[ ham-per ]
/ ˈhæm pər /

verb (used with object)

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.

Nearby words

  1. hammurabi,
  2. hammy,
  3. hampden,
  4. hampden, john,
  5. hampden, walter,
  6. hampshire,
  7. hampshire down,
  8. hampstead,
  9. hampton,
  10. hampton roads

Origin of hamper

1300–50; Middle English hampren; akin to Old English hamm “enclosure,” hemm hem1

Related forms

Synonym study

1. See prevent.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for hampering

British Dictionary definitions for hampering


/ (ˈhæmpə) /


(tr) to prevent the progress or free movement of


nautical gear aboard a vessel that, though essential, is often in the way
Derived Formshamperedness, nounhamperer, noun

Word Origin for hamper

C14: of obscure origin; perhaps related to Old English hamm enclosure, hemm hem 1


/ (ˈhæmpə) /


a large basket, usually with a cover
British such a basket and its contents, usually food
US a laundry basket

Word Origin for hamper

C14: variant of hanaper

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

Word Origin and History for hampering
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper