[ tam-per ]
See synonyms for: tampertampering on Thesaurus.com

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.

  1. to engage secretly or improperly in something.

  2. 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.

Origin of tamper

First recorded in 1560–70; probably variant of temper (verb)

Other words for tamper

Other words from tamper

  • tam·per·er, noun
  • un·tam·pered, adjective

Words Nearby tamper

Other definitions for tamper (2 of 2)

[ tam-per ]

  1. a person or thing that tamps.

Origin of tamper


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use tamper in a sentence

  • The dirt should then be thrown in and settled by means of a tamper or by flooding with water.

    Elements of Plumbing | Samuel Dibble
  • It would be an ill return to tamper lightly, and without due consideration, with this young lady's affections.

    The Pickwick Papers | Charles Dickens
  • Take this as your motto when you are inclined to tamper with wrong: "Who eats with the devil needs a long-handled spoon."

  • But to tamper with their dialect, or to take it from them, would be to leave them houseless and exposed in their daily business.

    Ceres' Runaway | Alice Meynell
  • There is nothing so dangerous,” wrote Lord Campbell, “as for one not of the craft to tamper with our freemasonry.

British Dictionary definitions for tamper (1 of 2)


/ (ˈtæmpə) /

  1. (usually foll by with) to interfere or meddle

  2. to use corrupt practices such as bribery or blackmail

  1. (usually foll by with) to attempt to influence or corrupt, esp by bribery: to tamper with the jury

Origin of tamper

C16: alteration of temper (verb)

Derived forms of tamper

  • tamperer, noun

British Dictionary definitions for tamper (2 of 2)


/ (ˈtæmpə) /

  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

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