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[kwench] /kwɛntʃ/
verb (used with object)
to slake, satisfy, or allay (thirst, desires, passion, etc.).
to put out or extinguish (fire, flames, etc.).
to cool suddenly by plunging into a liquid, as in tempering steel by immersion in water.
to subdue or destroy; overcome; quell:
to quench an uprising.
Electronics. to terminate (the flow of electrons in a vacuum tube) by application of a voltage.
Origin of quench
1150-1200; Middle English quenchen, earlier cwenken; compare Old English -cwencan in ācwencan to quench (cf. a-3)
Related forms
quenchable, adjective
quenchableness, noun
quencher, noun
unquenchable, adjective
unquenched, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for quench
  • But the ten boatloads of water are costly and will quench the city's thirst for only a few months.
  • Someday, it could quench the semiconductor industry's thirst for ever-shrinking components.
  • These permanent pools of life-giving water quench the thirst of leopards, ostriches, and gazelles.
  • Nor has it done much to quench their thirst for revenge.
  • Nor will it do much to quench their thirst for revenge.
  • quench your thirst for craft beers at specialty pubs.
  • The rodents are drawn by the warm engine, and perhaps want to quench their thirst on windshield wiper fluid.
  • If you're still in diapers this movie might quench your thirst.
  • So she poured out the liquid music of her voice to quench the thirst of his spirit.
  • For emergencies, the scanners have so-called quench buttons that expel the liquid helium that powers the magnets.
British Dictionary definitions for quench


verb (transitive)
to satisfy (one's thirst, desires, etc); slake
to put out (a fire, flame, etc); extinguish
to put down or quell; suppress: to quench a rebellion
to cool (hot metal) by plunging it into cold water
(physics) to reduce the degree of (luminescence or phosphorescence) in (excited molecules or a material) by adding a suitable substance
  1. to suppress (sparking) when the current is cut off in an inductive circuit
  2. to suppress (an oscillation or discharge) in a component or device
Derived Forms
quenchable, adjective
quencher, noun
quenchless, adjective
Word Origin
Old English ācwencan to extinguish; related to Old Frisian quinka to vanish
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 quench

Old English acwencan "to quench" (of fire, light), from Proto-Germanic *cwandjan, probably a causative form of root of Old English cwincan "to go out, be extinguished," Old Frisian kwinka. Related: Quenched; quenching.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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