damp


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Related to damp: dampen

damp squib

Someone or something that disappoints or does not meet expectations. The film got a lot of hype, but I thought it was a bit of a damp squib.
See also: damp, squib

damp off

[for seedlings] to die from too much water. All the new plants damped off, and we had to buy some from the nursery. The little seedlings damped off and withered away.
See also: damp, off

damp something down

 
1. Lit. to make something damp. Damp the clothes down before you iron them, Please damp down the clothes first.
2. Fig. to reduce the intensity of a flame, usually by cutting down on the air supply, as with a damper. Please damp the woodstove down. Damp down the air supply or you are going to end up with a raging inferno.
See also: damp, down

a damp squib

  (British & Australian)
an event which people think will be exciting but which is disappointing when it happens
Usage notes: A squib is a type of firework (= a small container filled with chemicals which explodes to produce bright lights and loud noises) and if it becomes wet, it will not explode.
The party turned out to be a bit of a damp squib. Half the people who'd been invited didn't turn up.
See also: damp, squib
References in classic literature ?
But beneath the slope, by the cart with the wounded near the panting little nag where Pierre stood, it was damp, somber, and sad.
he exclaimed, "how damp and misty that part of the country is, and the soil so bad for the tulips
We found the island damp, and went back to the bank, and up the stream, and over the bridge, and down the stream again; and then, for the first time, the sweet girl turned appealingly to me, and confessed that she had exhausted her artless knowledge of the locality.
It was very clean and snowy at the North Pole--and it's very damp and sandy here.
Well do I remember the damp and draughty evening, shivering without overcoats because we could not afford them, that Louis and I started out to select our saloon.
You can shut me up in a dark, damp dungeon inhabited by snakes and toads and feed me only on bread and water and I shall not complain.
Hence, whilst the lower parts of the islands are very sterile, the upper parts, at a height of a thousand feet and upwards, possess a damp climate and a tolerably luxuriant vegetation.
Nobody's spirits can keep up under such conditions; and as I ate the soaked sandwiches, I deplored the headlong courage more with each mouthful that had torn me from a warm, dry home where I was appreciated, and had brought me first to the damp tree in the damp field, and when I had finished my lunch and dessert of cold pears, was going to drag me into the midst of a circle of unprepared and astonished cousins.
But he had to press the flare- holder to his breast with one arm, his fingers were damp and stiff, his hands trembled a little.
Upon my word, Lady Bellaston," cries he, "you have struck a damp to my heart, which hath almost deprived me of being.
I never heard till this minute that Oniton was damp.
Indignant becometh the flame when they put their damp hearts to the fire; the spirit itself bubbleth and smoketh when the rabble approach the fire.
When she returned at three o'clock, her cheeks were a bright, pretty pink, and her hair, blown by the damp wind, had fluffed into kinks and curls wherever the loosened pins had given leave.
When the horses were swollen out to about twice their natural dimensions (there seems to be an idea here, that this kind of inflation improves their going), we went forward again, through mud and mire, and damp, and festering heat, and brake and bush, attended always by the music of the frogs and pigs, until nearly noon, when we halted at a place called Belleville.
The sky was dark and gloomy, the air was damp and raw, the streets were wet and sloppy.