Which is more wet: ‘moist’ or ‘damp’?

Which contains more liquid, something that is moist or something that is damp?

Context of question:
This question was asked to a young friend of mine in her high school freshman English class. It was a bonus question on a test she was taking. My thoughts after looking at the definitions in my copy of Merriam Webster’s was that both were perfect synonyms and that neither truly quantified the amount of liquid within an item.

As I thought on it a little more, I figured this would be a good question to ask on this site to see what those with more knowledge of the language would come up with.

Answer

damp:
slightly wet, often in an unpleasant way:

moist:
slightly wet, especially in a way that is pleasant or suitable

The same soil would be moist and damp at the same time: moist for planting seeds, and damp for sitting on.

This is the Word Choice note given by Longman Dictionary:

WORD CHOICE:

damp, moist, humid

Use damp especially to say that something is slightly wet in an unpleasant way:
• The room was cold and damp.

Use moist to say that something is slightly wet in a pleasant way or in the way it should be:
• She took a mouthful of the delicious moist cake.
• rich, moist soil

Use humid to talk about the weather or the air when it is slightly wet and makes you feel uncomfortable:
• the hot humid atmosphere of a greenhouse

Source: Longman Dictionary

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : LWhitson2 , Answer Author : Empty2k12

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