Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

bum

play
noun \ˈbəm\

Definition of bum



Origin and Etymology of bum

Middle English bom


First Known Use: 14th century


2

bum

adjective

Simple Definition of bum

  • : of bad quality

  • : not legally acceptable : not valid

  • : injured or damaged

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of bum

  1. 1 a :  of poor quality or nature <bum advice> b :  not valid or deserved <a bum check> c :  not pleasant or enjoyable <a bum trip>

  2. 2 :  affected or disabled by damage or injury

Examples of bum in a sentence

  1. <that was bum advice that you got from that chat room>



Origin and Etymology of bum

perhaps from 4bum


First Known Use: 1859


3

bum

verb

Definition of bum

bummed

bumming

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  loaf

  3. 2 :  to spend time unemployed and often wandering —often used with around

  4. transitive verb
  5. :  to obtain by asking or begging :  cadge <bum a cigarette>



Origin and Etymology of bum

probably back-formation from 1bummer


First Known Use: 1863


4

bum

noun

Definition of bum

  1. 1 a :  one who sponges off others and avoids work b :  one who performs a function poorly <called the umpire a bum> c :  one whose time is devoted to a recreational activity <a beach bum> <ski bums>

  2. 2 :  vagrant, tramp

on the bum

  1. :  with no settled residence or means of support



Origin and Etymology of bum

probably short for 1bummer


First Known Use: 1864


5

bum

noun

Definition of bum

  1. :  a drinking spree :  bender



Origin and Etymology of bum

perhaps from 3bum


First Known Use: 1863


6

bum

verb

Definition of bum

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  disappoint, depress —often used with out <the news really bummed me out>



Origin and Etymology of bum

probably back-formation from 2bummer


First Known Use: 1973

Rhymes with bum



BUM Defined for Kids

1

bum

play
noun \ˈbəm\

Definition of bum for Students

  1. 1 :  a person who avoids work

  2. 2 :  2tramp 1, hobo




2

bum

play
verb

Definition of bum for Students

bummed

bumming

  1. :  to obtain by asking or begging <Can I bum a dollar from you?>




Learn More about bum


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up bum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

mysterious, holy, or spiritual

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

torrent rebellion megillah interruption
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ