get/take one's lumps, to receive or endure hardship, punishment, criticism, etc.: Without its star pitcher, the baseball team will get its lumps today.

Origin of lump

1250–1300; Middle English lumpe, lomp(e); cognate with early Dutch lompe piece, Danish lump(e) lump, dialectal Norwegian lump block
Related formslump·ing·ly, adverb



verb (used with object) Informal.

to put up with; resign oneself to; accept and endure: If you don't like it, you can lump it.

Origin of lump

1785–95; Americanism; perhaps identical with British dialect lump to look sullen, of expressive orig. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lump

Contemporary Examples of lump

Historical Examples of lump

  • Alleyne said nothing, but his heart seemed to turn to a lump of ice in his bosom.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • The Little Doctor was struggling with the lump in her throat that he should try to joke about it.

  • With that he ups with a lump of a two year old, and lets drive at me.

  • Your mind is so set on yourself that you're like a lump of stone.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Lieutenant Roger Fenton had a lump in his throat when he said good-bye to his boys.

British Dictionary definitions for lump




a small solid mass without definite shape
pathol any small swelling or tumour
a collection of things; aggregate
informal an awkward, heavy, or stupid person
(plural) US informal punishment, defeat, or reverseshe took his lumps
the lump British
  1. self-employed workers in the building trade considered collectively, esp with reference to tax and national insurance evasion
  2. (as modifier)lump labour
(modifier) in the form of a lump or lumpslump sugar
a lump in one's throat a tight dry feeling in one's throat, usually caused by great emotion


(tr often foll by together) to collect into a mass or group
(intr) to grow into lumps or become lumpy
(tr) to consider as a single group, often without justification
(tr) to make or cause lumps in or on
(intr often foll by along) to move or proceed in a heavy manner

Word Origin for lump

C13: probably related to early Dutch lompe piece, Scandinavian dialect lump block, Middle High German lumpe rag




(tr) informal to tolerate or put up with; endure (in the phrase lump it)

Word Origin for lump

C16: origin uncertain
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 lump

early 14c., lumpe (1224 as surname), probably in Old English, perhaps from a Scandinavian source (cf. cognate Danish lumpe, 16c.), of unknown origin. Cf. also Middle High German lumpe, early modern Dutch lompe. Phrase lump in (one's) throat "feeling of tightness brought on by emotion" is from 1803. Lumps "hard knocks, a beating" is colloquial, from 1934. Lump sum, one covering a number of items, is from 1867.


"endure" (now usually in contrast to like), 1791, apparently an extended sense from an older meaning "to look sulky, dislike" (1570s), of unknown origin, perhaps a symbolic sound (cf. grump, harumph, etc.). Related: Lumped; lumping.

LUMPING. Great. A lumping pennyworth; a great qualtity for the money, a bargain. He has got a lumping pennyworth; frequently said of a man who marries a fat woman. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit, and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]

early 15c., "to curl up in a ball, to gather into a lump" (implied in lumped), from lump (n.). Meaning "to put together in one mass or group" is from 1620s. Related: Lumped; lumping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with lump


In addition to the idiom beginning with lump

  • lump in one's throat

also see:

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