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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 periodicals archive ?
TV's dampish squib promised to reveal racing's dark secrets.
That was after stand-in Yorkshire skipper Matthew Wood - deputising for Test-bound Anthony McGrath - had gambled on batting on a dampish pitch in overcast conditions.
All adjust happily in gardens, needing only dampish conditions and whatever soil is on offer.
After winning the toss they put in the visitors on a dampish wicket and exploited the conditions beautifully.
The wild daffodil is found more to the south and west of Britain, preferring dampish woodlands, meadows and hedge banks.
Hamburg and its dampish clay seems tailormade for Acasuso, who looks to have few stumbling blocks before a possible clash with Nadal in the semis.
It enjoys a dampish soil and shelter from cold winds.
Store in cool, well-ventilated dampish rather than dry conditions, at an even temperature between 5-7 C (40 -45 F).
This is anemone nemerosa and it's a good plant for a dampish area under shrubs and trees or naturalised in a meadow garden.
The theory goes that seamers will wreak havoc in helpful conditions on dampish tracks, but 22-year-old Saqlain is a world-class off-spinner well capable of wrecking that argument.