a day laborer employed to handle cargo, as fish or timber.
Biology Informal. a taxonomist who believes that classifications should emphasize similarities among organisms and therefore favors large, inclusive taxa (opposed to splitter).

Origin of lumper

1775–85; lump1 (in v. sense) + -er1




a piece or mass of solid matter without regular shape or of no particular shape: a lump of coal.
a protuberance or swelling: a blow that raised a lump on his head.
an aggregation, collection, or mass; clump: All the articles were piled in a great lump.
Also called lump of sugar. a small block of granulated sugar, designed for sweetening hot coffee, tea, etc.: How many lumps do you take in your coffee?
majority; plurality; multitude: The great lump of voters are still undecided.
lumps, Informal. harsh criticism, punishment, or defeat: The new theory came in for some lumps when other scholars heard of it.
Informal. a heavy, clumsy, and usually stupid person.


in the form of a lump or lumps: lump sugar.
made up of a number of items taken together; not separated or considered separately: The debts were paid in one lump sum.

verb (used with object)

to unite into one aggregation, collection, or mass (often followed by together): We lumped the reds and blues together.
to deal with, handle, consider, etc., in the lump or mass: to lump unrelated matters indiscriminately.
to make into a lump or lumps: to lump dough before shaping it into loaves.
to raise into or cover with lumps: a plow lumping the moist earth.

verb (used without object)

to form or raise a lump or lumps: Stir the gravy so that it doesn't lump.
to move heavily and awkwardly: The big oaf lumped along beside me.


    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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lumper

Historical Examples of lumper

British Dictionary definitions for lumper



US a stevedore; docker




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 lumper



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 lumper


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.