1: slightly or moderately wet : damp 2: tearful 3: characterized by high humidity
I've heard people say they hate this penny word and avoid it whenever they can.
More specific than:
Damp. IMO moist is a little wetter than damp. Or maybe squishier, not necessarily wetter. It's not wet, though.
The connection between wetness and temperature is interesting -- and physical. If you've ever stepped on a penny barefoot, did you notice how it registers in your brain as both cold and wet? Maybe it's because wet causes cold, on your skin.
Anyway, moist when referring to a degree of water saturation does not, somehow, carry any connotations of temperature. For me. We've got clammy for cold and wet, humid for warm and wet, and dank for dark and wet (and smelly). Would those be five cent words? Two or three cent? What's a ten-cent synonym of moist? All that's coming to mind is stygian, which only carries a damp connotation (for me) because of its derivation from the River Styx. I don't think wetness is a part of its formal definition, though.
Moist when referring to food (a nice, moist cake) usually does not refer to its water content -- it's oil that makes baked goods "moist". And you definitely wouldn't want a damp cake. Or a clammy one. Humid might work, if it's fresh from the oven...
What comes to your mind? Do you hate moist?