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

Unlike the construction trades, that can be hampered by everything from the weather to the stock market, not so with the mechanic, who works indoors, clocks a regular work day with overtime when needed, and that’s about it. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "How to Become a Skilled Tradesperson," 13 Mar. 2019 Unfortunately, as a dock, the SD7000 is hampered by the limitations of the Surface Connector—though the dock can support more than one physical display, only a single 4K display can be run at 60Hz. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Hands on: The Kensington SD7000 dock turns a Surface tablet into a Surface Studio," 21 Jan. 2019 Rescue efforts were hampered by the fire, which was spotted after the men were reported missing, the Coconino County Sheriff's Office said. Fox News, "4 bodies recovered from ATV crash that sparked Arizona wildfire," 18 Sep. 2018 Probably the biggest problem up until maybe last week was that the weather hampered us. Kathy Routliffe, chicagotribune.com, "Heat, rain, mean earlier mosquito spray operations in Wilmette, Winnetka," 9 July 2018 He is also believed to be considering a gubernatorial run in 2022, something that could be hampered by mismanagement allegations. Ronald J. Hansen, azcentral, "Rep. David Schweikert's chief of staff steps down amid ethics probe," 9 July 2018 This restraint has been portrayed by some in the media and fan base as failure, given the obvious holes that have hampered them on the field over the last month or so. David Murphy, Philly.com, "Phillies' best trade policy is still restrained opportunism | David Murphy," 27 June 2018 Heller narrowly won his seat in 2012 against Democrat Shelley Berkley, who was hampered by ethics questions. Fortune, "Trump Defends Immigration Policy on Nevada Trip," 23 June 2018 Despite being hampered by injuries and suffering surprise defeats early in the clay court season, Nadal grinded out arguably his most impressive Roland Garros victory. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "Rafael Nadal: Who can stop the 'King of Clay' at the French Open?," 21 May 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

14 Apr 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

Comments on hamper

What made you want to look up hamper? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

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