\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

The series' success brought some scary news: A nurse watching reruns of Flip or Flop noticed Tarek had a lump on his thyroid and contacted the producers. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "What Really Led to Christina and Tarek El Moussa's Divorce," 25 June 2018 An eagle-eyed nurse was watching reruns of Flip or Flop when something caught her eye: a concerning lump on Tarek's neck, which turned out to be cancerous. Eileen Reslen, Country Living, "A Doctor Saved a Woman’s Life After Noticing a Lump on Her Neck While Watching Her on HGTV," 5 June 2018 Punk also blamed Amann for providing medical treatment that caused a supposedly large lump on Punk’s back to worsen. Michael Mccann,, "What Were the Key Factors Behind CM Punk Winning His Defamation Trial?," 5 June 2018 In early 2016 Mrs Waree felt a lump on her right breast. The Economist, "The price of human livesMore and wiser health-care spending could save millions of lives," 26 Apr. 2018 In spring 2017, Hamm complained of lumps on his chest and abdomen area. Carol Robinson,, "Rumor of Mountain Brook High School threat untrue, police say," 22 Feb. 2018 For writer Julia Felsenthal, that was a one-two punch of Hurricane Sandy and a lump on her neck soon diagnosed as Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Vogue, "What If You Fell in Love, and Then You Found Out You Had Cancer?," 14 Feb. 2018 The good news is that most lumps and bumps on the skin are benign. Dr. Patty Khuly, miamiherald, "Most lumps are nothing serious, but don't take a chance. Call the vet.," 5 July 2018 Put the creme fraiche in a medium bowl and whisk in the pulp mixture until smooth and no visible lumps remain. Nik Sharma, San Francisco Chronicle, "Brown Kitchen: Passion fruit, olive oil and cardamom ice cream," 22 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Whether intentional or not, the film's design is depressingly obvious: to lump women into a convenient demographic and barrage them with product placements. Leah Pickett, Chicago Reader, "There's something ugly about I Feel Pretty," 20 Apr. 2018 This runs the risk of making things bad for all dog owners, who are lumped in with the dog-as-fashion-accessory crowd. John Kelly, Washington Post, "If your air bag inflates, you don’t want your feet on the dashboard," 9 July 2018 Consider the risk categories into which financial advisers attempt to lump assets. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "The Real Risk Is Believing That Volatility Is Risk," 30 Apr. 2018 The remaining duck species are lumped together and were estimated at 77,560, down 30% from 2017 and 19% above the long-term mean. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: As habitat dwindles, duck numbers deserve a close watch," 4 July 2018 Many other expressions using names from bygone eras can be lumped into the same general category. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "Our Tired Expressions Need to Turn Over New Leaves," 28 June 2018 She and the poor women imprisoned along with her have been lumped together, watching the red-wedge clock, because their circumstances nudged them into behaviors deemed criminal. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The bold, vivid worlds of Rachel Kushner’s novels," 7 June 2018 Bootleggers and moonshiners are often lumped into the same category, but are not the same. Alan Ashe, CNN, "It's National Moonshine Day. We answer your questions," 7 June 2018 The negative public response to an agency’s unpopular decisions or inner dysfunction gets lumped in with more positive images of a city’s appearance or unique history. Martine Powers, Washington Post, "Metro Inc. Is it too late for a Washington transit branding reboot?," 1 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

15 Oct 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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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