejected; depressed:
The welcoming committee gave them a rather damp reception.
noun
3.
moisture; humidity; moist air:
damp that goes through your warmest clothes.
4.
a noxious or stifling vapor or gas, especially in a mine.
5.
depression of spirits; dejection.
6.
a restraining or discouraging force or factor.
verb (used with object)
7.
to make damp; moisten.
8.
to check or retard the energy, action, etc., of; deaden; dampen:
A series of failures damped her enthusiasm.
9.
to stifle or suffocate; extinguish:
to damp a furnace.
10.
Acoustics, Music. to check or retard the action of (a vibrating string); dull; deaden.
11.
Physics. to cause a decrease in amplitude of (successive oscillations or waves).
Verb phrases
12.
damp off, to undergo damping-off.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English (in sense of def. 4); compare Middle Dutch damp, Middle High German dampf vapor, smoke
Related forms
dampish, adjective
dampishly, adverb
dampishness, noun
damply, adverb
dampness, noun
Can be confused
damp, dampen, moist (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
1. dank, steamy. Damp, humid, moist mean slightly wet. Damp usually implies slight and extraneous wetness, generally undesirable or unpleasant unless the result of intention: a damp cellar; to put a damp cloth on a patient's forehead. Humid is applied to unpleasant dampness in the air: The air is oppressively humid today. Moist denotes something that is slightly wet, naturally or properly: moist ground; moist leather. 3. dankness, dampness, fog, vapor. 7. humidify. 8. slow, inhibit, restrain, moderate, abate.
Antonyms
1. dry.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for damp
  • My femininity can't be trapped in dark and damp conference halls.
  • Moisten the compost with water as necessary to ensure that the mixture is slightly damp.
  • For some people, burning leaves and the woody, damp crisp smell of fall can do it.
  • Again, he must act against his nature and learn patience before inserting damp garments into the cylinder.
  • Wiggle the door and can, then cover the oven with damp towels and plastic tarp.
  • But exploiting the surplus would require much more trade in food from damp spots to the parched ones.
  • Quick-drying polyester webbing and treated lining for long damp walks along the beach or shoreline.
  • On damp or cold days, there is no power going to the starter to start the vehicle.
  • They can be found in cool, damp areas of deciduous forests, emerging before the tree canopy develops.
  • damp baking soda is more adsorbent than dry powder so that it is more preferable to use compared to the other.
British Dictionary definitions for damp

damp

/dæmp/
adjective
1.
slightly wet, as from dew, steam, etc
2.
(archaic) dejected
noun
3.
slight wetness; moisture; humidity
4.
rank air or poisonous gas, esp in a mine See also firedamp
5.
a discouragement; damper
6.
(archaic) dejection
verb (transitive)
7.
to make slightly wet
8.
(often foll by down) to stifle or deaden: to damp one's ardour
9.
(often foll by down) to reduce the flow of air to (a fire) to make it burn more slowly or to extinguish it
10.
(physics) to reduce the amplitude of (an oscillation or wave)
11.
(music) to muffle (the sound of an instrument)
See also damp off
Derived Forms
dampish, adjective
damply, adverb
dampness, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Middle Low German damp steam; related to Old High German demphen to cause to steam
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
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Word Origin and History for damp
n.

early 14c., "a noxious vapor," perhaps in Old English but there is no record of it. If not, probably from Middle Low German damp; ultimately in either case from Proto-Germanic *dampaz (cf. Old High German damph, German Dampf "vapor;" Old Norse dampi "dust"). Sense of "moisture, humidity" is first certainly attested 1706.

v.

late 14c., "to suffocate," from damp (n.). Figurative meaning "to deaden (the spirits, etc.)" attested by 1540s. Meaning "to moisten" is recorded from 1670s. Related: Damped; damping.

adj.

1580s, "dazed," from damp (n.). Meaning "slightly wet" is from 1706. Related: Dampness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for damp

dAMP

deoxyadenylic acid
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for damp

any of various harmful vapours produced during mining operations. The gases are frequently called damps (German Dampf, "vapour"). Firedamp is a gas that occurs naturally in coal seams. The gas is nearly always methane (CH4) and is highly inflammable and explosive when present in the air in a proportion of 5 to 14 percent. White damp, or carbon monoxide (CO), is a particularly toxic gas; as little as 0.1 percent can cause death within a few minutes. It is a product of the incomplete combustion of carbon and is formed in coal mines chiefly by the oxidation of coal, particularly in those mines where spontaneous combustion occurs. Black damp is an atmosphere in which a flame lamp will not burn, usually because of an excess of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen in the air. Stinkdamp is the name given by miners to hydrogen sulfide (H2S) because of its characteristic smell of rotten eggs. Afterdamp is the mixture of gases found in a mine after an explosion or fire

Learn more about damp with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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