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[dam-puh n] /ˈdæm pən/
verb (used with object)
to make damp; moisten:
to dampen a sponge.
to dull or deaden; depress:
to dampen one's spirits.
damp (def 10).
verb (used without object)
to become damp.
Origin of dampen
1620-30; damp + -en1
Related forms
dampener, noun
undampened, adjective
Can be confused
damp, dampen, moist (see synonym study at damp) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dampen
  • In younger people the map stays sharp thanks to cells that dampen neural activity between areas representing different body parts.
  • Nicotine modifies these signaling processes and may help dampen extraneous neuronal activity.
  • She wears earplugs and rests her head on foam cushions to dampen the device's roar, as loud as a jet engine.
  • At the same time, microbial predators such as protozoa tend to dampen the efficiency of would-be oil-eating microbes.
  • Experts say the shift could dampen demand, although some hybrids will look better on paper than others.
  • Not to dampen the holiday spirit, but the world is a dangerous place.
  • The image depicts a galaxy that contains strangely dense clouds of dust that dampen the burst's visible light.
  • Designers have also developed an array of coatings and composite materials to help soak up radar waves and dampen heat.
  • Then he tried to dampen the radiation by using a ferrite shield, but that became blazingly hot.
  • dampen the mix before using it by pouring it into a clean bucket, then stirring in enough water to make it moist but not soggy.
British Dictionary definitions for dampen


to make or become damp
(transitive) to stifle; deaden
Derived Forms
dampener, 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
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Word Origin and History for 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
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