ham·per1 / ˈhampər/ • n. a large basket with a lid used for laundry: a laundry hamper. ∎ a basket with a carrying handle and a hinged lid, used for food, cutlery, and plates on a picnic: a picnic hamper.ham·per2 • v. [tr.] (often be hampered) hinder or impede the movement or progress of: their work is hampered by lack of funds.• n. Naut. necessary but cumbersome equipment on a ship.