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Put a damper on

verb phrase

To discourage or dishearten; also, to decrease the intensity of something: Insects put a damper on my plans to move to Maine
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.


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