Definition of tamper in English:



[no object]tamper with
  • Interfere with (something) in order to cause damage or make unauthorized alterations.

    ‘someone tampered with the brakes of my car’
    • ‘They might gain access to our systems and tamper with data through computer network attacks or exploit it for hostile purposes.’
    • ‘Even triggers that may be adjusted arrive from the factory with the adjustments sealed and accompanied by dire warnings about unauthorized tampering.’
    • ‘Other items of property have been damaged or tampered with over the past number of months.’
    • ‘The independent control system would allow the third party to review all data against the live system and would feature an alarm for any tampering or alteration of data.’
    • ‘Still, it's not recommended that you play with the door handle at any time as unauthorized tampering with aircraft equipment may result in arrest…’
    • ‘The train halted again (near Cabin A) after the brake vacuum pipe was tampered with.’
    • ‘Our priorities are the prompt and safe return of the crew, and the return of the aircraft without further damage or tampering with.’
    • ‘The lifting contractor should have qualified personnel inspect all reusable hardware upon receipt for any signs of shipping damage, tampering, or intentional alteration.’
    • ‘The simple fact is that the trial was deeply flawed because it was not illegal in Norway to tamper with copy protection systems.’
    • ‘You can even watch a little video of him deleting the audit file, which keeps a record of any tampering or alterations to the system.’
    • ‘One resident, who wished to remain unnamed, said the lifts had been damaged, the careline tampered with, doorbells vandalised and windows broken.’
    • ‘Vials should be stored in a safe area where tampering or possible damage cannot occur.’
    • ‘Assigned storage spaces shall be located where cylinders will not be knocked over or damaged by passing or falling objects, or be subject to tampering by unauthorized persons.’
    • ‘A Scottish parliament security inquiry was launched last week amid claims that his letter to her was leaked after her computer was tampered with.’
    • ‘On Oct. 1, the FBI, along with private security experts, took the unusual step of publicizing the top 20 ways that hackers tamper with computer systems.’
    • ‘Police have called for residents to be extra vigilant after a cashpoint machine was tampered with in the town centre.’
    • ‘For example, her car brakes were tampered with and she suspects him.’
    • ‘Hole-in-the-wall users in the area should be wary after a town centre cash machine was tampered with.’
    • ‘To prevent tampering and alteration, the certificate is encrypted.’
    • ‘The basin pipes were tampered with and the vandals squirted cleaning fluid all over the brand new carpets.’
    interfere, monkey around, meddle, tinker, fiddle, fiddle about, fiddle around, fool about, fool around, play about, play around, toy, trifle, dabble
    View synonyms


  • A machine or tool for tamping down earth or ballast.

    • ‘Its hydraulic PTO can manage breakers, tampers, drills, and saws.’
    • ‘With just a little bit of simple joinery one could make a Shaker-style wooden seed box to replace the modern plastic version, and a soil tamper to firm the compost.’
    • ‘Using a tamper, he levels and compresses the grinds, a technique absolutely necessary for uniform extraction.’
    • ‘Tamp the patch with a tamper or a garden roller filled about one-third full with water, or simply walk on it.’
    • ‘Compact the material as best as you can with a tamper (a rental item) or the end of a heavy board, adding more material until the hole is slightly overfilled.’
    • ‘Use a tamper to compact the concrete around the form during pouring.’
    • ‘Then use a tamper (you may want to rent this rarely used hand tool) to compact the stones.’
    • ‘Pipe and cigar smoking each have their own paraphernalia - pipe cases, pipe holders, pouches and tampers, used to mash down the burning tobacco in the bowl of the pipe.’
    • ‘Shortly before a scheduled 2:30 p.m. lunch break, the operator asked the laborer and a co-worker to take a tamper in a pickup truck to a place near the roadway.’
    • ‘I notice the tamper sitting in the down refuge siding near the works depot.’
    • ‘We also buy regular rubber gloves for the guys working in the field and vibration gloves for the jackhammers and tampers.’
    • ‘To build with this technique, moistened soil is placed into a bag set in place on the wall, the bag is lowered into place, then compressed using a hand tamper.’
    • ‘Shaped of such heavy metal the tamper would weigh about a ton.’
    • ‘Mix cement, aggregate, and coloring by hand and fill mold to match specifications of product being finished, using trowel, tamper, and scraper.’


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘busy oneself to a particular end, machinate’): alteration of the verb temper.