tamper with


1 [tam-per]
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.

1560–70; probably variant of temper (v.)

tamperer, noun
untampered, adjective

1. interfere.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To tamper with
World English Dictionary
tamper1 (ˈtæmpə)
1.  (usually foll by with) to interfere or meddle
2.  to use corrupt practices such as bribery or blackmail
3.  (usually foll by with) to attempt to influence or corrupt, esp by bribery: to tamper with the jury
[C16: alteration of temper (verb)]

tamper2 (ˈtæmpə)
1.  a person or thing that tamps, esp an instrument for packing down tobacco in a pipe
2.  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 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

1567, figurative use of tamper "to work in clay, etc., so as to mix it thoroughly," probably originally a variant of temper (q.v.), which is how it was initially spelled. Perhaps it is a dialectal workmen's pronunciation. Tamperproof is recorded from 1886.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

tamper with

  1. Interfere or meddle, especially in a harmful way. For example, If you tamper with that lock it's sure to break. [c. 1600]

  2. Engage in improper or secret dealings, as in He was accused of tampering with the jury. [c. 1600]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature