late 14c., "walk heavily, stamp," from Middle Low German trampen "to stamp," from Proto-Germanic *tremp- (source also of Danish trampe, Swedish trampa "to tramp, stamp," Gothic ana-trimpan "to press upon"), from PIE *der- (1) "to run, walk, step" (see tread (v.)). Related: Tramped; tramping.
"person who wanders about, idle vagrant, vagabond," 1660s, from tramp (v.). Sense of "steamship which takes cargo wherever it can be traded" (as opposed to one running a regular line) is attested from c. 1880. The meaning "promiscuous woman" is from 1922. Sense of "a long, toilsome walk" is from 1786.