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[oo mf] /ʊmf/
noun, Informal.
energy; vitality; enthusiasm.
sex appeal.
Origin of oomph
An Americanism dating back to 1935-40; imitative of the sound made during exertion, as in lifting a heavy object Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for oomph
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • About the only remarks that could be elicited from the "little yaller man" were a reluctant "oomph" or "oomph-uh."

    Americans All Various
  • Then a look of intelligence came into mammy's fat face, "oomph," she said.

British Dictionary definitions for oomph


noun (informal)
enthusiasm, vigour, or energy
sex appeal
Word Origin
C20: perhaps imitative of the bellow of a mating bull
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 oomph

"sexual attractiveness," 1937, suggestive visceral physical sound. Ann Sheridan (1915–1967) was the original Hollywood oomph girl (1939).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for oomph



  1. Sexual attractiveness; compelling carnality; it
  2. Energy; clout, pizzazz: substance, drive, authority, emotional power, and oomph

[1937+; an echoic coinage suggesting the gasp of someone hit hard by a blow, a transport of desire, etc]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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