tamper with

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tamper with (something)

To make harmful or subversive alterations to something; to meddle or interfere with something. Investigators concluded that someone had tampered with the control unit of the machine. He's been accused of tampering with the committee tasked with selecting successful applicants. The locks have not been tampered with and there is no sign of a break-in anywhere on the premises.
See also: tamper
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

tamper with someone or something

to fiddle with someone or something; to meddle with someone or something. I've got him believing just what I want him to believe. Don't tamper with him. Please don't tamper with the thermostat.
See also: tamper
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

tamper with

1. Interfere or meddle, especially in a harmful way. For example, If you tamper with that lock it's sure to break. [c. 1600]
2. Engage in improper or secret dealings, as in He was accused of tampering with the jury. [c. 1600]
See also: tamper
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

tamper with

To interfere with something in a harmful manner: Someone has been tampering with my mail—these letters have been opened! When jurors reported that they had been offered bribes, the judge told the defense not to tamper with the jury.
See also: tamper
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
If according to the referee, who can always take a second look at the television footage, an attempt has been made to tamper with the ball, he should punish the offender.
That could give the enemy an opportunity to tamper with water supplies.
Afridi, who was left out of the side at The Oval, told Indian newspaper Times Now: "You have to tamper with the ball in order to make it swing.
Along with Derrick, a Glamorgan steward claimed he witnessed Kirby tamper with the ball and he was called in front of the inquiry.
As a guest on CNBC's Topic A with Tina Brown, guest-hosted that particular evening by Howard Dean, Harris demonstrated how easy it is to tamper with votes when they are sent through this system.
As energy shortages lead to rolling blackouts in California and threaten other states, many experts fear that the dire situation will further embolden power thieves to divert current or tamper with meters.
Moreover, because all computers make errors from time to time, "our methods work even against machines that we cannot actively tamper with," Lipton says.
Gul had earlier said that he had seen Anderson tamper with the ball during the Pakistan-England Test series in England last year, while Broad during the Ashes series.