ham·​per | \ ˈham-pər How to pronounce hamper (audio) \
hampered; hampering\ ˈham-​p(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce hampering (audio) \

Definition of hamper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to restrict the movement of by bonds or obstacles : impede pitching … violently in the seaway, hampered by her heavy tow— R. S. Porteous
b : to interfere with the operation of : disrupt radio communications hampered by static— Globe & Mail
2a : to moderate or limit the effect or full exercise of : curb, restrain a work environment that hampers creativity
b : to interfere with : to impede the natural activity of : encumber Bad weather hampered the search effort. a project hampered by budget restraints



Definition of hamper (Entry 2 of 2)

: a large basket usually with a cover for packing, storing, or transporting articles (such as food or laundry)

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Choose the Right Synonym for hamper


hamper, trammel, clog, fetter, shackle, manacle mean to hinder or impede in moving, progressing, or acting. hamper may imply the effect of any impeding or restraining influence. hampered the investigation by refusing to cooperate trammel suggests entangling by or confining within a net. rules that trammel the artist's creativity clog usually implies a slowing by something extraneous or encumbering. a court system clogged by frivolous suits fetter suggests a restraining so severe that freedom to move or progress is almost lost. a nation fettered by an antiquated class system shackle and manacle are stronger than fetter and suggest total loss of freedom. a mind shackled by stubborn prejudice a people manacled by tyranny

Examples of hamper in a Sentence


The project was hampered by budget restraints. Construction is hampering traffic on the highway.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Karlsson missed 27 of the final 33 games in the regular season with groin injuries that have hampered him in the playoffs. Josh Dubow, The Seattle Times, "Sharks, Blues confident, and even, heading into Game 5," 18 May 2019 While construction costs have been ratcheting up annually since the recovery kicked in in 2012, the corporate tax changes passed by Congress last year are also hampering the financing of affordable housing, Hartley said. J.k. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF mayor convenes summit to address high affordable-housing building costs," 21 May 2018 While neonicotinoids seem to hamper bees’ ability to forage, indirectly affecting the health of the colony, the study on sulfoxaflor didn’t seem to show the same problem with foraging. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "There’s a new insecticide on the block, and it’s also bad news for bees," 19 Aug. 2018 This secretive system also has the potential to hamper the #MeToo movement. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "The quiet tactic employers use to keep you from suing them," 1 Aug. 2018 And yet all the violence did little to hamper Onfroy's rise from the SoundCloud underground to radio. Kyle Swenson, chicagotribune.com, "XXXTentacion: The nasty, brutish and short life of the chart-topping rapper," 20 June 2018 But the White House is trying to hamper their efforts, my colleagues Erica Werner and Lisa Rein reported yesterday. Washington Post, "The Health 202: Now it's the White House and Republicans fighting over veterans' funding," 7 June 2018 The scientific community had hoped AEI would bring stability to scholarships and research funding, but long delays and uncertainty as to when funds become available continue to hamper research. Elisabeth Pain, Science | AAAS, "Go for launch: A former astronaut become Spain's science minister," 7 June 2018 But a big wild card that would push someone to flee are fires following an earthquake, with shattered pipes expected to hamper firefighting. Rong-gong Lin Ii And Sarah Parvini, sacbee, "The Big One could leave 250,000 to 400,000 quake refugees in California. Where will they go?," 3 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Advocates and mental-health providers said numerous barriers hamper Asian New Yorkers from receiving care, first among them cultural stigmas surrounding mental illness, which many see as a Western concept. Melanie Grayce West, WSJ, "Advocates Push for Better Mental-Health Care for Asian New Yorkers," 25 Oct. 2018 Harrods hampers have been legendary European luxury gifts since 1894, and will now be sold in the United States for the first time ever. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Williams Sonoma Is Bringing Brings Harrods To The U.S. For The First Time," 6 Nov. 2018 Ask Family Members to (Pretty Please) Pre-Sort Keep two labelled hampers in every bedroom (or guest room)—one for whites and one for darks—then tell family members to abide by the rules. Shelby Deering, Good Housekeeping, "The Laundry Essentials That’ll Save You a Ton of Time During the Holidays," 27 Nov. 2018 London's Hotel Cafe Royal has a package that includes a luxury limo trip to Windsor Castle with a picnic hamper. Beth J. Harpaz, chicagotribune.com, "Royal wedding: At hotels, $50K packages, Union Jack condoms," 2 May 2018 Use it to hide electronics, the hamper, or a work zone in the living room; lay it flat against the wall as a larger-than-life headboard; or simply prop it up in the corner to add dimension. Joanna Linberg, Sunset, "10 Stunning Rattan Pieces for Your Home," 22 Jan. 2018 Does après-elliptical translate directly into the hamper? Alexandra Gurvitch, Vogue, "How to (Actually) Dress Up the Humble Gym Short," 5 June 2018 Children as young as 2 or 3 can start helping with chores, such as carrying a plate to the table and putting clothes in the hamper. Andrea Petersen, WSJ, "The Overprotected American Child," 1 June 2018 Also on display was a sumptuous picnic spread, including the Rockefellers’ English wicker hamper with settings for 12, a gift from King Hassan II of Morocco ($5,000 to $10,000). New York Times, "Pulled From Rockefeller Walls, Picasso, Matisse and Monet Fetch Big Prices," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hamper.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hamper


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hamper


Middle English


Middle English hamper, hanaper, literally, case to hold goblets, from Anglo-French hanaper, from hanap goblet, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English hnæpp bowl

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Statistics for hamper

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for hamper

The first known use of hamper was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for hamper



English Language Learners Definition of hamper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to slow the movement, progress, or action of (someone or something)



English Language Learners Definition of hamper (Entry 2 of 2)

: a basket for food
US : a basket for holding dirty clothes until they can be washed


ham·​per | \ ˈham-pər How to pronounce hamper (audio) \
hampered; hampering

Kids Definition of hamper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to keep from moving or acting freely Snow hampered traffic.



Kids Definition of hamper (Entry 2 of 2)

: a large basket usually with a cover a clothes hamper

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More from Merriam-Webster on hamper

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hamper

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hamper

Spanish Central: Translation of hamper

Nglish: Translation of hamper for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hamper for Arabic Speakers

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