Definition of tamper in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈtampər/


1 [no object] (tamper with) Interfere with (something) in order to cause damage or make unauthorized alterations: someone tampered with the brakes on my car
More example sentences
  • The lifting contractor should have qualified personnel inspect all reusable hardware upon receipt for any signs of shipping damage, tampering, or intentional alteration.
  • On Oct. 1, the FBI, along with private security experts, took the unusual step of publicizing the top 20 ways that hackers tamper with computer systems.
  • They might gain access to our systems and tamper with data through computer network attacks or exploit it for hostile purposes.
interfere with, monkey around with, meddle with, tinker with, fiddle with, fool around with, play around with;
doctor, alter, change, adjust, damage, deface, vandalize
informal mess around with
2 [no object] (tamper with) Exert a secret or corrupt influence upon (someone).
Example sentences
  • Increased power has been placed at the hands of customs officers whose judgment and daily conduct can be and are tampered with by outside influences, such as a bad day or an argument before work.
  • I hereby find him not guilty on the charges of witness tampering, jury manipulation, and contempt of court.
  • In 2001, he was convicted on federal charges of racketeering, conspiracy, extortion, witness tampering, and mail fraud.
influence, get at, rig, manipulate, bribe, corrupt, bias
informal fix


A person or thing that tamps something down, especially a machine or tool for tamping down earth or ballast.
Example sentences
  • Its hydraulic PTO can manage breakers, tampers, drills, and saws.
  • Tamp the patch with a tamper or a garden roller filled about one-third full with water, or simply walk on it.
  • Using a tamper, he levels and compresses the grinds, a technique absolutely necessary for uniform extraction.



Example sentences
  • It's a very hard thing to do, even for computer experts and dedicated activists, to predict, observe and prove vote tampering in the areas in which it occurs - we just can't know which the tamperers will choose.
  • Clicks, he reports, are produced when unskilled tamperers try to cut and splice tape.
  • Such protection should be adequate to unequivocally deter tamperers without imparting permanent paralysis or injury to the tamperer.


Mid 16th century (in the sense 'busy oneself to a particular end, machinate'): alteration of the verb temper.

  • An alteration of temper whose origin may lie in the idea of working with or ‘tempering’ clay. Tamper was first used in the mid 16th century to mean ‘to busy yourself for a particular purpose’, but quickly developed the negative associations of meddling or interfering damagingly with something.

Words that rhyme with tamper

camper, damper, hamper, pamper, scamper, stamper, Tampa, tramper

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: tam·per

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