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tam·per 1

v. tam·pered, tam·per·ing, tam·pers
a. To interfere in a harmful or disruptive manner; meddle: was worried the editor would tamper with her text.
b. To make alterations or adjustments, especially secretly so as to subvert an intended purpose or function: tamper with a lock; discovered that the brakes had been tampered with.
c. To engage in improper or secret actions, as in an effort to influence an outcome: tamper with evidence; tamper with a jury.
2. To tinker rashly or foolishly: "The ability of chemists to create new drugs from natural compounds raises an old argument about whether human beings should tamper with nature" (Andrew Weil).
To alter improperly.

[Probably alteration of temper.]

tam′per·er n.

tamp·er 2

A neutron reflector in an atomic bomb that also delays the expansion of the exploding material, making possible a longer-lasting, more energetic, and more efficient explosion.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Bancroft was given a nine-month suspension as the ball tamperer in last year's infamous scandal which also involved Australia team-mates Steve Smith and David Warner.
Some fans have queried the decision to stop playing the traditional Feel It by The Tamperer ahead of this season's home matches.
However, the tamperer cannot tell the detection object and the normal data apart.
There were a host of new entries including Touch & Go with Would You?, Another Level with Guess I Was A Fool and The Tamperer with If You Buy This Record Your Life Will Be Better.
That the young Shakespeare could have been the tamperer is suggested by his familiarity with the terms in the strange passage.
Across 3 Nickname of Hull City, the *s (5) 6 Rode Midday to victory in the Nassau Stakes (3,7) 9 First woman to ride in the Derby (on Portuguese Lil) (7) 10 Won four golds at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (5) 11 The world record throw of which is 23.12m (4) 12 Manager of Brazil (5) 14 Son of the 'old' 8D, his best filly was Petite Etoile (3,4) 16 1995 1,000 Guineas winner with Hills aboard (7) 18 Top sportswriter, often with the Guardian/Observer, David * (5) 19 Australian who took 41 series wickets in the 1978-79 Ashes (4) 21 Ball tamperer, for example (5) 22 Bullfighter (7) 23 2005 Dubai World Cup winner ridden by Velazquez (5,2,3) 24 Tunis-born Brit; WBC World Flyweight champ in 1983, beating Mercedes (5)
Whether it was the change of entrance music from the usual Tamperer's 'Can You Feel It' to Coldplay's 'Viva La Vida' or just their manager's rousing pre-match speech, Birmingham took the game to their opponents in a highly-energetic manner.
Her search for the food tamperer results in a series of increasingly dangerous encounters challenging her investigative skills and life.
10 YEARS AGO: Tamperer featuring Maya: Feel It 20 YEARS AGO: Fairground Attraction: Perfect 30 YEARS AGO: Boney M: River Of Babylon 40 YEARS AGO: Louis Armstrong (pictured): What A Wonderful World/Cabaret SUNDAY MERCURY MAY 18, 2008
Tamperer: PC Philip McLaren faces charges of perjury and even jail for altering his notebook