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damper

[dam-per] /ˈdæm pər/
noun
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.
Origin
1740-1750
1740-50; damp + -er1

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
1300-50; 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 damper
  • To be a wall with a damper a stream of pounding way and nearly enough choice makes a steady midnight.
  • Some believe that kids put a damper on their intellectualism.
  • Perhaps this will put a damper on those who advocate against the use of antibiotics for strep throat.
  • Extra security measures adopted since the riots are likely to put a lasting damper on tourism here.
  • Adult safety concerns seem to put a damper on children's physical activity levels, say the researchers.
  • They were a damper upon our flight for the time being.
  • But then the damper snapped shut on its own, filling the room with smoke.
  • It certainly would put something of a damper, in the end, on the open and free nature of the web.
  • In any event, both versions of strict materialism put a damper on cosmic speculation.
  • Open the fireplace damper before lighting a fire and keep it open until the ashes are cool.
British Dictionary definitions for damper

damper

/ˈdæmpə/
noun
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.
(mainly Austral & NZ) any of various unleavened loaves and scones, typically cooked on an open fire

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 damper
n.

of a piano, 1783; of a chimney, 1788; agent noun from damp (v.). Either or both led to various figurative senses.

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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Slang definitions & phrases for damper

damper

noun
  1. A person or thing that depresses, takes the edge off joy, chills one's enthusiasm, etc: The news was a damper on our hopes (1748+)
  2. A cash register or till; cash drawer (1848+)
  3. A bank or money depository; treasury: dropping bonds into the damper which are then sold to the public
Related Terms

put a damper on


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for damper

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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Idioms and Phrases with damper

damper

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for damper

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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