\ ˈbəmp How to pronounce bump (audio) \
plural bumps

Definition of bump

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a relatively abrupt convexity or protuberance on a surface: such as
a : a swelling of tissue Her face flawless. Not a bump, a splotch or a freckle.— Katy Kelly
b : a sudden rise or uneven area in a road surface likely to jolt a passing vehicle a bump in the road
c phrenology : a cranial protuberance
2a : a sudden forceful blow, impact, or jolt felt a bump when the boat hit the dock
b : demotion
3 : an action of thrusting the hips forward with an abrupt suggestive motion (as in a dance or in a burlesque striptease act) — compare grind entry 2 sense 4
4 : baby bump Confirming her pregnancy at the September 6 MTV Video Music Awards, Kanye West's ex, 28, showed off her bump for the first time on the red carpet.— Allison Corneau
5 : an increase in amount a slight bump in wages/prices … since "Glee" burst on the scene last fall, some local show choirs have seen a bump in auditions …— Kristin Tillotson
6 slang : a small quantity of an illicit drug when inhaled in powdered form at one time At her first few shows Savannah did bumps of coke off her pinkie before hitting the stage.— Peter Wilkinson
7 volleyball : the act or an instance of bumping (see bump entry 2 sense 4) the ball with the forearms Loara High volleyball player Juli Miles demonstrates how to execute a bump during a match … . As the ball approaches, bring in your elbows and lock them so that your forearms are close to touching, which creates a nice, flat platform for the ball to bounce off.— Laura Czingula


bumped; bumping; bumps

Definition of bump (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to strike or knock with force or violence
2 : to collide with
3a(1) : to dislodge with a jolt
(2) : to subject to a scalar change rates being bumped up
b : to oust usually by virtue of seniority or priority was bumped from the flight
4 volleyball : to hit (the ball) with the forearms held close together and facing upward (as when receiving a serve) Hitting a ball with your bare forearms might sound painful, but it won't be if you learn how to bump the ball properly.— Eric Rinehimer
5 US slang : to play or listen to (recorded music, especially rap) … a portable DVD/CD player that bumps the new Snoop Dogg through surround-sound speakers …— Daniel G. Habib

intransitive verb

1 : to knock against something with a forceful jolt
2 : to proceed in or as if in a series of bumps
3 : to encounter something that is an obstacle or hindrance bumped up against a chair
bump into
: to encounter especially by chance

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for bump

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of bump in a Sentence

Noun He wound up with a few minor bumps and bruises from the fight. Did you feel a bump? Verb I have a bruise from where I bumped my head. Be careful not to bump the vase. You nearly bumped me off the edge! The jolt bumped him right out of his seat. They bumped into us from behind. The boat bumped against the pier. The TV show will be bumped to a new time. Increasing fuel costs are bumping the company's prices higher. The loss bumped us out of first place.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Backers of the closure say any potential bump up in New York natural gas generation needs to be considered in context of a decrease in fossil fuel generation since 2016, as well as progress in renewables and energy efficiency. Michael Hill, Star Tribune, "Gone Fission: Controversial nuke plant near NYC shuts down," 29 Apr. 2021 The biggest beneficiaries of the American Rescue Plan are low-income households, who are in store to receive a significant bump in tax credits through the stimulus plan. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Some middle-class families will have a tax rate of zero this year — or less," 28 Apr. 2021 Meanwhile, the lowest 20% received only a 0.3% bump in after-tax income and a $40 break in federal taxes. Tami Luhby And Katie Lobosco, CNN, "Biden's stimulus delivered a bigger tax cut to lower-income Americans than the 2017 GOP reform, report shows," 26 Apr. 2021 The standard engine is a 2.5-liter four cylinder with 187 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque, a 16% bump in power and 19% more torque than the previous Tucson engine. Karl Brauer, Forbes, "Road Test Review: All New 2022 Hyundai Tucson," 20 Apr. 2021 Nirenberg said the uptick is likely related to a bump in infections earlier this month that is now sending more people to the hospital. Lauren Caruba, San Antonio Express-News, "More than 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in San Antonio," 19 Apr. 2021 Students and parents continue to face financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the university said in a news release, and a bump in state appropriations for the upcoming fiscal year allowed the school to consider the move. Ruth Serven Smith | Rserven@al.com, al, "Auburn freezes undergraduate tuition for first time in decades," 16 Apr. 2021 Pre-pandemic projections estimated a nearly 10 percent bump in 2020. Washington Post, "Amid royal infighting, Jordan’s sinking economy another forum for discontent," 15 Apr. 2021 Stevens’ new contract, which gives him a slight bump in pay for the remainder of 2020-21, will also open a two-way spot that Cleveland is expected to fill soon. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers to sign Lamar Stevens to multi-year contract, sources say," 14 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Get ready to bump, set and hit once again — but don't forget your mask. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Beach volleyball leagues are returning to Bradford and Grant Park this summer. Here's what to know.," 3 May 2021 Additional grants can bump teacher pay even higher. Danya Perez, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio ISD is about to boost its best teachers' pay - a lot," 27 Apr. 2021 The Mavericks could easily bump Portland into the play-in round (7th through 10th) if the Blazers don’t figure out to defeat quality teams. oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers have a myriad of issues to fix during final stretch of season," 19 Apr. 2021 Constantino: People are free to move around, discover hidden fun spaces, bump into friends, engage in conversations, watch live performances, talks, participate in workshops, all while feeling present with others. Jeryl Brunner, Forbes, "This Former Burning Man Creative Built A Unique Online 3D Platform To Help Us Virtually Bond," 16 Apr. 2021 Elsewhere, Josh and Liza, whose feelings for her boss are growing exponentially, bump into Charles and his new girlfriend Radha at the opera. Maggie Fremont, Vulture, "The 15 Best Episodes of Younger," 15 Apr. 2021 The Reds have no plans to use a six-man rotation this season, so Gray would likely bump José De León from the rotation. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, "Sonny Gray expected to return to Cincinnati Reds rotation next week," 10 Apr. 2021 As for the skies, thunderstorm chances bump up to 30% Saturday night, and then boom out to 70% by Sunday. Joe Mario Pedersen, orlandosentinel.com, "Hot Friday, then stormy weather coming to Orlando," 9 Apr. 2021 In criminal justice, the Senate budget would bump pay by 3% for prison guards who work in maximum-security units. Robert T. Garrett, Dallas News, "Texas Senate passes $250.7B, two-year budget that keeps promises to schools but squeezes elsewhere," 6 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'bump.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of bump


1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1558, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for bump


probably imitative of the sound of a blow

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about bump

Statistics for bump

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bump.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bump. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for bump



English Language Learners Definition of bump

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an area of skin that is raised because it was hit, injured, etc.
: a small raised area on a surface
: an act of something hitting against something else



English Language Learners Definition of bump (Entry 2 of 2)

: to hit (something, such as part of your body) against an object in a sudden and forceful way
: to hit and move (someone or something)
: to move into or against (someone or something) in a sudden and forceful way


\ ˈbəmp How to pronounce bump (audio) \

Kids Definition of bump

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a rounded swelling of flesh as from an injury
2 : a small raised area on a surface
3 : a sudden heavy impact or jolt


bumped; bumping

Kids Definition of bump (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to strike or knock against something Open your eyes before you bump into something.
2 : to move along unevenly : jolt The car bumped over the dirt road.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on bump

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bump

Nglish: Translation of bump for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bump for Arabic Speakers

Comments on bump

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Star Wars Words Quiz

  • cu jedi training
  • The bounty portion of bounty hunters (such as Boba Fett) comes from a Latin word meaning
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!