See more synonyms for tampon on Thesaurus.com
  1. a plug of cotton or the like for insertion into an orifice, wound, etc., chiefly for absorbing blood or stopping hemorrhages.
  2. such a plug used for absorbing menstrual flow, especially one that is manufactured commercially.
  3. a two-headed drumstick for playing rolls.
verb (used with object)
  1. to fill or plug with a tampon.

Origin of tampon

From French, dating back to 1855–60; see origin at tampion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tampon

Historical Examples of tampon

  • Feeling that we should shortly get the order to advance, I resolved to secure some souvenir of Tampon, as we called him.

    Mated from the Morgue

    John Augustus O'Shea

British Dictionary definitions for tampon


  1. a plug of lint, cotton wool, cotton, etc, inserted into an open wound or body cavity to stop the flow of blood, absorb secretions, etc, esp one inserted into the vagina to absorb menstrual blood
  1. (tr) to plug (a wound, etc) with a tampon
Derived Formstamponage, noun

Word Origin for tampon

C19: via French from Old French tapon a little plug, from tape a plug, of Germanic origin
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 tampon

1848, from French tampon, from Middle French tampon "plug" (see tampion). Tampax, proprietary name registered in U.S. 1932, is based on tampon.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tampon in Medicine


  1. A plug of absorbent material inserted into a body cavity or wound to check a flow of blood or to absorb secretions, especially one designed for insertion into the vagina during menstruation.
  1. To plug or stop with a tampon.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.