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  1. a person or thing that bumps.
  2. a metal guard, usually horizontal, for protecting the front or rear of an automobile, truck, etc.
  3. any protective rim, guard, pad, or disk for absorbing shock and preventing damage from bumping, as a rubber-tipped doorstop or an old tire on the side of a boat.
  4. a cup or glass filled to the brim, as with beer.
  5. Informal. something unusually large.
  6. a person who molds bricks by hand.
  7. Foundry. a machine for ramming sand into a mold.
  8. a carangid fish, Chlorosombrus chrysurus, of southern U.S. and Cuban coastal seas.
  9. Television Slang. a brief announcement about a news story to be covered later in the programming.
  1. unusually abundant: Bumper crops reaped a big profit for local farmers.
verb (used with object)
  1. to fill to the brim.

Origin of bumper1

First recorded in 1750–60; bump + -er1


noun Australian Slang.
  1. the unconsumed end of a cigarette; cigarette butt.

Origin of bumper2

1915–20; expressive coinage, perhaps blend of butt1 and stump + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for bumper

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British Dictionary definitions for bumper


  1. a horizontal metal bar attached to the front or rear end of a car, lorry, etc, to protect against damage from impact
  2. a person or machine that bumps
  3. cricket a ball bowled so that it bounces high on pitching; bouncer


  1. a glass, tankard, etc, filled to the brim, esp as a toast
  2. an unusually large or fine example of something
  1. unusually large, fine, or abundanta bumper crop
  1. (tr) to toast with a bumper
  2. (tr) to fill to the brim
  3. (intr) to drink bumpers

Word Origin

C17 (in the sense: a brimming glass): probably from bump (obsolete vb) to bulge; see bump


  1. Australian old-fashioned, informal a cigarette end

Word Origin

C19: perhaps from a blend of butt 1 and stump
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for bumper


1670s, "glass filled to the brim;" perhaps from notion of bumping as "large," or from a related sense of "booming" (see bump (v.)). Meaning "anything unusually large" is from 1759, slang. Agent-noun meaning "buffer of a car" is from 1839, American English, originally in reference to railway cars; 1901 of automobiles (in phrase bumper-to-bumper, in reference to a hypothetical situation; of actual traffic jams by 1908).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper