Definition of dank in English:
- It was dark and dank and, especially late at night, dangerous.
- The selling agent admits she hasn't even set foot in the dark, dank basement, and the rest of the accommodation is almost as gloomy.
- At the bottom of the hill, there is a dark, dank train station in a cutting.
damp from (Middle English):
We do not think of something damp as being dangerous, but the word originally meant a noxious gas. This use survives in firedamp (late 17th century), a name for methane gas, especially when it forms an explosive mixture with air in coal mines. Damp did not come to refer to wetness until the 18th century. The damp squib which failed to go off has probably always marred firework displays—a squib is a small firework that burns with a hissing sound before exploding. From the middle of the 19th century the phrase began to be used of situations and events that were much less impressive than expected. Nowadays, the phrase is sometimes heard as ‘damp squid’, people substituting a more familiar and more familiarly damp word for the rarer squib. See also fiasco, lead, lemon. Both damp and dank (Middle English) are Germanic in origin, but were not originally connected.
- Example sentences
- It dawned today dankly raining, but by mid morning and my coffee pilgrimage there was sunlight, intermittently, and a warming breeze from the south.
- It was she who welcomed me into their small flat in a building so cheaply and recently erected that it still smelled dankly of fresh plaster.
- Their ragged shifts and kirtles, soaked through with the drizzling rain, hung dankly on their emaciated forms.
- Example sentences
- The dankness chilled Annika to the bone, and she wished desperately for a fire to warm by.
- British summers mean we get rain, wind, sun, snow and frost all in the same week but our winters are just so glum, no blizzards just unrelenting dankness.
- The dankness of the house, the emptiness filled me with doubt.
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