1. Moisture; humidity; fog; fogginess; vapor. "Night . . . With black air Accompanied, with damps and dreadful gloom." (Milton)

2. Dejection; depression; cloud of the mind. "Even now, while thus I stand blest in thy presence, A secret damp of grief comes o'er my soul." (Addison) "It must have thrown a damp over your autumn excursion." (J. D. Forbes)

3. <chemical>

A gaseous prodact, formed in coal mines, old wells, pints, etc. Choke damp, a damp consisting principally of carboni acid gas; so called from its extinguishing flame and animal life. See Carbonic acid, under Carbonic. Damp sheet, a curtain in a mine gallery to direct air currents and prevent accumulation of gas. Fire damp, a damp consisting chiefly of light carbureted hydrogen; so called from its tendence to explode when mixed with atmospheric air and brought into contact with flame.

Origin: Akin to LG, D, & Dan. Damp vapor, steam, fog, G. Dampf, Icel. Dampi, Sw. Damb dust, and to MNG. Dimpfen to smoke, imp. Dampf.

(01 Mar 1998)