[ buhm ]
/ bʌm /
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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.
verb (used with object), bummed, bum·ming.
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.
verb (used without object), bummed, bum·ming.
to sponge on others for a living; lead an idle or dissolute life.
to live as a hobo.
adjective, bum·mer, bum·mest.
Slang. of poor, wretched, or miserable quality; unsatisfactory: I figured $300 was a bum deal for a minor repair, but I paid it anyway.
Slang. fraudulent or fake: He was accused of issuing a bum check for $2920.
Slang. disappointing; unpleasant.
Slang. erroneous or ill-advised; misleading: I think the gauge is giving me a bum readout.
Slang. physically disabled, impaired, or injured: 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.
OTHER WORDS FOR bum
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Idioms about bum
- 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.
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.
Origin of bum1
An Americanism first recorded in 1860–65; perhaps a shortening of or back formation from bummer1; adjective senses of unclear relation to sense “loafer” and perhaps of distinct origin
Other definitions for bum (2 of 2)
[ buhm ]
/ bʌm /
noun Chiefly British Slang.
the buttocks; rump.
Origin of bum2
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English bom; of uncertain origin
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use bum in a sentence
A Negro pastor whirled me round to the hub of Bumming Ham in his brand-new car.The Soul of John Brown|Stephen Graham
British Dictionary definitions for bum (1 of 2)
/ (bʌm) /
British slang the buttocks or anus
Word Origin for bum
C14: of uncertain origin
British Dictionary definitions for bum (2 of 2)
/ (bʌm) informal /
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
verb bums, bumming or bummed
(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 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
Other 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)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.