Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To impede in motion or progress; render motion or progress difficult to; shackle; entangle; restrain by force.
  • Hence To impede in any way; embarrass; encumber; restrain; perplex.
  • To derange or put out of working order, as a piece of mechanism.
  • To beat.
  • noun A kind of basket or wickerwork receptacle, generally of considerable size, chiefly used as a packing-case.
  • noun A two-bushel basket for oysters.
  • noun A measure for fish holding about a bushel.
  • noun Same as hanaper, 4.
  • noun A fetter or some instrument that shackles.
  • noun Nautical, things collectively, which, though necessary to the equipment of a ship, are in the way at certain times: as, to stow away the top hamper.
  • To put into a hamper: as, to hamper goods.
  • To load with hampers.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A large basket, usually with a cover, used for the packing and carrying of articles
  • transitive verb To put in a hamper.
  • transitive verb To put a hamper or fetter on; to shackle; to insnare; to inveigle; to entangle; hence, to impede in motion or progress; to embarrass; to encumber.
  • noun A shackle; a fetter; anything which impedes.
  • noun (Naut.) Articles ordinarily indispensable, but in the way at certain times.
  • noun (Naut.) unnecessary spars and rigging kept aloft.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb transitive To put a hamper or fetter on; to shackle; to ensnare; to inveigle; hence, to impede in motion or progress; to embarrass; to encumber.
  • noun A shackle; a fetter; anything which impedes.
  • noun nautical Articles ordinarily indispensable, but in the way at certain times.
  • noun A large basket, usually with a cover, used for the packing and carrying of articles or small animals; as,
  • verb transitive To put into a hamper.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a restraint that confines or restricts freedom (especially something used to tie down or restrain a prisoner)
  • verb put at a disadvantage
  • noun a basket usually with a cover
  • verb prevent the progress or free movement of

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English hamperen, hampren ("to hamper, oppress"), probably of the same origin as English hamble ("to limp"), Scots hamp ("to halt in walking, stutter"), Dutch haperen ("to falter, hesitate"). More at hamble.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English hamper, contracted from hanaper, hanypere, from Anglo-Norman hanaper, itself from Old French hanapier, hanepier ("case for holding a large goblet or cup"), from hanap ("goblet, drinking cup"), from Old Frankish *hnapp (“cup, bowl, basin”), from Proto-Germanic *hnappaz (“cup, bowl”). Cognate with Old High German hnapf ("cup, bowl, basin") (German Napf ("bowl")), Dutch nap ("cup"), Old English hnæpp ("bowl").

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Examples

  • We had a built-in hamper/linen closet thing in the old master bath which shared a wall with the bedroom it was attached to.

    Hidden Entryway Cat Litter Box | Lifehacker Australia 2009

  • Somewhere in the cellars of Downing Street a post-election celebratory hamper from the designer Kelly Hoppen sits unopened, as does a rug from the prime minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ties from Silvio Berlusconi and tennis rackets and wine from Nicolas Sarkozy.

    David Cameron's housewarming gifts revealed Allegra Stratton 2010

  • Except for my husband, who apparently has no clue what a clothes hamper is and what it is used for.

    Good Housekeeping: Totally Slobtastic Slackermom Edition | Her Bad Mother 2009

  • The winner of the chai hamper is none other than Cathy!

    Archive 2006-01-01 Nupur 2006

  • For many of us, the hamper is like an overstock bin where clothes go into a complex holding pattern, and a quick windventory will often produce a perfectly respectable outfit.

    Word Fugitives 2004

  • For many of us, the hamper is like an overstock bin where clothes go into a complex holding pattern, and a quick windventory will often produce a perfectly respectable outfit.

    Word Fugitives 2004

  • Here's an intellectual — William Weaver, of New York City, who wrote, To call it a dirty-clothes hamper is to overstate the case.

    Word Fugitives 2004

  • Here's an intellectual — William Weaver, of New York City, who wrote, To call it a dirty-clothes hamper is to overstate the case.

    Word Fugitives 2004

  • Your wardrobe’s a mess; the hamper is full; your credit rating is sinking; your mother in law is languishing; your aunt is needy; the bathroom is grungy; the kitchen floor is sticky; the short story stinks; the car is a mess; I’m hungry.

    2008 June « Becca’s Byline 2008

  • Your wardrobe’s a mess; the hamper is full; your credit rating is sinking; your mother in law is languishing; your aunt is needy; the bathroom is grungy; the kitchen floor is sticky; the short story stinks; the car is a mess; I’m hungry.

    The Responsibility Ticker *Updated* 2008

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