\ 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

Synonyms: Verb

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Netflix got a big bump in business during the pandemic as people stayed home. Jack Guy, CNN, 22 Sep. 2021 In fact, home-sharing site Vrbo over the summer reported a more than 15% bump in demand for homes in December, compared to bookings during the same time period in 2019. Alison Fox, Travel + Leisure, 20 Sep. 2021 The all-wheel-drive, dual-motor model sees a bump in EPA range (from 233 to 249 miles) and a $10,000 decrease in price. Car and Driver, 15 Sep. 2021 Some analysts say to expect a bump in storage and possibly a version of portrait mode for video. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 14 Sep. 2021 Some companies did relocate significant production to Vietnam (often considered a suburb of China), but with Vietnam’s COVID starting to spiral out of reasonable control, that has become a significant bump in the road headed into 2022. Rick Helfenbein, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 But this is a little blip, a little bump in the road for him -- not for his recovery, but just as far as his timetable. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, 30 Aug. 2021 Here the divide wasn't a mountain range, or even a perceptible bump in the landscape. jsonline.com, 30 Aug. 2021 Common sense says the stubbornly frigid inland seas would be immune to such a subtle bump in air temperature. Dan Egan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Prices have always gone up a bit each year, but this year, the chip shortage could bump up the prices even more. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, 9 Sep. 2021 But these small posts will bump up against past errors, when New Orleans was underwater, when the levees broke 16 years ago, when bodies were left in the streets. Merissa Nathan Gerson, CNN, 30 Aug. 2021 Two sisters bump heads while moving out of their childhood home. Angelique Jackson, Variety, 26 Aug. 2021 Surely the director of Jaws can bump a high school production of Shrek the Musical off the calendar. Hunter Harris, Town & Country, 25 Aug. 2021 Lack of significant cloud cover could bump up that forecasted high a few degrees. oregonlive, 29 July 2021 Ortega then homered to center with two down to bump the margin to 5-1. Patrick Stevens, Star Tribune, 31 July 2021 Texas and Oklahoma are expected to bump SEC per team revenue to more than $60 million. Chuck Carlton, Dallas News, 26 July 2021 That was enough to bump Black Widow, which earned $26.3 million in its second weekend in theaters, to second place. Andrea Towers, EW.com, 19 July 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.

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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

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Statistics for bump

Last Updated

26 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Bump.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bump. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on bump

Nglish: Translation of bump for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of bump for Arabic Speakers


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