dampen

To dampen something is to stifle it, to lessen its effect, or to moisten it. Getting a cold will dampen your enthusiasm.

This word has several related meanings, most of which make something less effective or powerful. Using a towel will dampen it in the sense of getting it wet, but dampening goes beyond things that are damp (wet). A silencer on a gun dampens the sound of the gun. Bad news will dampen your mood, bringing it down. Boxing gloves dampen the force of punches because they cushion the blows. Anything dampened has been weakened and brought down a notch.

Primary Meanings of dampen

1.
v
lessen in force or effect
2.
v
make moist
3.
v
check; keep in check (a fire)
Full Definitions of dampen
1

v lessen in force or effect

Synonyms:
break, damp, soften, weaken
Types:
deafen
make soundproof
damp, deaden
make vague or obscure or make (an image) less visible
Type of:
blunt, deaden
make less lively, intense, or vigorous; impair in vigor, force, activity, or sensation

v smother or suppress

Synonyms:
stifle
Antonyms:
excite, stimulate
act as a stimulant
Types:
choke, suffocate
suppress the development, creativity, or imagination of
Type of:
conquer, curb, inhibit, stamp down, subdue, suppress
to put down by force or authority

v deaden (a sound or noise), especially by wrapping

Synonyms:
damp, dull, muffle, mute, tone down
Type of:
soften
make (images or sounds) soft or softer

v make vague or obscure or make (an image) less visible

Synonyms:
damp, deaden
Type of:
break, damp, soften, weaken
lessen in force or effect

v reduce the amplitude (of oscillations or waves)

Type of:
weaken
lessen the strength of
2

v make moist

Synonyms:
moisten, wash
Types:
humidify, moisturise, moisturize
make (more) humid
baste
cover with liquid before cooking
hydrate
cause to be hydrated; add water or moisture to
Type of:
wet
cause to become wet
3

v check; keep in check (a fire)

Type of:
check, delay, retard
slow the growth or development of

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.