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

Definition of tamper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


tamp·​er | \ ˈtam-pər How to pronounce tamper (audio) \
plural tampers

Definition of tamper (Entry 2 of 2)

: a tool for tamping : tamp entry 2 Using a tamper, tamp the coffee down into the filter …— Lexa Roséan After each truckload of earth fell onto the cobblestones of the Piazza's perimeter, a steamroller flattened it, and five relaxed-looking workmen … patted it smooth with shovels and wooden tampers, and hosed it down.— Lis Harris

Other Words from tamper


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

Examples of tamper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Crude oil prices have taken a tumble this week, spurred by fears of a looming recession that could tamper demand. Bailey Schulz, USA TODAY, 7 July 2022 That allows the malware to tamper with other library files loaded for an application. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 9 June 2022 In short, a kernel-level driver helps a game detect when players tamper with the operating system environment in a way that could give them an advantage. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 3 Mar. 2022 Federal prosecutors accuse Ravenell of crossing the line with one longtime client, a Baltimore marijuana kingpin, helping to launder money, tamper with witnesses and advise drug dealers how to stay ahead of law enforcement. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, 22 Dec. 2021 Additional allegations include weapons charges and an attempt to tamper with evidence, according to Emily Erossy, a spokeswoman from the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court. Olivia Mitchell, cleveland, 25 Apr. 2022 This gave the hackers the ability to tamper with the satellite network. Michael Kan, PCMAG, 30 Mar. 2022 Meanwhile, the third component is designed to tamper with equipment from Omron. Michael Kan, PCMAG, 13 Apr. 2022 In both cases, the malware packages were designed to tamper with a computer’s Master Boot Record, which tells the hardware how to load the OS. Michael Kan, PCMAG, 28 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of tamper


1567, in the meaning defined at sense 2


circa 1864, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tamper


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

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Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tamper.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tamper. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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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.


intransitive verb

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

More from Merriam-Webster on tamper

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tamper

Nglish: Translation of tamper for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tamper


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