ramp

1 of 5

noun (1)

1
: a sloping way or plane: such as
a
: a sloping floor, walk, or roadway leading from one level to another
b
: a slope for launching boats
2

ramp

2 of 5

verb (1)

ramped; ramping; ramps

intransitive verb

: to speed up, expand, or increase especially quickly or at a constant rate
used with up
ramping up to full speed
The backlash is a sign of tensions that could intensify as the governor ramps up for reelection next year.Josh Burek
The raisin giant ramps up for Halloween by selling bags of 14 half-ounce raisin boxes.Bruce Horovitz
Furthermore, some of these heat processes must be "ramped up." That is, the heat must be gradually raised to the processing temperature …George Lawton

transitive verb

: to increase, expand, or decrease especially quickly or at a constant rate
usually used with up or down
ramp up production
… James Bay and Tori Kelly, two best new artist nominees, traded their songs on acoustic guitars, ramping up the vibrato.Jon Pareles
see also ramp-up

ramp

3 of 5

noun (2)

: any of various alliums used for food

ramp

4 of 5

verb (2)

ramped; ramping; ramps

intransitive verb

1
a
: to stand or advance menacingly with forelegs or with arms raised
b
: to move or act furiously
2
: to creep up
used especially of plants

ramp

5 of 5

noun (3)

plural ramps
old-fashioned + literary
: the act or an instance of ramping (see ramp entry 4)
It is the ramp of the lion by the side of the … snarl of the cur.Edmund Burke
(figurative) … the whirr / Of the crickets is lost in the roar / And the ramp of the southern gale …Hamlin Garland

Examples of ramp in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
There’s no barrier protecting them from the frontage road; the ramp to the highway is just yards away. Maggie Prosser, Dallas News, 19 Sep. 2023 In the Perelman center’s case, the structural challenge was building it over four underground stories of knotty, immovable infrastructure — a maze of train tracks, ventilation ducts and truck ramps that service the World Trade Center site. Michael Kimmelman, New York Times, 13 Sep. 2023 Additional Closures: The Eastbound ramp at Route 2 to East 9th Street will close at 10:30 a.m. Peter Chakerian, cleveland, 9 Sep. 2023 The crash closed the ramp and southbound lanes of the highway. Jennifer Edwards Baker, The Enquirer, 6 Sep. 2023 Five people were killed and three were injured in an Atlanta crash early Monday on the SR 316 westbound ramp to Interstate 85 southbound in Gwinnett County, according to police. CBS News, 4 Sep. 2023 Last year Levin announced $2.2 million in federal funding to widen roads, and install curbs, lighting, pedestrian crossings and ADA accessible street-corner ramps in Vista’s nearby Townsite neighborhood. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Aug. 2023 Horne pulled over his 2007 Ford around 10 p.m. to help a driver whose 1994 Chevrolet was disabled in the left lane of the southbound ramp of I-395 toward southbound I-95. Lilly Price, Baltimore Sun, 14 Aug. 2023 The tour includes stairs, but there are ramps into the tour room and to the lower level for accessibility. Jordyn Noennig, Journal Sentinel, 11 Aug. 2023
Verb
The remix finds Emerson ramping up the original groove to a swift, double-time pace as a repeating synth mantra bubbles up around Dreijer’s vocals. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 25 Sep. 2023 In response, the US Defense Department ramped up resources. Melissa Alonso, CNN, 23 Sep. 2023 Similarly, when Americans were killed subduing Islamic State (or ISIS) fighters in Niger in 2017, the United States did not ramp up its operations in West Africa. Alexandra Chinchilla and Sam Rosenberg, Foreign Affairs, 22 Sep. 2023 Hydropower can be ramped up and down in a short time to address sudden demand fluctuations, unlike other sources such as wind and solar. Sudarshan Varadhan and Ashley Fang, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Sep. 2023 The campaign is ramping up as the president's son, Hunter Biden, is set to face federal gun possession charges and possibly others. Bo Erickson, CBS News, 21 Sep. 2023 The new office comes as Biden's reelection campaign ramps up and amid frustration from many activists that the president has been unable to break through Congress's resistance to additional gun-control laws. Tyler Pager, BostonGlobe.com, 19 Sep. 2023 As the fentanyl crisis gripped Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott ramped up border security, signed laws toughening criminal penalties for drug dealers and tied the problem to President Joe Biden’s immigration policies. Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas News, 17 Sep. 2023 With just three matches left after OL Reign, the Thorns would like to have Smith back as soon as possible to ramp her up for the playoffs. oregonlive, 15 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ramp.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

borrowed from French rampe, going back to Middle French, "inclined plane on which the steps of a staircase are built," noun derivative of ramper "to crawl, creep, move slowly along a surface," going back to Old French — more at ramp entry 4

Verb (1)

in part verbal derivative of ramp1, implying upward or downward movement on a ramp, in part derivative of ramp "artificial stimulation of a situation, market, etc., for financial or political gain," probably derivative of 19th-century British slang ramp "to rob, swindle," of uncertain origin

Noun (2)

back-formation from ramps, alteration (by intrusive p) of rams "the wild garlic Allium ursinum," going back to Middle English ramese, rampses, ramzys, going back to Old English hramsa, hramse (masculine or feminine weak noun), going back to Germanic *hramusan- or *hramusjōn- (whence also Old Saxon ramusia "wild garlic," Middle Low German ramese, remese, regional German Rams) going back to dialectal Indo-European *ḱrom-us-, ablaut variant of a noun seen also in Middle Irish crem, crim "wild garlic," Welsh craf, cra (< Celtic *kremo-, kramo-?), Russian čeremšá, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian srȉjemuš, srȉjemuša, also crȉjemuš, crȉjemuša, Lithuanian kermùšė, kermušė͂, beside šermùkšnis, šermùkšlė "mountain ash" (< *kerm-(o)us-i̯eh2, *ḱerm-(o)us-i̯eh2), Greek krómmyon, krémyon (Hesychius) "onion (Allium cepa) (< *ḱrom-us-o-/*ḱrem-us-o-)

Note: While Balto-Slavic has *ḱerm-, the other languages appear to have *ḱrVm- (or *ḱr̥m-?). The fluctuation between palatovelar and plain velar in Balto-Slavic has been explained as a result of an original *ḱrem-, with loss of palatal quality before r. The word is found only within European Indo-European, and regarded by some as a Wanderwort or borrowing from a substratal language.

Verb (2)

Middle English rampen, raumpen "to creep on the ground (of a snake or dragon), to spring up, rear up on the hind legs (of a lion or other large carnivore)," borrowed from Anglo-French ramper "to climb, rear up on the hind legs, creep" (also continental Old French), perhaps going back to a Germanic base *hramp- used in various expressive words, as Middle Dutch ramp "mishap, disaster," rampe "torticollis in birds," Middle Low German ramp "spasm, epilepsy, distress, disaster," Old English gehrumpen "wrinkled, coiled, contracted," Old High German rimpfan, preterit rampf "to shrivel, shrink"

Note: Though the Germanic origin of ramper is generally accepted (as by Französisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, Trésor de la langue française), the semantic connections are tenuous. Hypothetically akin to this verb is a noun *hrampa- meaning "hook, claw," whence Italian rampa "claw, talon," alongside Spanish, Catalan rampa "cramp, spasm." Suggested Indo-European comparisons (Lithuanian kremblỹs "chantarelle," Greek krámbos "clear, dry [of a sound]") are even more tenuous.

Noun (3)

derivative of ramp entry 4

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1705, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

1980, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun (2)

1826, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (3)

1671, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ramp was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near ramp

Cite this Entry

“Ramp.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ramp. Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition

ramp

noun
ˈramp
: a sloping way or plane: as
a
: a sloping passage or roadway connecting different levels
b
: a slope for launching boats

More from Merriam-Webster on ramp

Last Updated: - Definition revised
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