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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce dampen (audio)

Dictionary definition of dampen

To make something slightly wet or moist, typically by adding or introducing moisture or dampness to it.
"The sudden rain began to dampen our spirits."

Detailed meaning of dampen

It conveys the idea of reducing or moderating the dryness or heat of a substance, surface, or atmosphere. When something is dampened, it is not soaked or saturated completely, but rather, it becomes mildly or partially damp. This verb is often used in relation to physical objects, such as clothes, towels, or sponges, where dampening is the act of adding moisture to make them damp. It can also describe the process of reducing the intensity or enthusiasm of something, like dampening someone's spirits or dampening the excitement of an event. In a figurative sense, 'dampen' can convey the idea of lessening or diminishing the impact or effect of something, whether it is emotions, expectations, or any other form of intensity. Overall, 'dampen' implies the action of adding a mild amount of moisture or reducing the intensity of something to a lesser degree.

Example sentences containing dampen

1. The heavy fabric will dampen the sound in the room.
2. We used a spray bottle to dampen the shirts before ironing them.
3. The economic crisis may dampen the growth of the company.
4. His negative comments did nothing to dampen her enthusiasm.
5. The clouds in the sky threaten to dampen our picnic later.
6. You can dampen a brush to make watercolor paints easier to apply.

History and etymology of dampen

The verb 'dampen' has its etymological origins in the Middle English word 'dampnen,' which is related to the Old Norse word 'dǫmpa,' meaning 'to dull' or 'to make damp.' This Middle English term evolved from the Latin word 'damnare,' which initially meant 'to condemn' but also carried the sense of 'to sentence' or 'to inflict harm.' Over time, 'dampen' shifted in meaning to describe the act of making something slightly wet or moist, typically by introducing moisture or dampness. The etymology of 'dampen' highlights its historical connection to the notion of introducing dampness or moisture, emphasizing its role in describing the action of adding a degree of wetness to an object or substance.

Quiz: Find the meaning of dampen

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Further usage examples of dampen

1. Her criticism served only to dampen his creative impulses.
2. They used wet blankets to dampen the fire and prevent it from spreading.
3. Using headphones can dampen the noise from a busy environment.
4. The mist began to dampen her hair as she walked through the forest.
5. A sudden illness can dampen one’s plans for travel.
6. She had to dampen the cloth before wiping the dusty table.
7. A brief shower is enough to dampen the ground during a drought.
8. The recent setbacks did not dampen the team's determination to win.
9. The coach tried to dampen expectations ahead of the big game.
10. The government implemented measures to dampen the inflation rate.
11. He used a sponge to dampen the stamps before putting them on the envelopes.
12. They were hoping to dampen the vibrations with the new shock absorbers.
13. The forecast predicts rain, which might dampen the outdoor festivities.
14. The news of his failure dampened his spirits and left him feeling disheartened.



moisten, dry, desiccate, parch


Suffix -en, TOEFL 8, High School 2, Atmosphere and Mood

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