View synonyms for bump


[ buhmp ]

verb (used with object)

  1. to come more or less violently in contact with; collide with; strike:

    His car bumped a truck.

  2. to cause to strike or collide:

    He bumped the car against a tree.

  3. to dislodge or displace by the force of collision.
  4. to dislodge by appropriating the privileges of:

    The airline bumped me from the flight.

  5. to demote or dismiss:

    He was bumped from his job.

  6. to force upward; raise:

    Demand from abroad bumped the price of corn.

  7. to move to a new position:

    We had to bump your story to next week's paper.

  8. Digital Technology. to move (an online post or thread) to the top of the reverse chronological list by adding a new comment or post to the thread:

    I bumped the question I posted last week to make it more visible.

verb (used without object)

  1. to come in contact or collide with (often followed by against or into ):

    She bumped into me.

  2. to bounce along; proceed in a series of jolts:

    The old car bumped down the road.

  3. to dance by thrusting the pelvis forward abruptly, in a provocative manner, especially to the accompaniment of an accented musical beat. Compare grind ( def 14 ).
  4. to boil with violent jolts caused by the sudden eruption of large bubbles through the surface.


  1. an act or instance of bumping; collision; blow.
  2. the shock of a blow or collision.
  3. a swelling or contusion from a blow.
  4. a small area raised above the level of the surrounding surface; protuberance:

    He tripped over a bump on the sidewalk.

  5. Informal. a promotion or demotion; transfer to a higher or lower level:

    He got a bump to vice president of the company.

  6. Informal. an increase in amount, especially of salary or a wager:

    He asked the boss for a ten-dollar bump.

  7. Aeronautics. a rapidly rising current of air that gives an airplane a severe upward thrust.
  8. a dance movement in which the pelvis is abruptly thrust forward in a provocative manner, especially to the accompaniment of an accented musical beat. Compare grind ( def 20 ).
  9. Mining. crump ( def 6 ).
  10. Television. bumper 1( def 9a ).

verb phrase

  1. Slang. to kill, especially to murder:

    They bumped him off because he knew too much.

  2. Informal. to meet by chance:

    I bumped into an old friend yesterday.


/ bʌmp /


  1. whenintr, usually foll by against or into to knock or strike with a jolt
  2. introften foll byalong to travel or proceed in jerks and jolts
  3. tr to hurt by knocking

    he bumped his head on the ceiling

  4. tr to knock out of place; dislodge

    the crash bumped him from his chair

  5. tr to throw (a child) into the air, one other child holding each limb, and let him down again to touch the ground
  6. (in rowing races, esp at Oxford and Cambridge) to catch up with and touch (another boat that started a fixed distance ahead)
  7. cricket to bowl (a ball) so that it bounces high on pitching or (of a ball) to bounce high when bowled
  8. intr to dance erotically by thrusting the pelvis forward (esp in the phrase bump and grind )
  9. tr poker to raise (someone)
  10. informal.
    tr to exclude a ticket-holding passenger from a flight as a result of overbooking
  11. informal.
    tr to displace (someone or something) from a previously allocated position

    the story was bumped from the front page

  12. bump uglies slang.
    to have sexual intercourse


  1. an impact; knock; jolt; collision
  2. a dull thud or other noise from an impact or collision
  3. the shock of a blow or collision
  4. a lump on the body caused by a blow
  5. a protuberance, as on a road surface
  6. any of the natural protuberances of the human skull, said by phrenologists to indicate underlying faculties and character
  7. a rising current of air that gives an aircraft a severe upward jolt
  8. plural the act of bumping a child. See sense 5
  9. rowing the act of bumping See bumping race
  10. bump ball
    cricket a ball that bounces into the air after being hit directly into the ground by the batsman

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Other Words From

  • bump·ing·ly adverb
  • un·bumped adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of bump1

First recorded in 1560–70; imitative

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Word History and Origins

Origin of bump1

C16: probably of imitative origin

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Idioms and Phrases

  • goose pimples (bumps)
  • like a bump on a log

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Example Sentences

Hana itself, with a population of 800, isn’t much more than a bump in the road, but it’s a hiker’s paradise.

After the shot, he caught up with colleagues whom he had not seen in person since the spring, saying goodbye with elbow bumps.

Castillo said he already has seen a bump in inquiries from young people for his studio.

Still, women are perceived as talking more than men, even when they don’t, and while men benefit from talking more—listeners find them to be more competent—women don’t get the same bump.

From Fortune

A little storm passing to the north tonight is our main bump on the way to a pleasant Friday.

As Bump notes, this goes a long way toward explaining the disciplinary disparity between blacks and whites in public schools.

And over at The Wire, Philip Bump highlights a disturbing new study that measures bias as it applies to African American boys.

Bump along with Bill to his newest (and possibly only) dance track in this promo video for

However the breakfast show they were working on has been axed and will be replaced by a show called The Bump.

Philip Bump on how a performance artist misled the public radio show.

"Bump," it went up against a telephone pole and the wind left it there.

Bump it in the carburetor enough times, rake it with shrapnel, and it begins to lose its first freshness.

Rocking the boats till people fell Bump right out of their berths onto the floor!

Bump he went against the ceiling, and I knew then why he was all over white on the more salient curves and angles of his person.

The pole seemed to have magnetic qualities and the result was "Bump."


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About This Word

What else does bump mean?

Bump is an online slang term for the practice of posting filler comments to move a post to the top of a discussion thread, increasing a message or thread’s status and visibility.

Where does bump come from?

Likely emerging in the mid to late 1990s with the rise of online message boards, bump is popularly said to be a backronym for the phrase “bring up my post.” The term, however, may have also simply originated as an extension of the word bump (i.e., give something a bump, or boost).

While the first instance isn’t exactly known, the term was in practice by 1998 on Amezou World, a predecessor to the imageboard site 4chan; it incorporated bumping into its message-sharing platform. A StraightDope message board titled “Bumping Threads” dates back to 2000, confirming that users were familiar with the term by the turn of the century.

Anyone participating in an online discussion forum can bump, and bumping can be useful if a post hasn’t received an answer as a thread becomes buried by newer posts. Writing a one-word bump like “Anyone?” can revive the thread and elicit prompt responses.

Overuse of the practice, especially for mere self-promotion, is considered obnoxious and can sometimes be called spamming. Some forums limit or even prohibit thread-bumping for this reason.

How is bump used in real life?

Bump is used colloquially in online message boards and discussion forums. The term can refer to an instance of bumping (a bump) or the action itself (to bump a post). As the practice has become more widespread and common, sometimes the word bump is typed as the very filler word used to bump a post. Some users post image macros (e.g., Super Mario bumping a brick) as a clever or creative accompaniment to their bump message.

Bumping is also sometimes referred to as thread-bumping or bump post. Necro-bumping, also called necro-posting, is the practice of bumping a “dead” (necro) thread. Forum etiquette especially frowns upon this.

Internet bumping is not to be confused with the many other slang senses of bump, including “a hit or dose of drug,” “sexual intercourse,” “a woman’s breast”, “a woman’s abdomen when she is first showing pregnancy,” and “to murder someone.”

More examples of bump:

“What is the etiquette for thread bumping here? There are a couple of threads I find interesting that seemed to have died, and i’d [sic] like to bump ’em up in hopes of getting responses.”
—Larry Borgia, StraightDope, 2000


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




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