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

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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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
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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
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Example sentences
More importantly, it is unclear whether there are sustainable structures in
  place to keep the militancy tamped down.
In this variation, the farce has been tamped down to whimsy.
Crushed rock covered with tamped clay form the floor of the stalls.
After stone is set they should be tamped with handle of sledge hammer or block
  of wood to vibrate stone into bed.
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