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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 down

1. To moisten something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "damp" and "down." I have to damp down my hair before combing it, or else it just sticks straight up.
2. To make a fire or flame less intense. A noun or pronoun can be used between "damp" and "down." The room's getting too hot now, so damp down the fire.
See also: damp, down

damp off

To die after overexposure to water. Typically used in reference to plants and seeds. I'm worried that days of torrential rain will cause the flowers I just planted to damp off.
See also: damp, off

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

mainly BRITISH
COMMON A damp squib is something which is much less impressive or exciting than it was expected to be. As a rebellion, it was something of a damp squib. The whole campaign turned out to be a damp squib. Note: A squib is a small firework. A damp squib would not go off properly, and so it would be a disappointment.
See also: damp, squib

a damp squib

an unsuccessful attempt to impress; an anticlimax.
This expression stems from the idea that a squib, a type of small firework, will not have the desired explosive effect if it is damp.
See also: damp, squib

a damp ˈsquib

(British English, informal) an event, experience, etc. that is expected to be interesting or exciting, but is in fact boring or ordinary: In the end, the party turned out to be rather a damp squib.
A squib is a type of small firework. If it is damp, it will not burn properly.
See also: damp, squib
References in periodicals archive ?
Typically for Ireland the dampest day of the year was slap bang in the middle of the summer holidays when 95mm dropped in Clonaslee, Co Laois, on August 1 - its wettest since 1985.
2011 was also one of the driest - or the wettest, depending on where you live - with Scotland suffering its dampest ever year but some English regions seeing some of their driest ever months and a drought order granted in the South-East earlier this month.
Scotland suffered its dampest ever year, but some English regions saw some of their driest ever months and a drought order granted in the South East earlier this month.
While this is a long way off, coming in January or February will mean that Mr Gibb will feel the school at its coldest and dampest.
The formula uses Australian Blue Gum leaves extract to help control static and frizz and adds softness so your hair stays just where you put it even on the dampest days.
In the depths of deepest, darkest and dampest November, I found a place where the hubbub of daily life continues apace, where cafes and restaurants are open, where pubs are busy and top class accommodation is easy to find - and at a fraction of the price you will pay in the height of the school summer holidays.
The search for a suitable 'terroir' for Pinot Noir is almost a quest for the 'Holy Grail' and certainly, the Willamette Valley offers favourable conditions, having the coolest and dampest climate in the region.
But as Terry Butcher put his troops through their paces in deepest, dampest Lanarkshire, all morbid thoughts were cast aside.
Stephen Burke, head of charity United for All Ages, called it "the dampest of damp squibs".
And this has been a phenomenally wet winter, the dampest since the 1940s, according to the older end.
He had the ability to raise even the dampest of spirits with his characteristic cheeky smile and fantastic sense of humour.
And with no prospect of internationals getting sufficient preparation for their clash with the World Champions, Wales' autumn campaign suddenly seemed the dampest of squibs.
The potential of American soap female villainesses have not only penetrated deepest, dampest Yorkshire.
Manchester was also the scene of the biggest showdown of the summer turning into the dampest of squibs.