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Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To prevent the free movement, action, or progress of.
  • n. Nautical Necessary but encumbering equipment on a ship.
  • n. A large basket, usually with a cover.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A large basket, usually with a cover, used for the packing and carrying of articles
  • transitive v. To put in a hamper.
  • transitive v. 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.
  • n. A shackle; a fetter; anything which impedes.
  • n. Articles ordinarily indispensable, but in the way at certain times.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • n. A fetter or some instrument that shackles.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A kind of basket or wickerwork receptacle, generally of considerable size, chiefly used as a packing-case.
  • n. A two-bushel basket for oysters.
  • n. A measure for fish holding about a bushel.
  • n. Same as hanaper, 4.
  • To put into a hamper: as, to hamper goods.
  • To load with hampers.

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

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

Etymologies

Middle English hamperen.
Middle English, alteration of Anglo-Norman hanaper, from Old French hanepier, a case for holding goblets, from hanap, goblet, of Germanic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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"). (Wiktionary)
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. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

    Archive 2006-01-01

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Publishers including Time Inc. have argued that those terms hamper their ability to give customers access to content across platforms for the price of a single subscription.

    Time Inc. Hires Digital Executive

  • "My brother Will used to call a hamper a cargo," said Aspinall.

    Follow My leader The Boys of Templeton

  • My hamper is a canvas laundry bag hung from a gorgeous wrought-iron frame, so easy to transport, whether to the basement or up the street in various apartment situations.

    this woman's work

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