put a damper on


Also found in: Legal.

put a damper on (something)

To discourage, inhibit, or deter something; to make something less enjoyable, pleasant, or fun; to have a subduing or deadening effect on something. The foul weather really put a damper on our picnic yesterday. Without question, this tax scandal has put a damper on the senator's likelihood of being re-elected. The construction happening near our building has really put a damper on sales this month.
See also: damper, on, put

put a damper on something

Fig. to have a dulling or numbing influence on something. The bad news really put a damper on everything. The rainy weather put a damper on our picnic.
See also: damper, on, put

put a damper on

Discourage, dishearten, deter, as in Grandpa's death put a damper on our Christmas holidays. This idiom employs the noun damper in the sense of "something that damps or depresses the spirits," a usage dating from the mid-1700s.
See also: damper, on, put

put a (or the) damper (or dampener) on

have a depressing, subduing, or inhibiting effect on someone or something.
See also: damper, on, put
References in periodicals archive ?
Italians are voting in the second day of regional elections but scandals and bureaucratic bungling by Silvio Berlusconi's party appears to have put a damper on turnout.
This may put a damper on the wish to be titillated by unsolved mysteries.
New research may put a damper on your favorite vice.
of Finance, in the face of a reviving sales market, going to put a damper on the sales market, or are they going to look at the basic economics of a property and not become infatuated with the sizzle of a high sticker price paid by people looking for a long appreciation," wondered Robert A.
"If they choose the sizzle, they will put a damper on sales and make retention more difficult."
The attractive yields and spreads that brought insurers flocking back to commercial mortgages in the second half of 1993 have declined, which should put a damper on insurers' real estate lending activity this year, according to a leading insurance/real estate expert.