To moisten is to make something slightly damp or just barely wet. It used to be necessary to moisten a postage stamp with your tongue before sticking it on an envelope, but today stamps stick without being licked.

A misty rain will moisten your hair, and running uphill moistens your forehead with sweat. Your houseplant that prefers a small amount of water will be happiest if you barely moisten the soil. While rain overnight will leave your front lawn soaking wet, the morning dew will simply moisten each blade of grass. Moisten comes from moist, from the Old French moiste, "damp." The Latin root means something closer to "moldy or slimy."

Definitions of moisten

v make moist

“The dew moistened the meadows”
dampen, wash
humidify, moisturise, moisturize
make (more) humid
cover with liquid before cooking
cause to be hydrated; add water or moisture to
Type of:
cause to become wet

v moisten with fine drops

Type of:
splash, splosh, sprinkle
cause (a liquid) to spatter about, especially with force

Sign up, it's free!

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