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hamper1

[ham-per] /ˈhæm pər/
verb (used with object)
1.
to hold back; hinder; impede:
A steady rain hampered the progress of the work.
2.
to interfere with; curtail:
The dancers' movements were hampered by their elaborate costumes.
noun
3.
Nautical. gear that, although necessary to the operations of a vessel, is sometimes in the way.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English hampren; akin to Old English hamm enclosure, hemm hem1
Related forms
hamperedly, adverb
hamperedness, noun
hamperer, noun
unhampered, adjective
unhampering, adjective
Synonyms
1. obstruct, encumber, trammel, clog. See prevent.
Antonyms
1. further, encourage, facilitate.

hamper2

[ham-per] /ˈhæm pər/
noun
1.
a large basket or wickerwork receptacle, usually with a cover:
picnic hamper; clothes hamper.
2.
British. such a basket together with its contents, especially food.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English hampere, variant of hanypere hanaper
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for hamper
  • Attacks by pirates are common and hamper the delivery of food aid.
  • His only outlets are running around his neighborhood or burrowing into the depths of the clothes hamper.
  • High winds, powerful waves and difficult currents hamper operations.
  • Unfortunately, confusing chapter openings and a barrage of characters and creatures hamper the book's rhythm.
  • Shoes that are too big or too small can harm a child's delicate feet and hamper walking.
  • Confidence or lack of it can drive or hamper economic growth.
  • The novel exhibits a hell-bent momentum that makes for quick reading, but inconsistencies hamper its flow.
  • Growing up, Wilson rolled socks into balls and shot them into any hamper he could find.
  • The decision might also hamper oil drilling in the Arctic.
  • This blindness can seriously hamper honest communication and, as a result, learning.
British Dictionary definitions for hamper

hamper1

/ˈhæmpə/
verb
1.
(transitive) to prevent the progress or free movement of
noun
2.
(nautical) gear aboard a vessel that, though essential, is often in the way
Derived Forms
hamperedness, noun
hamperer, noun
Word Origin
C14: of obscure origin; perhaps related to Old English hamm enclosure, hemmhem1

hamper2

/ˈhæmpə/
noun
1.
a large basket, usually with a cover
2.
(Brit) such a basket and its contents, usually food
3.
(US) a laundry basket
Word Origin
C14: variant of hanaper
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
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Word Origin and History for hamper
v.

late 14c., hampren "to surround, imprison, confine," also "to pack in a container," of unknown origin, possibly from hamper (n.1), or somehow connected to Middle English hamelian "to maim." Related: Hampered; hampering.

n.

"large basket," early 14c., contraction of Anglo-French hanaper (Anglo-Latin hanepario), from Old French hanepier "case for holding a large goblet or cup;" in medical use "skull," also "helmet; armored leather cap," from hanap "goblet," from Frankish or some other Germanic source (cf. Old Saxon hnapp "cup, bowl;" Old High German hnapf, German Napf, Old English hnæpp). The word also meant (15c.) "the department of Chancery into which fees were paid for sealing and enrolling charters, etc." The first -a- may be a French attempt to render Germanic hn- into an acceptable Romanic form.

1835, "things important for a ship but in the way at certain times" (Klein's definition), from French hamper "to impede." Hence top hamper, originally "upper masts, spars, rigging, etc. of a sailing ship."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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