See more synonyms for hump on
  1. a rounded protuberance, especially a fleshy protuberance on the back, as that due to abnormal curvature of the spine in humans, or that normally present in certain animals, as the camel or bison.
  2. Physical Geography.
    1. a low, rounded rise of ground; hummock.
    2. a mountain or mountain range.
  3. Railroads. (in a switchyard) a raised area down which cars pushed to its crest roll by gravity and momentum for automatic sorting through a series of preset switches.
  4. Slang: Vulgar.
    1. an act or instance of coitus.
    2. a partner in coitus.
  5. the hump,
    1. British Slang.a fit of depression or bad humor: to get the hump.
    2. (initial capital letter)(in World War II) the Himalayas.
verb (used with object)
  1. to raise (the back) in a hump; hunch: The cat humped its back.
  2. Railroads. to sort (cars) by means of a hump.
  3. Informal. to exert (oneself) in a great effort.
  4. Slang: Vulgar. to have sexual intercourse with.
  5. Slang.
    1. to place or bear on the back or shoulder.
    2. to carry or haul.
    3. to load or unload; lift.
verb (used without object)
  1. to rise in a hump.
  2. Informal. to exert oneself; hustle or hurry.
  3. Slang: Vulgar. to engage in sexual intercourse.
  1. over the hump, past the most difficult, time-consuming, or dangerous part or period: The doctor says she's over the hump now and should improve steadily.

Origin of hump

First recorded in 1700–10; probably abstracted from humpbacked
Related formshump·er, nounhump·less, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hump

Contemporary Examples of hump

Historical Examples of hump

British Dictionary definitions for hump


  1. a rounded protuberance or projection, as of earth, sand, etc
  2. pathol a rounded deformity of the back in persons with kyphosis, consisting of a convex spinal curvature
  3. a rounded protuberance on the back of a camel or related animal
  4. the hump British informal a fit of depression or sulking (esp in the phrase it gives me the hump)
  5. over the hump past the largest or most difficult portion of work, time, etc
  1. to form or become a hump; hunch; arch
  2. (tr) British slang to carry or heave
  3. slang to have sexual intercourse with (someone)
  4. hump one's swag Australian and NZ informal (of a tramp) to carry one's belongings from place to place on one's back
Derived Formshumplike, adjective

Word Origin for hump

C18: probably from earlier humpbacked
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

Word Origin and History for hump

1680s (in hump-backed), from Dutch homp "lump," from Middle Low German hump "bump," from Proto-Germanic *hump-, from PIE *kemb- "to bend, turn, change, exchange." Replaced, or perhaps influenced by, crump, from Old English crump. A meaning attested from 1901 is "mound in a railway yard over which cars must be pushed," which may be behind the figurative sense of "critical point of an undertaking" (1914). Humpback whale is from 1725.


"to do the sex act with," attested from 1785, but the source of this indicates it is an older word. Meaning "to raise into a hump" is from 1840. Related: Humped; humping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hump


see over the hump.

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