- 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
Examples from the Web for hampering
Hampering the investigation is the lack of a physical description of the suspect or an eyewitness account.A Tearful Goodbye to Colorado Kidnap Victim Jessica Ridgeway
October 17, 2012
Hampering the investigation is precious little information about the shooters or a description.Was Shooting of Border Patrol Agents in Arizona an Ambush?
October 3, 2012
The very number of our assailants was in our favour, by hampering their sword-arms.Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
She felt like a child who works its elbows to throw off some hampering annoyance.In Apple-Blossom Time
Clara Louise Burnham
Maggie, whose face was as white now as it had been crimson, clung to him, hampering him.Bob, Son of Battle
You know how hampering it is to one's enthusiasm to have to prepare a bushel of potatoes at once.Dear Enemy
It is impossible to escape from the hampering influences of our infancy.The Beth Book
- (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 hampering
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."