verb (used with object)

to force in or down by repeated, rather light, strokes: He tamped the tobacco in his pipe.
(in blasting) to fill (a drilled hole) with earth or the like after the charge has been inserted.

Origin of tamp

First recorded in 1810–20; perhaps alteration of tampion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tamping

Contemporary Examples of tamping

Historical Examples of tamping

  • The view Fig. 52 shows the "perforator" and the tamping apparatus at work.

    Concrete Construction

    Halbert P. Gillette

  • In slab work, the concrete is best compacted by tamping or rolling.

    Concrete Construction

    Halbert P. Gillette

  • The cost of laying and tamping the concrete on the vaulting was 14 cts.

    Concrete Construction

    Halbert P. Gillette

  • He put in the powder and tamping, and asked the other to hand him the tamping-bar.

  • "You guessed it," said Russ, tamping the tobacco into the bowl.


    Clifford Donald Simak

British Dictionary definitions for tamping


tamping mad


(postpositive) South Wales dialect very angry

Word Origin for tamping

see tamp 1



verb (tr)

to force or pack down firmly by repeated blows
to pack sand, earth, etc into (a drill hole) over an explosive

Word Origin for tamp

C17: probably a back formation from tampin (obsolete variant of tampion), which was taken as being a present participle tamping



verb South Wales dialect

(tr) to bounce (a ball)
(intr usually foll by down) to pour with rain

Word Origin for tamp

probably special use of tamp 1
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 tamping



1819, "to fill (a hole containing an explosive) with dirt or clay before blasting," a workmen's word, perhaps a back-formation from tampion, that word being mistaken as a present participle (*tamping).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper