[ burp ]
/ bɜrp /
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a belch; eructation.
verb (used without object)
to belch; eruct.
verb (used with object)
to cause (a baby) to belch by patting its back, especially to relieve flatulence after feeding.


What Do You Call These Bodily Functions?

What do you call that red bump on your skin? How about that dried snot in your nose? Get ready for some bodily function talk ...

Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of burp

An Americanism dating back to 1930–35; imitative


burp·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does burp mean?

A burp is the often noisy instance of stomach gas being released through the mouth. It often happens after you eat or especially after you drink a bubbly drink like soda.

Burp can also be used as a verb meaning to release gas in such a way, as in I burped right in the middle of the meeting—it was so embarrassing. 

Burping is common and normal, but it’s often considered rude to burp in public, especially to do so loudly. It’s typically considered the polite thing to do to try to cover up a burp.

A synonym for both the noun and verb sense of burp is belch, which is a bit more formal. The technical medical term for burping or a burp is eructation. The verb form of this is eruct.

As a verb, burp can also mean to help a baby to burp, as in I always enjoyed burping my babies after they drank their bottle—it’s so satisfying to get a big burp out! Babies are burped to prevent the buildup of gas. Usually, burping is done by gently patting the baby’s back.

Burp is also sometimes used in a figurative way in the context of a thing releasing gas or air or something else, especially in a messy way. A volcano can be said to burp out fumes. You can burp a food storage container—let the excess air out of it—by quickly opening and closing the lid.

Example: My grandfather loved to conclude his dinner by unleashing a loud burp to signal his satisfaction.

Where does burp come from?

The first records of the word burp come from around 1930. It is an Americanism that is meant to imitate the sound a person makes when they burp.

Burps are often considered impolite, especially in front of other people, but like a lot of other bodily functions, they’re also pretty funny. A person loudly burping in an inappropriate situation is a common gag in movies.

Burping is much less funny when it’s a sign of an underlying problem. Burping is normal, but excessive burping can be a sign of digestive or gastrointestinal issues.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to burp?

What are some synonyms for burp?

What are some words that often get used in discussing burp?

How is burp used in real life?

Burps are very common. Like other bodily functions, burping is sometimes considered rude but it’s also considered funny.



Try using burp!

Is the word burp used correctly in the following sentence?

Make sure you burp the baby after she takes her bottle.

How to use burp in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for burp

/ (bɜːp) /

informal a belch
(intr) informal to belch
(tr) to cause (a baby) to burp to relieve flatulence after feeding

Word Origin for burp

C20: of imitative origin
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

Medical definitions for burp

[ bûrp ]

Noisy expulsion of gas from the stomach through the mouth.
To expel gas from the stomach through the mouth.
To cause a baby to expel gas from the stomach, as by patting the back after feeding.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.