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[tamp] /tæmp/
verb (used with object)
to force in or down by repeated, rather light, strokes:
He tamped the tobacco in his pipe.
(in blasting) to fill (a drilled hole) with earth or the like after the charge has been inserted.
Origin of tamp
First recorded in 1810-20; perhaps alteration of tampion Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for tamp
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I could tamp a keg of powder so snugly into the hole of those skunks!

    The Face of the Fields Dallas Lore Sharp
  • Colonel Fraser paused to tamp down the tobacco in his pipe with a fingertip.

    Dave Dawson with the R.A.F R. Sidney Bowen
  • It is always a profitable labor to tamp the ground firmly about all the posts every spring.

    American Grape Training Liberty Hyde (L.H.) Bailey
  • The amount of tamping is indicated by the fact that about 16 men out of 72 on each shift did nothing but tamp.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
  • Care was taken to tamp the concrete so as to force the concrete stone into but not through the facing.

    Concrete Construction Halbert P. Gillette
British Dictionary definitions for tamp


verb (transitive)
to force or pack down firmly by repeated blows
to pack sand, earth, etc into (a drill hole) over an explosive
Word Origin
C17: probably a back formation from tampin (obsolete variant of tampion), which was taken as being a present participle tamping


verb (South Wales, dialect)
(transitive) to bounce (a ball)
(intransitive) usually foll by down. to pour with rain
Word Origin
probably special use of tamp1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tamp

1819, "to fill (a hole containing an explosive) with dirt or clay before blasting," a workmen's word, perhaps a back-formation from tampion, that word being mistaken as a present participle (*tamping).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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