verb (used with object)

  1. to strike or beat with a forcible, downward thrust of the foot.
  2. to bring (the foot) down forcibly or smartly on the ground, floor, etc.
  3. to extinguish, crush, etc., by striking with a forcible downward thrust of the foot (followed by out): to stamp out a fire.
  4. to suppress or quell (a rebellion, uprising, etc.) quickly through the use of overwhelming force (usually followed by out).
  5. to crush or pound with or as with a pestle.
  6. to impress with a particular mark or device, as to indicate genuineness, approval, or ownership: to stamp a document with a seal.
  7. to mark or impress with a design, word, mark, etc.: Age stamped his face with lines.
  8. to impress (a design, word, mark, etc.) on: to stamp one’s initials on a document.
  9. to affix a postage stamp to (a letter, envelope, etc.).
  10. to characterize, distinguish, or reveal: His ingenuity with words stamped him as a potential poet.

verb (used without object)

  1. to bring the foot down forcibly or smartly, as in crushing something, expressing rage, etc.
  2. to walk with forcible or heavy, resounding steps: He stamped out of the room in anger.


  1. a postage stamp.
  2. an act or instance of stamping.
  3. a die or block for impressing or imprinting.
  4. a design or legend made with such a die or block.
  5. an official mark indicating genuineness, validity, etc., or payment of a duty or charge.
  6. a peculiar or distinctive impression or mark: a great man who left his stamp on legal procedure.
  7. character, kind, or type: a woman of serious stamp.
  8. an official seal or device appearing on a business or legal document to show that a tax has been paid.
  9. Also called local, local stamp. such a device, often similar to a postage stamp issued by a private organization to show that the charges for mail carrying have been paid.
  10. trading stamp.
  11. food stamp.
  12. an instrument for stamping, crushing, or pounding.
  13. a heavy piece of iron or the like, as in a stamp mill, for crushing ore or other material.


  1. (when intr , often foll by on) to bring (the foot) down heavily (on the ground, etc)
  2. (intr) to walk with heavy or noisy footsteps
  3. (intr foll by on) to repress, extinguish, or eradicatehe stamped on any criticism
  4. (tr) to impress or mark (a particular device or sign) on (something)
  5. to mark (something) with an official impress, seal, or deviceto stamp a passport
  6. (tr) to fix or impress permanentlythe date was stamped on her memory
  7. (tr) to affix a postage stamp to
  8. (tr) to distinguish or revealthat behaviour stamps him as a cheat
  9. to pound or crush (ores, etc)


  1. the act or an instance of stamping
    1. See postage stamp
    2. a mark applied to postage stamps for cancellation purposes
  2. a similar piece of gummed paper used for commercial or trading purposes
  3. a block, die, etc, used for imprinting a design or device
  4. a design, device, or mark that has been stamped
  5. a characteristic feature or trait; hallmarkthe story had the stamp of authenticity
  6. a piece of gummed paper or other mark applied to official documents to indicate payment of a fee, validity, ownership, etc
  7. British informal a national insurance contribution, formerly recorded by means of a stamp on an official card
  8. type or classwe want to employ men of his stamp
  9. an instrument or machine for crushing or pounding ores, etc, or the pestle in such a device

Old English stempan “to pound in a mortar, stamp,” from Proto-Germanic *stampojanan (cf. Old Norse stappa, Middle Dutch stampen, Old High German stampfon, German stampfen “to stamp with the foot, beat, pound,” German Stampfe “pestle”), from nasalized form of PIE root *stebh- “to support, place firmly on” (cf. Greek stembein “to trample, misuse;” see staff (n.)). The meaning “impress or mark (something) with a die” is first recorded 1560.

Related: Stamped; stamping. To stamp out “extinguish (a fire) by stamping on it” is attested from 1851 in the figurative sense. Stamping ground “one’s particular territory” (1821) is from the notion of animals. Italian stampa “stamp, impression,” Spanish estampar “to stamp, print,” French estamper “to stamp, impress” are Germanic loan-words.


mid-15c., “stamping tool,” from stamp (v.). Sense of “official mark or imprint” (to certify that duty has been paid on what has been printed or written) dates from 1540s; transferred 1837 to adhesive labels issued by governments to serve the same purpose as impressed stamps. Stamp-collecting is from 1862.

In addition to the idiom beginning with stamp

  • stamping ground
  • stamp out

also see:

  • rubber stamp

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