\ˈləmp \

Definition of lump 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1 : a piece or mass of indefinite size and shape a lump of coal a lump of clay

2a : aggregate, totality taken in the lump

b : majority few candidates ever started with such a lump who did not get the nomination— R. L. Strout

3 : protuberance especially : an abnormal swelling came to with nothing more than a lump on his head

4 : a person who is heavy and awkward a lump of a man also : one who is stupid or dull

5 lumps plural

a : beatings, bruises had taken a lot of lumps growing up in the city

b : defeat, loss can cheerfully take his lumps on losers, because the payout is big on the winners— Martin Mayer

lump in one's throat

: a constriction of the throat caused by emotion


verb (1)
lumped; lumping; lumps

Definition of lump (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to group indiscriminately

2 : to make into lumps also : to make lumps on or in

3 : to move noisily and clumsily

intransitive verb

1 : to become formed into lumps

2 : to move oneself noisily and clumsily



Definition of lump (Entry 3 of 4)

: not divided into parts : entire a lump sum


verb (2)
lumped; lumping; lumps

Definition of lump (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

: to put up with like it or lump it

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Examples of lump in a Sentence


turning a lump of clay into a beautiful pot He got a lump on his head after bumping into the doorway.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

O’Sullivan said, rather than committing to one giant lump sum up front. Jason Del Rey, Recode, "Rent the Runway bet on the death of clothing ownership — and now it’s doubling down," 2 Aug. 2018 You should be evaluated if any of the following symptoms persist for more than two weeks: a lump in the neck, the sensation of something stuck in your throat, blood in your saliva, a change in your voice or difficulty swallowing. Shayne Benowitz, miamiherald, "Oral sex is causing a big jump in HPV throat cancer in men | Miami Herald," 24 May 2018 Rosalynn Carter underwent surgery to remove a benign lump from her breast in April 1977. Kate Bennett And Betsy Klein, CNN, "Melania Trump released from the hospital after kidney procedure," 19 May 2018 Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the milk jam into a heat-safe container; this will remove any lumps in the milk jam that may be unpleasant. Fen Fenton,, "Kick Off Milking Season With Springtime Milk Jam," 30 Apr. 2018 Fogle's latest lawsuit — a rambling complaint filed without the aid of an attorney — lumps in similar civil complaints from Frank E. Pate and James N. Fry, two other men who have been serving sentences in the same prison. Vic Ryckaert And Tim Evans, USA TODAY, "Why ex-Subway pitchman Jared Fogle is suing the Feds for $57M," 6 Apr. 2018 Whisk in cornmeal, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently to eliminate lumps and prevent burning, until polenta is thickened and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Tiffani Thiessen, Good Housekeeping, "Wild Mushroom and Beef Stroganoff," 9 Oct. 2018 Just months after winning an Olympic gold medal, Alaska cross-country skier Kikkan Randall found two pea-sized lumps in her breast. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "‘So surreal’: Olympic gold medalist Kikkan Randall announces breast cancer diagnosis, returns to Anchorage for treatment," 12 July 2018 To give this van its lurid lemon lumps, Wurm packed different types of styrofoam and putty on top of an ordinary VW T2, and sprayed it with a glossy coat of car paint. Shoshana Wodinsky, The Verge, "We have some questions about this blobby yellow bus that dispenses free hot dogs," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Facebook first alerted publishers to its plan to lump advertisements bought by media organizations with those bought by political candidates into the same archive last month. Naomi Nix,, "Facebook Retools Political Ad Rules After Media Blowback," 27 June 2018 Originally, the area consisted of five mini-ramblas: Rambla de Canaletes, Estudis, Sant Josep, Caputxins, and Santa Mònica, but they're often lumped together and today, the street sign says La Rambla. Gemma Askham, Condé Nast Traveler, "20 Best Things to Do in Barcelona," 3 Mar. 2018 Large families are common, and, similar to Alabama's culture, friends often get lumped into the extended family as well. Michael Casagrande,, "Alabama 2018 homecoming date set," 26 Feb. 2018 For mental illness to be lumped with bad behavior is an intolerable insult to the mentally ill. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Why attempts to diagnose Jake Paul as a sociopath are even worse than doing it with Trump," 9 Oct. 2018 Yet lumping forgiveness in with reconciliation and pardon prevents that. Megan Feldman Bettencourt, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Forgiveness Has Been Weaponized Against Women," 25 Sep. 2018 Visit Florida lumps them in with its count of out-of-state visitors, a figure that hit a record 116.5 million in 2017, up from 112.4 million in 2016. Stephen Hudak,, "Snowbirds flock to 'chicken night,' prepare to head north for the summer to chagrin of businesses," 30 Mar. 2018 Coccaro lumped most of those concerns in a complaint that was filed with the school system last summer. John Sharp,, "Government class instruction comparing Obama to Hitler draws public ire in Baldwin County," 26 Jan. 2018 But some tourists have lumped all the Keys together as being storm-ravaged. Gwen Filosa, miamiherald, "Irma hit Keys tourism hard. So the county found $1.6 million to boost advertising. | Miami Herald," 20 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

At least 17 retirees received additional lump sum payouts for unused vacation and sick time, ranging from about $7,600 to $80,000. Matt Rocheleau,, "As State Police overtime probe intensifies, troopers race to lock in pensions and retire," 2 July 2018 Pieces of lump hardwood charcoal are irregularly shaped, with a more natural appearance than briquettes. Adam Ried,, "Everything you need to know about using a charcoal grill," 29 June 2018 Crab mac includes lump crab meat, tomatoes, baby spinach, and cheese sauce, garnished with snow crab claws. Caroline Szachnowski,, "New England’s best summer foods," 2 May 2018 Menu offerings include lump crab Benedict, lobster frittata and $5 sparkling wine. Jennifer Mcclellan, azcentral, "Fox closing Little Cleo’s restaurant to expand Culinary Dropout in Phoenix," 1 May 2018 And the preparation is certainly a hard one to beat: Generously portioned, lump crab meat is flavored with fresh chives and cilantro along with a bit of Old Bay seasoning, the cakes dredged in panko bread crumbs and pan-fried. Noelle Carter,, "Culinary SOS: Crab cakes from the Watercolour Grillhouse in Florida," 10 Apr. 2018 The crusty cake has no filler, just luscious lump crab meat and a mustard tang in the seasoning. Courtney Dabney, star-telegram, "The Wharf, the new venture from chef Erin Miller, drops anchor in Roanoke | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 28 Mar. 2018 Edgemoor is expected to complete enough of the terminal design (about 30 percent) to present a lump sum cost. Bill Turque, kansascity, "If KC Council and Edgemoor get engaged this week, can they make it to the altar?," 6 Feb. 2018 Where benefits can reasonably be adjusted appears to be in the area of future promises by limiting cost of living increases and lump sum distributions instead of monthly payouts. Steve Butler, The Mercury News, "Butler: Guess who loses when pension plans hit hard times," 8 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lump.' 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 lump


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

1624, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


circa 1700, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1791, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lump


Middle English

Verb (1)

see lump entry 1


see lump entry 1

Verb (2)

origin unknown

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Learn More about lump

Dictionary Entries near lump





lump coal



Statistics for lump

Last Updated

26 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lump

The first known use of lump was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for lump



English Language Learners Definition of lump

: a small piece or mass of something

: an area of swelling or growth on your body


\ˈləmp \

Kids Definition of lump

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a small piece or chunk a lump of coal

2 : a swelling or growth She got a lump on her forehead.

3 : a tight feeling in the throat caused by emotion


lumped; lumping

Kids Definition of lump (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to group together Lump all the clothing into one pile.

2 : to form into lumps The gravy lumped.



Kids Definition of lump (Entry 3 of 3)

: not divided into parts a lump sum


\ˈləmp \

Medical Definition of lump 

1 : a piece or mass of indefinite size and shape

2 : an abnormal mass or swelling presenting as a neck lump

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More from Merriam-Webster on lump

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lump

Spanish Central: Translation of lump

Nglish: Translation of lump for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of lump for Arabic Speakers

Comments on lump

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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