Definition of tamp in English:



[with object]
  • 1Pack (a blast hole) full of clay or sand to concentrate the force of the explosion.

    ‘when the hole was tamped to the top, gunpowder was inserted’
    • ‘Tamp, guide and retrieve materials in a blasthole only using nonsparking tools.’
    • ‘Use only wooden rods for tamping; do not tamp too vigorously’
    • ‘Tamp the plug on the buffer to ensure that it is properly seated.’
    1. 1.1with object and adverbial of direction Ram or pack (a substance) down or into something firmly.
      ‘he tamped down the tobacco with his thumb’
      • ‘Lay the pavings with uniform joints and firmly tamp into the bedding.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, she rocked back and forth to tamp down the sand.’
      • ‘Lightly sprinkle the sand with water and tamp it down before installing the liner.’
      • ‘They also tamp the dirt around the seeds, giving the seeds a better chance of germinating.’
      • ‘Once each layer is complete, the slip form is moved up and the next layer is tamped until the wall is complete.’
      • ‘Pack soil firmly and tamp to remove air pockets.’
      • ‘I learned to love early fall apples, their crisp taste tart on my tongue, and the feel of spring earth between my toes as I tamped down pea seeds behind my dad.’
      • ‘Smooth the surface by tamping it with your putter or foot.’
      • ‘Once the soil is ready, he tamps the beds with a sheet of plywood so the soil is firm and flat.’
      • ‘I remember planting with my father, and having him explain how to work the soil, how azaleas liked their oak leaves or peat moss, how you tamped the dirt, gave them a drink.’
      • ‘When the post is properly aligned, tamp it thoroughly to pack the dirt (if used) around the base of the post.’
      • ‘Gently tamp the soil around the base of each plant.’
      • ‘He pushed some loose soil over the hole with his wellington boot and tamped it down.’
      • ‘The concrete must be tamped or rammed down into its bed with a spade or rod.’
      • ‘After perfectly leveling the greenhouse site, the contractor brought in a rolling vibrator, a mechanical compactor, and tamped the disturbed soil solid.’
      • ‘In firm ground you can just fill in around the hole and tamp the dirt down.’
      • ‘After tamping a few square feet, use a yardstick or a ruler to measure the tamped depth.’
      • ‘Use the end of a hand tool or a stick to tamp the soil until firm.’
      • ‘If the level is too low, add more gravel before tamping the rest.’
      • ‘The team used hand tools to tamp the aggregate into the mortar as the structure slowly rose from the seafloor.’
      compress, condense, pack down, press down, tamp down, cram down, ram down, flatten
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Early 19th century: probably a back-formation from tampin (interpreted as ‘tamping’), variant of tampion.