A hamper refers to one of several related basket-like items. In primarily British usage, it refers to a wicker basket, usually large, that is used for the transport of items, often food. In North America, the term generally refers to a household receptacle, often a basket, for clean (out of the dryer or off the line) or dirty clothing, regardless of its composition, i.e. “a laundry hamper”. Typically a laundry hamper is used for storage and will be sturdier, taller and have a lid while a laundry basket is open and used mainly for transport.
In agricultural use, a hamper is a wide-mouthed container of basketwork that may often be carried on the back during the harvesting of fruit or vegetables by hand by workers in the field. The contents of the hamper may be decanted regularly into larger containers or a cart, wagon, or truck.
The open ventilation and the sturdiness offered by a hamper has made it suitable for the transport of food, hence the use of the picnic hamper.
At one time it was common for laundry services to leave a large basketwork container with a lid which is now commonly referred to as a clothes hamper. The same type of container would be used to return clean clothing, which would be put away by the laundry service and the empty container left in place of the full container for later pickup. This type of daily or bi-daily hamper service was most common with Chinese laundry services in 19th-century England and America.
One who takes part in lamping, or hunting with bright lights.
A large basket, usually with a cover, used for the packing and carrying of articles or small animals
“a hamper of wine”
“a clothes hamper”
“an oyster hamper, which contains two bushels”
A wicker or plastic basket specifically for holding laundry (from clothes hamper), as opposed to a covered wicker basket which is a true hamper
A shackle; a fetter; anything which impedes.
Articles ordinarily indispensable, but in the way at certain times.
To put into a hamper.
“Competition pigeons are hampered for the truck trip to the point of release where the race back starts.”
To put a hamper or fetter on; to shackle
To impede in motion or progress.