stump

1 of 4

noun (1)

1
a
: the basal portion of a bodily part remaining after the rest is removed
b
: a rudimentary or vestigial bodily part
2
: the part of a plant and especially a tree remaining attached to the root after the trunk is cut
3
: a remaining part : stub
4
: one of the pointed rods stuck in the ground to form a cricket wicket
5
: a place or occasion for public speaking (as for a cause or candidate)
also : the circuit followed by a maker of such speeches
used especially in the phrase on the stump

stump

2 of 4

verb (1)

stumped; stumping; stumps

transitive verb

1
: to reduce to a stump : trim
2
b
: to frustrate the progress or efforts of : baffle
3
: to clear (land) of stumps
4
: to travel over (a region) making political speeches or supporting a cause
5
a
: to walk over heavily or clumsily

intransitive verb

1
: to walk heavily or clumsily
2
: to go about making political speeches or supporting a cause
stumper noun

stump

3 of 4

noun (2)

: a short thick roll of leather, felt, or paper usually pointed at both ends and used for shading or blending a drawing in crayon, pencil, charcoal, pastel, or chalk

stump

4 of 4

verb (2)

stumped; stumping; stumps

transitive verb

: to tone or treat (a drawing) with a stump

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

Middle English stumpe; akin to Old High German stumpf stump and perhaps to Middle English stampen to stamp

Noun (2)

French or Dutch dialect; French estompe, from Dutch dialect stomp, literally, stub, from Middle Dutch; akin to Old High German stumpf stump

First Known Use

Noun (1)

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

Verb (1)

1581, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

1778, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1807, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near stump

Cite this Entry

“Stump.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stump. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

stump 1 of 2

noun

1
: the base of a bodily part (as an arm or leg) remaining after the rest is removed
2
: the part of a plant and especially a tree remaining attached to the root after the top is cut off
3
: a part (as of a pencil) remaining after the rest is worn away or lost : stub
4
: a place or occasion for political public speaking

stump

2 of 2

verb

1
2
a
: to walk or walk over heavily or clumsily
3
: to go about making political speeches
stump the state for a candidate
stumper noun

Medical Definition

1
: the basal portion of a bodily part (as a limb) remaining after the rest is removed
2
: a rudimentary or vestigial bodily part

More from Merriam-Webster on stump

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Spell It

Hear a word and type it out. How many can you get right?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ