verb (used with object)

  1. to make damp; moisten: to dampen a sponge.
  2. to dull or deaden; depress: to dampen one’s spirits.
  3. damp(def 10).

verb (used without object)

  1. to become damp.


  1. to make or become damp
  2. (tr) to stifle; deaden

v.1630s, “to dull or deaden” (of force, enthusiasm, ardor, etc.), from damp (adj.) + -en (1). Meaning “to moisten” is recorded from 1827. Related: Dampened; dampening.

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