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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 unquenchable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "The villain has fled," he told Priscilla, coming back drenched in body but unquenchable in spirit.

  • But down to the last half-gallon, our thirst was unquenchable.

    Land of the Burnt Thigh Edith Eudora Kohl
  • He was possessed of an unquenchable thirst, which he never lost an opportunity of satisfying.

  • Has He, can He have created these unquenchable longings only to tantalize them?

    Union And Communion J. Hudson Taylor
  • But by an effort of his unquenchable energy he shook off this show of concern.

    A Son of Hagar Sir Hall Caine
  • He calls himself "teacher of the unquenchable creed, namely, egotism."

    Over the Teacups Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
British Dictionary definitions for unquenchable


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 unquenchable

late 14c., of fire; 1560s, of thirst, from un- (1) "not" + quench + -able. Related: Unquenchably.



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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