Interfere or meddle, especially in a harmful way. For example, If you tamper with that lock it's sure to break. [c. 1600]
Engage in improper or secret dealings, as in He was accused of tampering with the jury. [c. 1600]
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.