\ 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

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Synonyms for bump

Synonyms: Noun

knot, lump, node, nodule, swelling

Synonyms: Verb

bang, bash, collide, crash, hit, impact, impinge, knock, ram, slam, smash, strike, swipe, thud

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Examples of bump in a Sentence


He wound up with a few minor bumps and bruises from the fight. Did you feel a bump?


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Also, the bumps that result from malassezia don’t usually come to heads. Sara Coughlin, SELF, "How to Know if You Have 'Fungal Acne'—and How to Treat it," 1 Apr. 2019 With the bumps in performance, Qualcomm says your next phone will now support 10-bit HDR gaming for the first time. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 promises big improvements to AI, performance, and connectivity," 5 Dec. 2018 The seat also has more foam, to soften some of the rough road bumps. Ben Stewart, Popular Mechanics, "8 Cool Things About the Can-Am Ryker," 13 Nov. 2018 The bump in pay could stretch the Kings financially in the future, but Doughty is arguably the game’s best defenseman. Curtis Zupke, latimes.com, "Drew Doughty agrees to eight-year contract extension with Kings," 30 June 2018 There have been some bumps along the way, and OnePlus raises its prices every year, but the company's products are still a good value. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "OnePlus announces it’s building a “OnePlus TV”," 17 Sep. 2018 Despite their successes, there were bumps in the road. Alex Bhattacharji, WSJ, "A Day in the Life of Maverick Carter," 12 Sep. 2018 But there may be more bumps in the road ahead for the electric car manufacturer and its embattled CEO, Elon Musk. Brittany Shoot, Fortune, "Former Tesla Employee Sues Over Alleged Retaliation," 12 June 2018 Johnson conceded that there would be bumps in the road during the Brexit process, but chastised those who were worried about the short-term economic downsides and potential turbulence on the UK's borders due to Brexit. Joshua Berlinger, CNN, "Trump could handle Brexit better than Theresa May, Boris Johnson says," 8 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Even though he was bumped, Schneider was surprised by the reversal. Tom Canavan, The Seattle Times, "Schneider makes 45 saves in leading Devils over Sabres 3-1," 25 Mar. 2019 The season 3 finale will be on April 2, which was bumped from its original date, March 26, because of President Trump's State of the Union Address. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'This Is Us' Fans Are Floored Over the Show's Announcement About the Next Episode," 26 Feb. 2019 Despite all those hotels (typically a bed bug breeding ground), Orlando was bumped from the list entirely, and New York City fell four spots. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Here’s The Bed Bug Capital Of The U.S.," 15 Jan. 2019 The processor is bumped up to a hex-core 8th-generation Coffee Lake, paired with up to 64GB RAM. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Extreme: Hex-core, GTX 1050 Ti, 64GB RAM under 4 pounds," 30 Aug. 2018 One person was taken to a local hospital after two roller coaster trains bumped at Kentucky Kingdom Saturday afternoon, according to park officials. Shannon Hall, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Kingdom closes a roller coaster after 2 trains bump," 2 June 2018 But the likely arrival of a free agent big man could bump Kleber out by this time next month. Peter Dawson, star-telegram, "Projected starting 5 for the Mavs next season has to include Luka Doncic, right?," 25 June 2018 Trantalis has voted against his salary bump two years in a row. Meryl Kornfield, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Fort Lauderdale city manager defying mayor's call to move on," 23 June 2018 Three of the biggest names in the industry —Friedman’s Flexi-Straw Company, the Lily-Tulip Cup Company, which made popular white straws, and Maryland Cup Company —have bumped around the last 80 years like corporate Forrest Gumps. Alexis C. Madrigal, The Atlantic, "Disposable America," 21 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of bump


1581, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1581, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for bump


probably imitative of the sound of a blow

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Learn More about bump

Dictionary Entries near bump






bump ball


Statistics for bump

Last Updated

13 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for bump

The first known use of bump was in 1581

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on bump

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bump

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bump

Spanish Central: Translation of 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).


an enemy or opponent

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