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[ramp] /ræmp/
a sloping surface connecting two levels; incline.
a short concave slope or bend, as one connecting the higher and lower parts of a staircase railing at a landing.
any extensive sloping walk or passageway.
the act of ramping.
Also called boarding ramp. a movable staircase for entering or leaving a cabin door of an airplane.
Also called parking ramp. apron (def 6).
verb (used without object)
(of animals) to stand or move with the forelegs or arms raised, as in animosity or excitement.
(of a lion or other large quadruped represented on a coat of arms) to rise or stand on the hind legs.
to rear as if to spring.
to leap or dash with fury (often followed by about).
to act violently; rage; storm:
ramping and raging in a great fury.
verb (used with object)
to provide with a ramp or ramps:
Entrances will be ramped to accommodate those in wheelchairs.
Verb phrases
ramp along, Nautical. to sail on a tack with all sails filled.
Origin of ramp1
1350-1400; (v.) Middle English rampen < Old French ramper to creep, crawl, climb; (noun) < French rampe, derivative of ramper
Related forms
rampingly, adverb
unramped, adjective


[ramp] /ræmp/
noun, Usually, ramps
a wild onion, Allium tricoccum, of the amaryllis family, of eastern North America, having flat leaves and rounded clusters of whitish flowers; eaten raw or used as a flavoring in cooked foods.
Also called wild leek.
1530-40; back formation from ramps ramson, variant (with intrusive p) of rams, earlier rammys, orig. the singular of ramson Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ramp
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But no one appeared in the open hatch; no one came down the ramp.

    Time and the Woman G. Gordon Dewey
  • Barth strode up the ramp of his flagship, shouting out to his men as he went.

    Victory Lester del Rey
  • When he got almost to the top of the ramp, I turned back around.

    Warren Commission (12 of 26): Hearings Vol. XII (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • Cal stepped through the exit and walked slowly down the ramp.

    Eight Keys to Eden Mark Irvin Clifton
  • Twice again, before we reached the ramp they guarded, the angry attendants of the idol fell before our guns.

    The Infra-Medians Sewell Peaslee Wright
British Dictionary definitions for ramp


a sloping floor, path, etc, that joins two surfaces at different levels
a movable stairway by which passengers enter and leave an aircraft
the act of ramping
(Brit, slang) a swindle, esp one involving exorbitant prices
another name for sleeping policeman
(intransitive; often foll by about or around) (esp of animals) to rush around in a wild excited manner
to act in a violent or threatening manner, as when angry (esp in the phrase ramp and rage)
(transitive) (finance) to buy (a security) in the market with the object of raising its price and enhancing the image of the company behind it for financial gain
See also ramp down, ramp up
Word Origin
C18 (n): from C13 rampe, from Old French ramper to crawl or rear, probably of Germanic origin; compare Middle Low German ramp cramp
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 ramp

1778, "slope," from French rampe, back-formation from Old French verb ramper "to climb, scale, mount;" see ramp (v.). Meaning "road on or off a major highway" is from 1952, American English.

"rude, boisterous girl or woman," mid-15c., perhaps from ramp (v.). Cf. romp in Johnson's Dictionary (1755): "a rude, awkward, boisterous, untaught girl."


c.1300, "to climb; to stand on the hind legs" (of animals), from Old French ramper "to climb, scale, mount" (12c., in Modern French "to creep, crawl"), perhaps from Frankish *rampon "to contract oneself" (cf. Old High German rimpfan "to wrinkle," Old English hrimpan "to fold, wrinkle"), via notion of the bodily contraction involved in climbing [Klein], from Proto-Germanic *hrimp- "to contract oneself." Related: Ramped; ramping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for ramp


Rural Abandoned Mine Program
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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