[ buhm-er ]
/ ˈbʌm ər /

noun Slang.

a person who bums off others.


Discover The Influence Of Portuguese On English Via This Quiz!
We’ve gathered some interesting words donated to English from Portuguese … as well as some that just don’t translate at all. Do you know what they mean?
Question 1 of 11
Which of the following animal names traces its immediate origin to Portuguese?

Origin of bummer

1850–55, Americanism; probably < German Bummler, derivative with -er -er1 of bummeln ‘to take a stroll, dawdle, loiter’ (expressive v. of uncertain origin)

Definition for bummer (2 of 3)

[ buhm-er ]
/ ˈbʌm ər /


the unpleasant aftermath of taking narcotic drugs, especially frightening hallucinations or unpleasant physical sensations.
any unpleasant or disappointing experience: That concert was a real bummer.


(used to express disappointment, frustration, or the like): Looks like we're having a test tomorrow—bummer!

Origin of bummer

1965–70; apparently bum1 (adj. sense) + -er1

Definition for bummer (3 of 3)

Origin of bum

1860–65, Americanism; perhaps shortening of or back formation from bummer1; adj. senses of unclear relation to sense “loafer” and perhaps of distinct orig.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for bummer

British Dictionary definitions for bummer (1 of 3)

/ (ˈbʌmə) /

noun slang

an unpleasant or disappointing experience
mainly US a vagrant or idler
an adverse reaction to a drug, characterized by panic or fear

British Dictionary definitions for bummer (2 of 3)

/ (bʌm) /


British slang the buttocks or anus

Word Origin for bum

C14: of uncertain origin

British Dictionary definitions for bummer (3 of 3)

/ (bʌm) informal /


verb bums, bumming or bummed


(prenominal) of poor quality; useless
wrong or inappropriatea bum note

Word Origin for bum

C19: probably shortened from earlier bummer a loafer, probably from German bummeln to loaf
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 bummer


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