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[tam-per] /ˈtæm pər/
verb (used without object)
to meddle, especially for the purpose of altering, damaging, or misusing (usually followed by with):
Someone has been tampering with the lock.
to make changes in something, especially in order to falsify (usually followed by with):
to tamper with official records.
to engage secretly or improperly in something.
to engage in underhand or corrupt dealings, especially in order to influence improperly (usually followed by with):
Any lawyer who tries to tamper with a jury should be disbarred.
Origin of tamper1
1560-70; probably variant of temper (v.)
Related forms
tamperer, noun
untampered, adjective
1. interfere.


[tam-per] /ˈtæm pər/
a person or thing that tamps.
tamp + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tamper
  • Given root-beer drinkers' fierce attachment to their beverage, it's the unwise brew master who dares to tamper with a recipe.
  • Trying to manipulate dreams is nothing but attempts to tamper with the memory.
  • It could even be used to sneak up on and tamper with enemy satellites.
  • They pulled this off without disturbing the tamper-evident seals on the machine.
  • Users wear the tamper-proof patch for up to seven days, when it is sent to a lab for testing.
  • Each card is tamper-proof and is uniquely synchronized to the server software.
  • Whatever the process, the euro zone will be tempted to tamper with the single market.
  • But other officials are reluctant to tamper with a peg that they perceive to be working well.
  • Every bottle of the capsules was pulled from the shelves and the firm quickly came up with tamper-proof packaging.
  • However, the courts still chose to place them behind bars to prevent them from trying to tamper with witnesses.
British Dictionary definitions for tamper


verb (intransitive)
(usually foll by with) to interfere or meddle
to use corrupt practices such as bribery or blackmail
(usually foll by with) to attempt to influence or corrupt, esp by bribery: to tamper with the jury
Derived Forms
tamperer, noun
Word Origin
C16: alteration of temper (verb)


a person or thing that tamps, esp an instrument for packing down tobacco in a pipe
a casing around the core of a nuclear weapon to increase its efficiency by reflecting neutrons and delaying the expansion
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 tamper

1560s, figurative use of tamper "to work in clay, etc., so as to mix it thoroughly," probably originally a variant of temper (v.), which is how it was initially spelled. Perhaps it is a dialectal workmen's pronunciation. Related: Tampered; tampering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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