Put a damper on

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Put a damper on is an idiom that was first used in the 1700s. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the meaning of put a damper on, where the phrase came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Put a damper on means to dishearten someone, to make something less successful or less pleasurable, to inhibit something or somehow curtail it. Damper may indicate something that quenches a fire such as water, something that mutes the sound of an instrument such as the damper pedal on a piano, or it may refer to a flap inside a chimney flue that controls how much air and smoke may escape up the chimney. Obviously, if someone puts a damper on something then the effect of that thing is muted. The word damper comes from the word damp, originally meaning to suffocate or to deaden the spirit. Related phrases are puts a damper on, putting a damper on.


Recent injury news for Warriors forward Kevin Durant and the 76ers’ duo of the future, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, have put a damper on what has otherwise been a very entertaining NBA season so far. (The Daily Campus)

Higher mortgage rates failed to put a damper on the local housing market, with both home prices and sales showing gains in January from year-ago levels, CoreLogic reported Monday. (The Orange County Register)

For a few minutes, or for longer, you are kind of taken away from all of the day-to-day things that distract you, stress you out and put a damper on your life, he said. (The Daily Eastern News)