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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 damp off the flowers I just planted.
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 ?
A more sentimental one would have editorialized, damply, over the loss of so talented a young man.
EVEN those born in comparatively affluent circumstances were aware of the long lines of the unemployed threading their way in shabby queues along the main street, while no one who attended a council school in the thirties could be unaware of malnutrition, of leg-irons masking rickets, and the sight of undernourished, ragged children shivering damply in inadequate playground shelters in the winter when it seemed to rain incessantly.
Hereby the casks are sought to be kept damply tight; while by the changed character of the withdrawn water, the mariners readily detect any serious leakage in the precious cargo.
CYNICS might think they have worked out the real purpose of the beach that lies damply outside Birmingham Council House.
She had that warm, slightly concerned, vaguely cheeky Geordie lilt to her voice, and the effect was like an ice-cold bottle of Newcastle Brown rolled damply across the forehead.
And,at the age of 11,in his smart blazer, with his hair damply parted,he walked the august corridors of the old Wallasey Grammar School.
well, it would eventually arrive in London having given me a tour of Beds and Herts, and sat there damply, realising that what I'd paid out so far today could have provided a Norland nanny for a couple of weeks.