definitions
  • synonyms

bum rap

SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR bum rap ON THESAURUS.COM

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.

RELATED CONTENT

Words You Didn’t Know Came From ChicagoThis midwestern metropolis is cold ... and also responsible for adding some pretty cool words and phrases to our language too. Here are eight words you probably had no idea originated in Chicago.
READ MORE

RELATED WORDS

bummer, drag, misfortune, frame-up

Nearby words

bulwer-lytton, bum, bum around, bum bag, bum out, bum rap, bum steer, bum's rush, bum-rush, bumbailiff, bumbershoot
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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

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.