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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 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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
"She informs me that her present housing has got ongoing issues with woodworm/condensation and dampness which is being looked into by the council.
For instance, spring is often wet and sticky in China, which means we need food that can take away the dampness in our body, such as corn, white beans and onion.
A council spokesman said: "Miss Thomas made a homeless application on March 8, 2018, on the basis of her belief that her house was uninhabitable due to dampness and outstanding repair work.
The climate in South China is warm and humid, which may easily generate phlegm, dampness, and heat inside the bodies of local residents; then the real evils are mixed into the blood and transformed into "blood turbid," while the climate in North China is relatively cool and dry, which may not easily generate phlegm or dampness, thus having less influence on health of local residents.
Patients were divided into two groups according to the common differentiation method of TCM, dampness syndrome group and nondampness syndrome group, by two skillful TCM doctors.
The role of dampness (mold growth?) is significant since damp buildings are prevalent, and, as mentioned before, asthma in the industrialized (and post-industrial) world is epidemic, often is a lifelong condition impacting quality of life, and places a substantial economic burden on the health-care system.
government grant is not affected by moisture or anything else, but some 150-160 tons of wheat in one of the cargo holds suffered light dampness and mold growth as a result of shipping conditions and long shipping distance.
Many epidemiological studies point to a correlation between inhabiting or long staying in premises showing signs of dampness and fungi growth and an increased risk of the occurrence of various ailments and diseases of the respiratory tract (e.g., allergy including initiation of asthma as well as exacerbation of existing asthma), both in adults and in children [11-14].
Dampness and mold pose health risks too, especially for people living with asthma.
He added that because of the steep gradient when the train leaves Inverness, it was essential the nine-carriage, train was able to build up enough momentum and the dampness prevented this.
As we repainted every room in this one-story raised ranch, we discovered heavy dampness in two bedroom closets.
Whilst most modern buildings are built to a high standard following strict building regulations things do go wrong and dampness and rot take a hold.
The penetration of rainwater inside the platform, which has formed a large pool, as well as severe dampness have caused the stonework to crack and crumble.
Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- Findings of a new study showed that depending on the age of asthmatic children, on their exposure to molds or dampness in their bedroom, and on the severity of their asthma, vitamin C has greater or smaller beneficial effect against asthma.
Washington, August 31 (ANI): Depending on the age of asthmatic children, their exposure to molds or dampness in their bedroom, and the severity of their asthma, vitamin C has greater or smaller beneficial effects, according to a new study.