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tamper1

[tam-per]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to meddle, especially for the purpose of altering, damaging, or misusing (usually followed by with): Someone has been tampering with the lock.
  2. to make changes in something, especially in order to falsify (usually followed by with): to tamper with official records.
  3. to engage secretly or improperly in something.
  4. to engage in underhand or corrupt dealings, especially in order to influence improperly (usually followed by with): Any lawyer who tries to tamper with a jury should be disbarred.
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Origin of tamper1

1560–70; probably variant of temper (v.)
Related formstam·per·er, nounun·tam·pered, adjective

Synonyms

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1. interfere.

tamper2

[tam-per]
noun
  1. a person or thing that tamps.
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Origin of tamper2

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tamper

Historical Examples

  • He might write the songs of rebellion, but he was little likely to tamper with treason itself.

    Lord Kilgobbin

    Charles Lever

  • There was something in the hearts of his people with which he dare not tamper.

    The Web of the Golden Spider

    Frederick Orin Bartlett

  • "They will try to tamper with him," the doctor suggested, thoughtfully.

  • When your Southern statesmen have tried to tamper with her, they have found her true.

  • To me they are sacred institutions, and I should never dare to tamper with them.


British Dictionary definitions for tamper

tamper1

verb (intr)
  1. (usually foll by with) to interfere or meddle
  2. to use corrupt practices such as bribery or blackmail
  3. (usually foll by with) to attempt to influence or corrupt, esp by briberyto tamper with the jury
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Derived Formstamperer, noun

Word Origin

C16: alteration of temper (verb)

tamper2

noun
  1. a person or thing that tamps, esp an instrument for packing down tobacco in a pipe
  2. a casing around the core of a nuclear weapon to increase its efficiency by reflecting neutrons and delaying the expansion
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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 tamper

v.

1560s, figurative use of tamper "to work in clay, etc., so as to mix it thoroughly," probably originally a variant of temper (v.), which is how it was initially spelled. Perhaps it is a dialectal workmen's pronunciation. Related: Tampered; tampering.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper