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Petrichor: The smell after rainfall


[kluhmp] /klʌmp/
a small, close group or cluster, especially of trees or other plants.
a lump or mass.
a heavy, thumping step, sound, etc.
Immunology. a cluster of agglutinated bacteria, red blood cells, etc.
a thick extra sole on a shoe.
verb (used without object)
Also, clomp. to walk heavily and clumsily.
Immunology. to gather or be gathered into clumps; agglutinate.
verb (used with object)
to gather or form into a clump; mass.
Origin of clump
1580-90; akin to Dutch klompe lump, mass, Old English clympre lump of metal
Related forms
clumpy, clumpish, clumplike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for clumping
Historical Examples
  • clumping through the hall was his second cousin, Lena, the Cowleses' "hired girl."

    The Trail of the Hawk Sinclair Lewis
  • As she opened the squeaky screen-door he was clumping down the steps.

    In a Little Town Rupert Hughes
  • He went to the bank building and entered the rear door, clumping heavily up the stairs, for he felt a heavy depression.

    Square Deal Sanderson Charles Alden Seltzer
  • It was as musical as the clumping of a new pair of red topped boots.

    Red Head and Whistle Breeches Ellis Parker Butler
  • They were clumping along, chattering gaily, when Katy jumped and let out a yell that could have been heard a block away.

  • They heard a clumping step upon the staircase, and, when it reached the landing, it stopped at their door.

    The Lost Prince Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • Therefore anthropo-geography, instead of clumping the passes, sorts them out, and notes different relations in each.

    Influences of Geographic Environment Ellen Churchill Semple
  • The man was clumping slowly along in his rubber boots; an old cap was slewed awry on his head, its peak drawn down over one ear.

    Blow The Man Down Holman Day
  • There was a great army of them, clumping down the road the way they do.

    Fanny Herself Edna Ferber
  • They must combine with the foreign cells and also bring about their clumping together, their agglutination.

    The Fundamentals of Bacteriology Charles Bradfield Morrey
British Dictionary definitions for clumping


a cluster, as of trees or plants
a dull heavy tread or any similar sound
an irregular mass: a clump of hair or earth
an inactive mass of microorganisms, esp a mass of bacteria produced as a result of agglutination
an extra sole on a shoe
(slang) a blow
(intransitive) to walk or tread heavily
to gather or be gathered into clumps, clusters, clots, etc
to cause (bacteria, blood cells, etc) to collect together or (of bacteria, etc) to collect together
(transitive) (slang) to punch (someone)
Derived Forms
clumpy, adjective
clumpiness, noun
Word Origin
Old English clympe; related to Middle Dutch klampe heap of hay, Middle Low German klampeclamp², Swedish klimp small lump
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
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Word Origin and History for clumping



1580s, "lump; cluster of trees," from Middle English clompe "a lump" (c.1300), from Dutch klomp "lump, mass," or Middle Low German klumpe "clog, wooden shoe." Old English had clympre "lump, mass of metal."


"to heap or gather in clumps" (transitive), 1824, from clump (n.). Related: Clumped; clumping. Intransitive sense "to form a clump or clumps" is recorded from 1896.

"walk heavily," 1660s, imitative. Related: Clumped; clumping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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clumping in Medicine

clumping clump·ing (klŭm'pĭng)
The massing together of bacteria or other cells suspended in a fluid.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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