Idioms

    prime the pump,
    1. to increase government expenditure in an effort to stimulate the economy.
    2. to support or promote the operation or improvement of something.
    pump iron. iron(def 29).

Origin of pump

1
1400–50; late Middle English pumpe (noun); cognate with German Pumpe, Dutch pomp
Related formspump·a·ble, adjectivepump·less, adjectivepump·like, adjectiveun·pump·a·ble, adjectiveun·pumped, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for prime the pump

pump

1

noun

any device for compressing, driving, raising, or reducing the pressure of a fluid, esp by means of a piston or set of rotating impellers
biology a mechanism for the active transport of ions, such as protons, calcium ions, and sodium ions, across cell membranesa sodium pump

verb

(when tr, usually foll by from, out, into, away, etc) to raise or drive (air, liquid, etc, esp into or from something) with a pump or similar device
(tr; usually foll by in or into) to supply in large amountsto pump capital into a project
(tr) to deliver (shots, bullets, etc) repeatedly with great force
to operate (something, esp a handle or lever) in the manner of a pump or (of something) to work in this wayto pump the pedals of a bicycle
(tr) to obtain (information) from (a person) by persistent questioning
(intr; usually foll by from or out of) (of liquids) to flow freely in large spurtsoil pumped from the fissure

Word Origin for pump

C15: from Middle Dutch pumpe pipe, probably from Spanish bomba, of imitative origin

pump

2

noun

a low-cut low-heeled shoe without fastenings, worn esp for dancing
a type of shoe with a rubber sole, used in games such as tennis; plimsoll

Word Origin for pump

C16: of unknown 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 prime the pump

pump

n.1

"apparatus for forcing liquid or air," early 15c., of uncertain origin, possibly from Middle Dutch pompe "water conduit, pipe," or Middle Low German pumpe "pump" (Modern German Pumpe), both from some North Sea sailors' word, possibly of imitative origin.

pump

n.2

"low shoe without fasteners," 1550s, of unknown origin, perhaps echoic of the sound made when walking in them, or perhaps from Dutch pampoesje, from Javanese pampoes, of Arabic origin. Klein's sources propose a connection with pomp (n.). Related: pumps.

pump

v.

c.1500, from pump (n.1). Metaphoric extension in pump (someone) for information is from 1630s. To pump iron "lift weights for fitness" is from 1972. Related: Pumped; pumping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

prime the pump in Medicine

pump

[pŭmp]

n.

A machine or device for raising, compressing, or transferring fluids.
A molecular mechanism for the active transport of ions or molecules across a cell membrane.

v.

To raise or cause to flow by means of a pump.
To transport ions or molecules against a concentration gradient by the expenditure of chemically stored energy.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

prime the pump in Science

pump

[pŭmp]

A device used to raise or transfer fluids. Most pumps function either by compression or suction.
A molecular mechanism for the active transport of ions or molecules across a cell membrane.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with prime the pump

prime the pump

Encourage the growth or action of something, as in Marjorie tried to prime the pump by offering some new issues for discussion. In the late 1800s this expression originally was used for pouring liquid into a pump to expel the air and make it work. In the 1930s it was applied to government efforts to stimulate the economy and thereafter was applied to other undertakings.

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