1

bump

noun \ ˈbəmp \
|Updated on: 23 Jun 2018

Definition of bump

plural bumps
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
2 a : 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 2grind 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 2bump 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

Examples of bump in a Sentence

  1. He wound up with a few minor bumps and bruises from the fight.

  2. Did you feel a bump?

Recent Examples of bump from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of bump

probably imitative of the sound of a blow

2

bump

verb

Definition of bump

bumped; bumping; bumps
1 : to strike or knock with force or violence
2 : to collide with
3 a (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
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

Examples of bump in a Sentence

  1. I have a bruise from where I bumped my head.

  2. Be careful not to bump the vase.

  3. You nearly bumped me off the edge!

  4. The jolt bumped him right out of his seat.

  5. They bumped into us from behind.

  6. The boat bumped against the pier.

  7. The TV show will be bumped to a new time.

  8. Increasing fuel costs are bumping the company's prices higher.

  9. The loss bumped us out of first place.

Recent Examples of bump from the Web

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.

First Known Use of bump

1581

in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

See Words from the same year
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BUMP Defined for English Language Learners

bump

Definition of bump for English Language Learners

  • : 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


bump

Definition of bump for English Language Learners

  • : 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


BUMP Defined for Kids

1

bump

noun \ ˈbəmp \

Definition of bump for Students

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

2

bump

verb

Definition of bump for Students

bumped; bumping
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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