adjective, plump·er, plump·est.

well filled out or rounded in form; somewhat fleshy or fat.

verb (used without object)

to become plump (often followed by up or out).

verb (used with object)

to make plump (often followed by up or out): to plump up the sofa pillows.

Origin of plump

1475–85; earlier plompe dull, rude < Middle Dutch plomp blunt, not pointed; cognate with Middle Low German plump
Related formsplump·ly, adverbplump·ness, noun

Synonyms for plump

1. portly, round. See stout. 2, 3. fatten.

Antonyms for plump

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

Examples from the Web for plumpness

Historical Examples of plumpness

  • He had not guessed she was thus acutely sensitive concerning her plumpness.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Since then his slenderness has developed into plumpness and his hope into certitude.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • The grains should then be counted and their plumpness and size observed.

    Agriculture for Beginners

    Charles William Burkett

  • In no case should plumpness be so predominant as to destroy the distinctness of parts.

  • Miss Clara, the teacher, lacked Aunt Cordelia's optimism, also her plumpness.

British Dictionary definitions for plumpness




well filled out or rounded; fleshy or chubbya plump turkey
bulging, as with contents; fulla plump wallet
(of amounts of money) generous; amplea plump cheque


(often foll by up or out) to make or become plumpto plump up a pillow
Derived Formsplumply, adverbplumpness, noun

Word Origin for plump

C15 (meaning: dull, rude), C16 (in current senses): perhaps from Middle Dutch plomp dull, blunt




(often foll by down, into, etc) to drop or fall suddenly and heavilyto plump down on the sofa
(intr foll by for) to give support (to) or make a choice (of) one out of a group or number


a heavy abrupt fall or the sound of this


suddenly or heavilyhe ran plump into the old lady
straight down; directlythe helicopter landed plump in the middle of the field

adjective, adverb

in a blunt, direct, or decisive manner

Word Origin for plump

C14: probably of imitative origin; compare Middle Low German plumpen, Middle Dutch plompen




archaic, or dialect a group of people, animals, or things; troop; cluster

Word Origin for plump

C15: of uncertain 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

Word Origin and History for plumpness

1540s, from plump (adj.) + -ness.



late 15c., "blunt, dull" (in manners), from Dutch plomp "blunt, thick, massive, stumpy," probably related to plompen "fall or drop heavily" (see plump (v.)). Meaning "fleshy, of rounded form" is from 1540s in English. Danish and Swedish plump "rude, coarse, clumsy" are from the Low German word and represent a different sense development.



c.1300, "to fall or strike with a full impact," common Low German word, from or related to Middle Dutch and Dutch plompen, East Frisian plumpen, Middle Low German plumpen, probably more or less imitative of something hard striking something soft. Hence plump (n.) "a firm blow," in pugilism usually one to the stomach.

To plump; to strike, or shoot. I'll give you a plump in the bread basket, or the victualling office; I'll give you a blow in the stomach. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]

Or, even if any of them should suspect me, I know how to bring myself off. It is but pretending to be affronted, stripping directly, challenging him to fight, and before he can be on his guard, hitting him a plump in the bread-basket, that shall make him throw up his accounts; and I'll engage he will have but very little stomach to accuse me after. ["The Reverie: or A Flight to the Paradise of Fools," London, 1763]



"to become plump," 1530s, from plump (adj.). Meaning "to plump (something) up, to cause to swell" is from 1530s. Related: Plumped; plumping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper