9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for tampering
  • Most bore small, metal and plastic shipping seals that were affixed improperly or showed signs of tampering.
  • Ravi also faces charges of tampering with evidence, hindering his own apprehension, and witness tampering.
  • tampering generates millions in the way of campaign contributions.
  • It's pretty far up on the tawdriness scale, though, and also involves possible witness tampering.
  • History is riddled with the remnants of photographic tampering.
  • Regardless of any risks of theft or tampering, never publish until you are certain your work will stand scrutiny.
  • tampering with microorganisms in order to give them new capabilities or to turn off genes may produce unintended consequences.
  • Maybe possible, but it demands lots of testing and tampering.
  • It's quite easy to do this without interfering with or tampering with other products in any way.
  • The storytellers were forever changing the tale and the moralists tampering with it in order to put it in an edifying light.
British Dictionary definitions for tampering


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for tampering



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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for tamper

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for tampering

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for tampering