Definition of tamp in English:



  • 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. 1.1 Ram or pack (a substance) down or into something firmly.
      ‘he tamped down the tobacco with his thumb’
      • ‘They also tamp the dirt around the seeds, giving the seeds a better chance of germinating.’
      • ‘Gently tamp the soil around the base of each plant.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Once the soil is ready, he tamps the beds with a sheet of plywood so the soil is firm and flat.’
      • ‘After perfectly leveling the greenhouse site, the contractor brought in a rolling vibrator, a mechanical compactor, and tamped the disturbed soil solid.’
      • ‘The concrete must be tamped or rammed down into its bed with a spade or rod.’
      • ‘Pack soil firmly and tamp to remove air pockets.’
      • ‘When the post is properly aligned, tamp it thoroughly to pack the dirt (if used) around the base of the post.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Lay the pavings with uniform joints and firmly tamp into the bedding.’
      • ‘In firm ground you can just fill in around the hole and tamp the dirt down.’
      • ‘The team used hand tools to tamp the aggregate into the mortar as the structure slowly rose from the seafloor.’
      • ‘If the level is too low, add more gravel before tamping the rest.’
      • ‘Lightly sprinkle the sand with water and tamp it down before installing the liner.’
      • ‘Smooth the surface by tamping it with your putter or foot.’
      • ‘After tamping a few square feet, use a yardstick or a ruler to measure the tamped depth.’
      • ‘Once each layer is complete, the slip form is moved up and the next layer is tamped until the wall is complete.’
      • ‘He pushed some loose soil over the hole with his wellington boot and tamped it down.’
      • ‘Use the end of a hand tool or a stick to tamp the soil until firm.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, she rocked back and forth to tamp down the sand.’
      compress, condense, pack down, press down, tamp down, cram down, ram down, flatten
      View synonyms


Early 19th century: probably a back-formation from tampin (interpreted as ‘tamping’), variant of tampion.