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)

Keep scrolling for more

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 Republicans, opposed to higher taxes for decades, frequently argue that Democrats’ plans would hamper economic growth and allow reckless spending. Richard Rubin, WSJ, 16 Oct. 2021 But analysts caution that weak infrastructure as well as difficulty in acquiring land for new factories could hamper growth. Anu Raghunathan, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 Ohio Senate Democrats, among others, expressed concern that the law would hamper public health officials' ability to do their jobs. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, 24 Aug. 2021 Explain things in detail so that no lingering doubts hamper the outcome in the week to come. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, 25 July 2021 Countries around the world have revived public health protections over concerns that the variant could hamper global efforts to contain the pandemic. Derek Hawkins, Anchorage Daily News, 30 June 2021 Hundreds of people, including friends and relatives of the workers, flocked to the scene and maintained a tense silence when warned that any noise could hamper efforts to find workers still trapped in the rubble. Roger Simmons, orlandosentinel.com, 24 June 2021 Republican Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner said in an interview that criticism that the new law could hamper the state’s ability to address emergency spending is unwarranted. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 23 June 2021 Early analyses predicted that lockdowns would hamper women-heavy industries like hospitality and retail more than others. Fortune, 16 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Just ask any kid under 10 who pronounces their room tidy after leaving their dirty socks next to the hamper or shoving a years' worth of homework into a single desk drawer. Allure Editors, Allure, 15 Sep. 2021 The Colts are ready to compete right now, but how much could bad quarterback play hamper them? Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 28 Sep. 2021 First, how will the Oregon loss hamper general fan enthusiasm? Nathan Baird, cleveland, 18 Sep. 2021 But other federal law enforcement agencies have encountered issues as well that hamper cases that need federal help. Emma Tucker And Evan Perez, CNN, 26 Aug. 2021 Studies show that evictions can prolong homelessness, damage mental health, hamper tenants’ ability to apply for other kinds of housing assistance and have a long-term effect on their credit ratings. Washington Post, 28 June 2021 There’s a weekly maid service and towel change plus a welcome hamper on arrival – filled with essentials and some treats. Angelina Villa-clarke, Forbes, 7 Sep. 2021 Your laundry hamper’s full, the bed’s unmade, and a thin film of dust covers the surfaces. Robert Mcgill, The Atlantic, 23 July 2021 In December, Tropicana dropped an ad on Instagram that featured model and wine mom extraordinaire Molly Sims sneaking into a closet equipped with a mini bar disguised as a hamper to enjoy a mimosa. Kelley Manley, Marie Claire, 23 Aug. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Buying Guide

Our team at The Usage has selected the best washing machines of 2021.

Learn More About hamper

Time Traveler for hamper

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near hamper




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for hamper

Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hamper.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hamper. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on hamper

Nglish: Translation of hamper for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hamper for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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