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.

1150–1200; Middle English quenchen, earlier cwenken; compare Old English -cwencan in ācwencan to quench (cf. a-3)

quenchable, adjective
quenchableness, noun
quencher, noun
unquenchable, adjective
unquenched, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
quench (kwɛntʃ)
1.  to satisfy (one's thirst, desires, etc); slake
2.  to put out (a fire, flame, etc); extinguish
3.  to put down or quell; suppress: to quench a rebellion
4.  to cool (hot metal) by plunging it into cold water
5.  physics to reduce the degree of (luminescence or phosphorescence) in (excited molecules or a material) by adding a suitable substance
6.  electronics
 a.  to suppress (sparking) when the current is cut off in an inductive circuit
 b.  to suppress (an oscillation or discharge) in a component or device
[Old English ācwencan to extinguish; related to Old Frisian quinka to vanish]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. acwencan "to quench" (of fire, light), from P.Gmc. *cwandjan, probably a causative form of root of O.E. cwincan "to go out, be extinguished," O.Fris. kwinka.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

quenching quench·ing (kwěn'chĭng)

  1. The process of extinguishing, removing, or diminishing a physical property such as heat or light.

  2. The shifting of the energy spectrum from a true to a lower energy that occurs in liquid scintillation counting of beta emissions; caused by interfering materials in the counting solution, including foreign chemicals.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Quenching feelings of hardship also means never feeling desire or want.
When the imaging agent finds cathepsin-B, the enzyme cleaves off the quenching arm, freeing up the probe to glow brightly.
The thirst-quenching cranberry juice is really red food coloring mixed with water.
When hot quenching remember that you are in effect, heat treating the materials.
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