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.

1810–20; perhaps alteration of tampion

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To tamp
World English Dictionary
tamp1 (tæmp)
1.  to force or pack down firmly by repeated blows
2.  to pack sand, earth, etc into (a drill hole) over an explosive
[C17: probably a back formation from tampin (obsolete variant of tampion), which was taken as being a present participle tamping]

tamp2 (tæmp)
vb (usually foll by down)
1.  (tr) to bounce (a ball)
2.  to pour with rain
[probably special use of tamp1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

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 prp. (*tamping).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Even the administration seemed anxious to tamp down expectations.
We collectively have to do something to tamp down the anger.
He manages to tamp down crowds dying to be electrified.
Then he began to tamp at the hole with a three-foot-seven-inch iron bar.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature