- to hold back; hinder; impede: A steady rain hampered the progress of the work.
- to interfere with; curtail: The dancers' movements were hampered by their elaborate costumes.
- Nautical. gear that, although necessary to the operations of a vessel, is sometimes in the way.
Origin of hamper1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a large basket or wickerwork receptacle, usually with a cover: picnic hamper; clothes hamper.
- British. such a basket together with its contents, especially food.
Origin of hamper2
Examples from the Web for hamper
If Gentleman's Quarterly comes by for a photo spread, Palmer won't have to put a single sock in a hamper.Will the Real Jim Palmer Please Stand Up
September 27, 2014
My daughter asleep, and her T-shirt in the hamper, my wife, I call her MZ, wanted a word.Gaza, You're No Good For My Marriage
August 9, 2014
Another factor that might hamper the investigation is the transient nature of the homeless population.L.A. Hunts for 300 Missing Tuberculosis Cases
March 1, 2013
Because we use knives and forks every day, we do not notice how they hamper us.The Strange Way We Eat: Bee Wilson’s ‘Consider the Fork’
October 13, 2012
In short, if your online community occupies a specific niche, joining the Facebook juggernaut can hamper your growth.How Joining Facebook Is Hurting Instagram
August 28, 2012
I believe our children, if we do not hamper them, will never know the struggle we have had.The Meaning of Evolution
Samuel Christian Schmucker
Public sympathy has enabled it to hamper me in this fashion.The Snare
She would help the politician, while another might hamper the man.'Lord Kilgobbin
That is because the heart is not allowed to hamper the head.The Bondwoman
Marah Ellis Ryan
A new book of Meredith's comes to me like a hamper of noble wines.My Contemporaries In Fiction
David Christie Murray
- (tr) to prevent the progress or free movement of
- nautical gear aboard a vessel that, though essential, is often in the way
- a large basket, usually with a cover
- British such a basket and its contents, usually food
- US a laundry basket
Word Origin and History for hamper
late 14c., hampren "to surround, imprison, confine," also "to pack in a container," of unknown origin, possibly from hamper (n.1), or somehow connected to Middle English hamelian "to maim." Related: Hampered; hampering.
"large basket," early 14c., contraction of Anglo-French hanaper (Anglo-Latin hanepario), from Old French hanepier "case for holding a large goblet or cup;" in medical use "skull," also "helmet; armored leather cap," from hanap "goblet," from Frankish or some other Germanic source (cf. Old Saxon hnapp "cup, bowl;" Old High German hnapf, German Napf, Old English hnæpp). The word also meant (15c.) "the department of Chancery into which fees were paid for sealing and enrolling charters, etc." The first -a- may be a French attempt to render Germanic hn- into an acceptable Romanic form.
1835, "things important for a ship but in the way at certain times" (Klein's definition), from French hamper "to impede." Hence top hamper, originally "upper masts, spars, rigging, etc. of a sailing ship."