tam·​per | \ ˈtam-pər How to pronounce tamper (audio) \
tampered; tampering\ ˈtam-​p(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce tampering (audio) \

Definition of tamper

intransitive verb

1a : to interfere so as to weaken or change for the worse used with with did not want to tamper with tradition
b : to try foolish or dangerous experiments used with with
c : to render something harmful or dangerous by altering its structure or composition was charged with tampering with consumer products
2a : to carry on underhand or improper negotiations (as by bribery)
b : to inflict physical harm, threats, intimidation, or corrupt persuasion with the goal of influencing or preventing a witness's testimony : to engage in witness tampering used with with These alleged efforts were the basis for Mueller's accusation that Manafort was tampering with a witness, attempting to coach testimony, which would have violated the terms of his bail.— Franklin Foer

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from tamper

tamperer \ ˈtam-​pər-​ər How to pronounce tamperer (audio) \ noun
tamperproof \ ˈtam-​pər-​ˌprüf How to pronounce tamperproof (audio) \ adjective

Examples of tamper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The bad guys are all those scurvy, nature-tampering humans. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom' is the latest and arguably least of the series," 22 June 2018 At the time of his death, Onfroy was awaiting trial for abuse against Ayala and for several counts of witness-tampering in the case. NBC News, "As fans mourn rapper XXXTentacion's death, police search for his killer," 20 June 2018 Onfroy was later charged with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, false imprisonment, domestic battery by strangulation, and witness-tampering. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "A Timeline of XXXTentacion's Career, From Soundcloud Rapper to Hip-Hop Sensation," 19 June 2018 Mueller is alleging that Manafort’s witness tampering amounts to a federal crime in direct violation of his house-arrest conditions. Abigail Tracy, The Hive, "The Odds That Robert Mueller Breaks Paul Manafort Just Went Up," 5 June 2018 Many of the officers also fear food-tampering with an attitude like this from such an employee. Matthew Martinez, star-telegram, "Boycott Whataburger? After detective with gun is turned away, restaurant apologizes," 1 June 2018 But his father, New Jersey megadeveloper Charles Kushner, spent a year at minimum-security facility after pleading guilty to, among other things, federal tax evasion and witness tampering charges. Jay Willis, GQ, "Jared Kushner's Prison Reform Efforts Are a Sham," 30 May 2018 FontCode messages could convey information about trademarks, patents, or other intellectual property protections in a document, or could even act as an anti-tampering feature to ensure that a document hasn’t been manipulated. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "You Can Send Invisible Messages With Subtle Font Tweaks," 20 May 2018 The company's owner, Ben Suarez, was found not guilty of violating campaign finance charges, but was sentenced to 15 months in prison for witness tampering in the case. Tony Cook, Indianapolis Star, "Rokita, Messer deny wrongdoing in possible straw donor scheme," 27 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of tamper

1567, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for tamper

probably from Middle French temprer to temper, mix, meddle — more at temper entry 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tamper

Dictionary Entries near tamper






tamper with


Statistics for tamper

Last Updated

5 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tamper

The first known use of tamper was in 1567

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tamper


tam·​per | \ ˈtam-pər How to pronounce tamper (audio) \
tampered; tampering

Kids Definition of tamper

: to interfere or change in a secret or incorrect way Someone was tampering with the official records.

Legal Definition of tamper

1 : to bring improper influence to bear (as by bribery or intimidation) used with with tampered with the jurors
2 : to alter or interfere in an unauthorized or improper manner used with with tampered with evidence

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on tamper

Spanish Central: Translation of tamper

Nglish: Translation of tamper for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tamper

Comments on tamper

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


standardized text or formulaic language

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!