[ tam-per ]
See synonyms for tamper 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

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

  • As the false prophets tampered with God's testament in the days of Paul, so many do in our day.

  • When the Indians in general became aware that the terms of capitulation had been tampered with they were highly indignant.

    Four American Indians | Edson L. Whitney
  • The work seemed even and level, smooth as granite, and no more to be tampered with than the pitiless rock itself.

    Sarchedon | G. J. (George John) Whyte-Melville
  • You have tampered with my vassals, and your royal pleasure must needs dispose of the hand of a ward of Burgundy.

    Quentin Durward | Sir Walter Scott

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