Dictionary.com

bum rap

[ buhm-rap ]
/ ˈbʌm ˈræp /
Save This Word!

noun Slang.
an unjust accusation, verdict, or punishment: He was sent to prison on a bum rap.
an adverse opinion or judgment considered undeserved or unjust: The review was a bum rap, but I liked the play.
QUIZ
ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help
Also bad rap [bad-rap] /ˈbæd ˈræp/ .

Origin of bum rap

First recorded in 1910–15; bum1 (in the sense “disappointing, unpleasant”) + rap1 (in the sense “blame, punishment, criminal charge”)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use bum rap in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for bum rap

bum rap

noun US slang
a trumped-up or false charge
an unjust punishment
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with bum rap

bum rap

A false accusation or conviction; also, unfair criticism or action. For example, He claimed he was in prison on a bum rap, or The theater critics gave her last play a bum rap. This expression originated in the 1920s as underworld slang, and by the mid-1900s it was also used figuratively for other kinds of injustice.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
FEEDBACK