noun Physics.
a decreasing of the amplitude of an electrical or mechanical wave.
an energy-absorbing mechanism or resistance circuit causing this decrease.
a reduction in the amplitude of an oscillation or vibration as a result of energy being dissipated as heat.
Dictionary.com Unabridged


adjective, damper, dampest.
slightly wet; moist: damp weather; a damp towel.
unenthusiastic; dejected; depressed: The welcoming committee gave them a rather damp reception.
moisture; humidity; moist air: damp that goes through your warmest clothes.
a noxious or stifling vapor or gas, especially in a mine.
depression of spirits; dejection.
a restraining or discouraging force or factor.
verb (used with object)
to make damp; moisten.
to check or retard the energy, action, etc., of; deaden; dampen: A series of failures damped her enthusiasm.
to stifle or suffocate; extinguish: to damp a furnace.
Acoustics, Music. to check or retard the action of (a vibrating string); dull; deaden.
Physics. to cause a decrease in amplitude of (successive oscillations or waves).
Verb phrases
damp off, to undergo damping-off.

1300–50; Middle English (in sense of def. 4); compare Middle Dutch damp, Middle High German dampf vapor, smoke

dampish, adjective
dampishly, adverb
dampishness, noun
damply, adverb
dampness, noun

damp, dampen, moist (see synonym study at the current entry).

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.

1. dry.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To damping
World English Dictionary
damp (dæmp)
1.  slightly wet, as from dew, steam, etc
2.  archaic dejected
3.  slight wetness; moisture; humidity
4.  See also firedamp rank air or poisonous gas, esp in a mine
5.  a discouragement; damper
6.  archaic dejection
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)
[C14: from Middle Low German damp steam; related to Old High German demphen to cause to steam]

damping (ˈdæmpɪŋ)
1.  moistening or wetting
2.  stifling, as of spirits
3.  electronics the introduction of resistance into a resonant circuit with the result that the sharpness of response at the peak of a frequency is reduced
4.  engineering any method of dispersing energy in a vibrating system

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

early 14c., probably in O.E., but no record of it. If not, probably from M.L.G. damp; ult. from P.Gmc. *dampaz. Originally "a noxious vapor;" sense of "moisture" is first attested 1706. Damper of a piano is from 1783; of a chimney, 1788; either or both of which led to various figurative senses.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
damping   (dām'pĭng)  Pronunciation Key 
The action of a substance or of an element in a mechanical or electrical device that gradually reduces the degree of oscillation, vibration, or signal intensity, or prevents it from increasing. For example, sound-proofing technology dampens the oscillations of sound waves. Built-in damping is a crucial design element in technology that involves the creation of oscillations and vibrations.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
deoxyadenylic acid
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Far more effective in damping down complaints about press controls than
  actually showing the report would have been.
But the total energy decrease from losing the higher energy excitations to
  damping dominates.
Describes the building's active motion damping system, built into the top of
  the structure.
These structures have elastic energy-storage devices at the ankle and hip, and
  a damping device at the knee joint.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature