put the dampener on (something)

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put the dampener on (something)

To discourage or deter something; to make something less enjoyable, pleasant, or fun; to extinguish or lessen people's enthusiasm for something. (A less common variant of "put a dampener on something.") The foul weather really put the dampener on our picnic yesterday. Without question, this tax scandal has put the dampener on the senator's likelihood of being re-elected. CDs quickly became the dominant format for music, but when digital formats arrived soon thereafter, it put the dampener on CD sales just as quickly.
See also: dampener, on, put