Definition of dampen in English:



  • 1Make slightly wet.

    ‘the fine rain dampened her face’
    • ‘At one point I was sitting doing html files and such when I heard a great shriek of frustration, the sound of water splashing, and two cats rushing along to complain to me that they'd been slightly dampened.’
    • ‘Dampen cloth lightly with spray bottle if extra cleaning needed.’
    • ‘While one pressman inked the type in the forme, another placed a sheet of slightly dampened paper on a hinged frame covered with parchment, the ‘tympan’.’
    • ‘I turned on the water faucet in the tub slightly and dampened the washcloth.’
    • ‘With light rain dampening parts of the course, and a buffeting wind gusting off the river Moselle, back wheels skittered on corners and bounced on the cobbled avenues.’
    • ‘The latter took full advantage of an early start, peppering the greens that had been dampened by overnight rain, and carding five birdies in a satisfying 66.’
    • ‘Little rivulets of wetness ran down my flesh onto the dirty blanket dampening it.’
    • ‘A light fall rain is dampening the pavement outside as I prepare this last ORBIT issue for 1998.’
    • ‘Cut off the arms and neck hole and divide the two sides in two to make four dusters: dampen them slightly and they work a treat without the use of polish.’
    • ‘Anyway, leaving aside the benefit of a cat you can talk at, it wasn't long before the first misty wave of light rain swept across, dampening the pavement and making the grass think it was holiday time at last.’
    • ‘Although the morning rain had dampened the surface, Reivers kept the ball alive in the early exchanges with Duncan Hodge eventually turning Newport on their heels with a booming touch-finder.’
    • ‘Mr Palaszczuk said the Queensland Centre for Climate Applications predicted much needed rain was unlikely to dampen our soil.’
    • ‘Blackie is asleep at the front of the shelter, flat out and shivering as the rain dampens his side. I woke him up and moved him back into the shelter.’
    • ‘Rain helping to dampen the fire that was raging out of control there last week.’
    • ‘Clouds sped by, sometimes a fresh drizzle of rain would fall, dampening her skin.’
    • ‘Sighing, he took a clean hand towel from a rack and dampened it slightly.’
    • ‘Yet it's far more impressive, surely, that the indicator and windscreen controls have been slightly dampened to make them pleasant to use.’
    • ‘A light rain dampened Clyde's face and sullied his mood.’
    • ‘If you do not have time or do not need to wash your hair, just dampening it slightly with a mister or wet comb should do the trick.’
    • ‘Cool water, almost like rain, dampens his face.’
    moisten, damp, wet, dew, water, irrigate, humidify
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  • 2Make less strong or intense.

    ‘nothing could dampen her enthusiasm’
    • ‘The satisfaction of unearthing the remains was dampened for Mr. Boyce and his team by a dispute over ownership of the bones.’
    • ‘But higher interest rates and the abolition of mortgage interest tax relief in April could dampen demand and reduce house price inflation.’
    • ‘However, scientists are trying to dampen down any fears about the spread of the disease which so far has not mutated into a form that can spread among humans.’
    • ‘Increased stamp duty is likely to dampen activity, reduce revenue returns and limit the supply of Irish investment property.’
    • ‘Murky sound and a half-capacity crowd couldn't dampen their spirits and pockets of the Brit-pop faithful were cheering throughout the venue.’
    • ‘However, increased supply and a slowing international environment will reduce purchasing power and dampen demand as the year goes on.’
    • ‘The strong demand was not dampened by the fact that the Walshestown Abbey development is the most expensive residential development yet in the town.’
    • ‘Although antihypertensive drugs reduce blood pressure, some may also dampen exercise performance.’
    • ‘Scattered showers and cool breezes failed to dampen the championship spirit as the 147th Great Yorkshire Show drew to a close.’
    • ‘At a personal level, it wastes our energies, dampens the immune system, and undermines the body's natural defenses against illness.’
    • ‘Senior government sources have dampened speculation that the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern is preparing for an early election.’
    • ‘In an effort to dampen down suggestions that Straw had been utterly humiliated, his closest allies insisted yesterday that he had been making it known for some time that he was ready for a switch from the Foreign Office.’
    • ‘After listening to this collection, I can say that my increased knowledge of Bollywood music has not dampened my appreciation for it.’
    • ‘With just a fortnight to go before it will be implemented, the Scottish Executive is desperately trying to dampen down public expectations.’
    • ‘It is possible they could dampen down the rocketing prices of real estate.’
    • ‘That dampens competition, reduces choice, and could retard innovation.’
    • ‘The bulk of the buoyancy in spending reflects rising incomes and employment growth, and is thus impossible to cool without dampening the economy overall.’
    • ‘However, the purpose in inserting the stimulator is to dampen or reduce continuous neuropathic pain which is pain derived from nerve structures.’
    • ‘Predicted by quantum theory, ghost radiation is a negative energy field that dampens normal positive energy.’
    • ‘In the context of a portfolio, risk is dampened by reducing a portfolio's share of volatile assets or introducing assets with low or negative correlation to the core of the portfolio.’
    lessen, decrease, diminish, reduce, lower, moderate, damp, damp down, put a damper on, throw cold water on, calm, cool, chill, dull, blunt, tone down, deaden, temper, discourage
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    1. 2.1 Reduce the amplitude of (a sound source)
      ‘slider switches on the mixers can dampen the drums’
      • ‘Because it does not ‘sit’ on top of the bed, rust will not develop beneath it like traditional drop-in bedliners, it also avoids road noise and vibration and dampens sounds unlike drop-in units.’
      • ‘The office inside was of standard design; heavy metal walls dampened the effectiveness of any listening devices and provided structural integrity.’
      • ‘In some ways, the feedback adds to the beauty, for it dampens the piano tones, slowly molding the work's overall sounds into something soft, warm and peaceful.’
      • ‘This is why simply inserting fiberglass insulation bats will dampen the sound transmission somewhat but not eliminate it.’
      • ‘The shops below had the pipes inside the brick walls, dampening the sound quite effectively.’
      • ‘Sound is well dampened and only the occasional flute, violin or oboe can be heard when a door is opened.’
      • ‘And the cabin floor, center floor tunnel and trunk floor are all sound dampened with asphalt sheets.’
      • ‘These contractions dampen the vibrations of the ossicles, thereby reducing the transmission of sound through the middle ear.’
      • ‘Heavy curtains can be drawn to dampen acoustics for amplified music, speech, and movies.’
      • ‘He pulled the kitchen window shut as Jim shut the front door, dampening the clamor slightly.’
      • ‘The flooring is cork, which insulates and dampens sound while providing a cushioned walking surface.’
      • ‘She led him straight to her room where behind the thick door the sound was dampened to the vibrations under his feet.’
      • ‘I have one quibble, but that's with the engineering, where the balance of the cello sonata's first movement allows the piano to dampen the cello often to mere buzzing.’
      • ‘The accumulation of this tiny debris dampens the sound of the vibrating string and makes it maddeningly unpredictable.’
      • ‘The light from the spotlights brightened the section but the music was dampened somehow, so it was easier to talk.’
      • ‘Cassandra jumped skittishly as the door banged shut, suddenly dampening the sound of Randy's squabbling parents, leaving her in silence.’
      • ‘They also developed a new harmonic tuner, which dampens the vibrations of the barrel.’
      • ‘Those of you with only bare-bones audio equipment should consider the strong possibility that your system might not be capable of dampening the ‘wet effect’.’
      • ‘The general opening triumph remains largely in tact, but he dampens the drums, doubles certain passages, equalizes, and transforms it into a loping choral dervish.’
      • ‘Oester took up the beat by pummeling the back of his bass, and Wintsch reached inside his piano to dampen the notes he was playing.’