Definition of bum rap
1 US : an unfair claim that someone has committed a crime or done something wrong The defendant was sent to jail on a bum rap.
2 chiefly US : a criticism or bad opinion that is not deserved or fair The teenagers say they've all gotten a bum rap because one person damaged some property. She thinks motorboats get a bum rap from environmentalists. He was given a bum rap by reviewers.
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