tam·​per | \ˈtam-pər \
tampered; tampering\ ˈtam-​p(ə-​)riŋ \

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

2 : to carry on underhand or improper negotiations (as by bribery)

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Other Words from tamper

tamperer \ ˈtam-​pər-​ər \ noun
tamperproof \ ˈtam-​pər-​ˌprüf \ adjective

Examples of tamper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Police found the car on Dudley Street in Roxbury on July 5 and later determined there were no signs of tampering with the key lock or the ignition, prosecutors said. Jerome Campbell, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston police arrest suspect in slaying of man shot on Dorchester street," 10 July 2018 Cooper’s blood on the shirt tested positive for a preservative used in blood samples, leading his defenders to accuse the government of tampering. latimes.com, "'They framed me': On death row for decades, Kevin Cooper pushes for new DNA tests in Chino Hills murders," 8 July 2018 Rivera was arrested on a felony charge of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence with a $250,000 bond. Harriet Sokmensuer, PEOPLE.com, "Texas Mom Claims She Abused Son, Dumped Naked Body After Head Injury Made Him Behave Badly: Reports," 25 June 2018 Earlier this week, police had arrested Rivera’s girlfriend of four years, Dania Amezquita Gomez, 31, on the misdemeanor charge of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. Bianca Hillier, NBC News, "‘Little Jacob’ case: Texas police arrest mom, girlfriend after identifying body of Jayden Alexander Lopez," 20 June 2018 On June 15, however, Manafort was jailed after a federal judge revoked his $10 million bail based on new witness tampering charges brought by Mueller. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Who's been charged by Mueller in the Russia probe so far?," 13 July 2018 Marcus Gallegos, Officer George Wolfe and James Smith are facing charges of tampering with governmental records and official oppression after a prisoner's mother came forward with the allegations earlier this year. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "4 Texas prison officials indicted after alleged evidence-planting incident at Brazoria lock-up," 11 July 2018 The charges include conspiracy to commit bribery, money laundering, wire fraud, tampering with a witness or informant, and filing false tax returns. J. Scott Trubey, ajc, "Atlanta bribery evidence against Mitzi Bickers includes recordings," 10 July 2018 Gainey, 30, also faces trial on charges of neglect of a care-dependent person and tampering with records. Mensah M. Dean, Philly.com, "Nurse held for trial in death of Herbert R. McMaster Sr., father of ex-Trump national security adviser," 9 July 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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near tamper






tamper with


Statistics for tamper

Last Updated

23 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tamper

The first known use of tamper was in 1567

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More Definitions for tamper


tam·​per | \ˈtam-pər \
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on tamper

Spanish Central: Translation of tamper

Nglish: Translation of tamper for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tamper

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