- a person who avoids work and sponges on others; loafer; idler.
- a tramp, hobo, or derelict.
- Informal. an enthusiast of a specific sport or recreational activity, especially one who gives it priority over work, family life, etc.: a ski bum; a tennis bum.
- Informal. an incompetent person.
- a drunken orgy; debauch.
- Informal. to borrow without expectation of returning; get for nothing; cadge: He's always bumming cigarettes from me.
- Slang. to ruin or spoil: The weather bummed our whole weekend.
- to sponge on others for a living; lead an idle or dissolute life.
- to live as a hobo.
- of poor, wretched, or miserable quality; worthless.
- disappointing; unpleasant.
- erroneous or ill-advised; misleading: That tip on the stock market was a bum steer.
- lame: a bum leg.
- bum around, Informal. to travel, wander, or spend one's time aimlessly: We bummed around for a couple of hours after work.
- bum (someone) out, Slang. to disappoint, upset, or annoy: It really bummed me out that she could have helped and didn't.
- on the bum, Informal.
- living or traveling as or in a manner suggesting that of a hobo or tramp.
- in a state of disrepair or disorder: The oven is on the bum again.
Origin of bum1
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
- the buttocks; rump.
Origin of bum2
- a reproduction of a document made with copying equipment.
- a bag into which classified waste is put in preparation for destruction.
Origin of bum3
Examples from the Web for bum
Bum′-bail′iff, an under-bailiff; Bum′-boat, boat for carrying provisions to a ship, originally a Thames scavenger's boat.
"Bum—I tell you, you'll fall down, little spring bird," repeated Giacobbe at the top of his lungs.After the Divorce
That short, stout-looking man in boots and buckskins, is his assistant, vulgarly called his Bum.Real Life In London, Volumes I. and II.
The Bum Actor's face was deathly white and his pistol hand trembled a little, but he did not flinch.A List To Starboard
F. Hopkinson Smith
Bum vay (R211,d), by my faith: original spelling vei: cf. Fr.
- British slang the buttocks or anus
- a disreputable loafer or idler
- a tramp; hobo
- an irresponsible, unpleasant, or mean person
- a person who spends a great deal of time on a specified sportbaseball bum
- on the bum
- living as a loafer or vagrant
- out of repair; broken
- (tr) to get by begging; cadgeto bum a lift
- (intr often foll by around) to live by begging or as a vagrant or loafer
- (intr usually foll by around) to spend time to no good purpose; loaf; idle
- bum someone off US and Canadian slang to disappoint, annoy, or upset someone
- (prenominal) of poor quality; useless
- wrong or inappropriatea bum note
Word Origin and History for bum
"buttocks," late 14c., "probably onomatopœic, to be compared with other words of similar sound and with the general sense of 'protuberance, swelling.' " [OED]
"dissolute loafer, tramp," 1864, American English, from bummer "loafer, idle person" (1855), probably from German slang bummler "loafer," from bummeln "go slowly, waste time." Bum first appears in a German-American context, and bummer was popular in the slang of the North's army in the American Civil War (as many as 216,000 German immigrants in the ranks). Bum's rush "forcible ejection" first recorded 1910.
"of poor quality," 1859, American English, from bum (n.). Bum steer in figurative sense of "bad advice" attested from 1901.
Idioms and Phrases with bum
In addition to the idioms beginning with bum
- bum around
- bum out
- bum rap
- bum steer
- on the blink (bum)