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

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

Verb The project was hampered by budget restraints. Construction is hampering traffic on the highway.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Heat waves could also delay wheat harvests and hamper industrial activities before some respite arrives with the monsoon in June. Fortune, 7 May 2022 Housing costs in the United States continue to soar, as supply-chain snarls and rising mortgage rates hamper the real estate market. New York Times, 21 Apr. 2022 Currently, second boosters are recommended only for people whose immune systems are impaired, which can hamper an effective response to the vaccine. Laurie Mcginley And Lena H. Sun, Anchorage Daily News, 27 Mar. 2022 Currently, second boosters are recommended only for people whose immune systems are impaired, which can hamper an effective response to the vaccines. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 27 Mar. 2022 The plan also mentioned using truckers or bikers for then-President Donald Trump to create traffic congestion that could hamper law enforcement response times. Katelyn Polantz, CNN, 15 Mar. 2022 The aim is that such practices can yield economic and ecological benefits while also protecting defense facilities from development that can hamper military activities, such as training and testing. Elena Bruess, San Antonio Express-News, 14 Mar. 2022 Losing accreditation would translate into a loss of federal grants, an inability to host traveling exhibits, which generate significant museum revenue, and hamper private fundraising, Censky told committee members. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8 Mar. 2022 Those losses don’t fall on the shoulders of LaVine and DeRozan alone — the Bulls are pushed to their limit with injuries that mainly hamper the defense, the most obvious area of weakness in the losing stretch. Julia Poe, chicagotribune.com, 8 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The current Democratic strategy, by contrast, seems likely among other things to further hamper climate goals. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 10 May 2022 The sink fittings are by Kallista, and the hamper is from HomeGoods. Kelsey Mulvey, ELLE Decor, 3 May 2022 In one running gag, a clueless Tash uses a plastic laundry hamper as a makeshift car seat, stroller and playpen for the boy. Judy Berman, Time, 24 Apr. 2022 With the pandemic putting a hamper on travel plans, the last two Mother’s Days have been limited to your typical bouquet of flowers and celebrating at home. Anna Haines, Forbes, 26 Apr. 2022 Cyberattacks, a part of modern warfare, can be used against critical infrastructure to turn off utilities, hamper communication and snarl supply lines, according to Kelly. Jon Michael Raasch, Fox News, 15 Mar. 2022 Two distinct ceramic vases created by George Ohr and Judy Cousin to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II are placed left of center on what appears to be a hamper or a laundry basket. Natasha Gural, Forbes, 25 Sep. 2021 These neuronal changes appeared to be linked to tau tangles, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s in which the protein that helps stabilize healthy neurons form clumps that hamper communication between neurons. Yue Leng, The Conversation, 25 Mar. 2022 Trucks were parked shoulder-to-shoulder downtown, some with tires removed to hamper towing. Rob Gillies, Wilson Ring, Robert Bumsted, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Hamper.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hamper. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for hamper


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

More from Merriam-Webster on hamper

Nglish: Translation of hamper for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hamper for Arabic Speakers


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