View synonyms for pump



[ puhmp ]


  1. an apparatus or machine for raising, driving, exhausting, or compressing fluids or gases by means of a piston, plunger, or set of rotating vanes.
  2. Engineering, Building Trades. a shore having a jackscrew in its foot for adjusting the length or for bearing more firmly against the structure to be sustained.
  3. Biology. an animal organ that propels fluid through the body; heart.
  4. Cell Biology. a system that supplies energy for transport against a chemical gradient, as the sodium pump for the transfer of sodium and potassium ions across a cell membrane.

verb (used with object)

  1. to raise, drive, etc., with a pump.
  2. to free from water or other liquid by means of a pump.
  3. to inflate by pumping (often followed by up ):

    to pump a tire up.

  4. to operate or move by an up-and-down or back-and-forth action.
  5. to supply with air, as an organ, by means of a pumplike device.
  6. to drive, force, etc., as if from a pump:

    He rapidly pumped a dozen shots into the bull's-eye.

  7. to supply or inject as if by using a pump:

    to pump money into a failing business.

  8. to question artfully or persistently to elicit information:

    to pump someone for confidential information.

  9. to elicit (information) by questioning.

verb (used without object)

  1. to work a pump; raise or move water, oil, etc., with a pump.
  2. to operate as a pump does.
  3. to move up and down like a pump handle.
  4. to exert oneself in a manner likened to pumping:

    He pumped away at his homework all evening.

  5. to seek to elicit information from a person.
  6. to come out in spurts.

verb phrase

    1. to inflate.
    2. to increase, heighten, or strengthen; put more effort into or emphasis on; intensify:

      The store has decided to pump up its advertising.

    3. to infuse with enthusiasm, competitive spirit, energy, etc.:

      The contestants were all backstage pumping themselves up for their big moment.



[ puhmp ]


  1. a lightweight, low-cut shoe without fastenings for women.
  2. a slip-on black patent leather shoe for men, for wear with formal dress.



/ pʌmp /


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



/ pʌmp /


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

    a sodium pump


  1. whentr, 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
  2. tr; usually foll by in or into to supply in large amounts

    to pump capital into a project

  3. tr to deliver (shots, bullets, etc) repeatedly with great force
  4. to operate (something, esp a handle or lever) in the manner of a pump or (of something) to work in this way

    to pump the pedals of a bicycle

  5. tr to obtain (information) from (a person) by persistent questioning
  6. intr; usually foll by from or out of (of liquids) to flow freely in large spurts

    oil pumped from the fissure


/ pŭmp /

  1. A device used to raise or transfer fluids. Most pumps function either by compression or suction.
  2. A molecular mechanism for the active transport of ions or molecules across a cell membrane.

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Other Words From

  • pumpa·ble adjective
  • pumpless adjective
  • pumplike adjective
  • un·pumpa·ble adjective
  • un·pumped adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of pump1

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English noun pumpe, pompe; cognate with German Pumpe, Dutch pomp

Origin of pump2

First recorded in 1720–30; origin uncertain
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Word History and Origins

Origin of pump1

C16: of unknown origin

Origin of pump2

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

  1. 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.
  2. pump iron. iron ( def 29 ).
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Example Sentences

In addition, the sprayer is designed with a hidden pump to protect the nozzle from being blocked.

By the time the industry crawls out of the hole, it will find a different world, with electric vehicles and heat pumps eating away at its core market.

From Vox

Architects can deploy large heat pumps and other equipment to serve multiple buildings on a staggered schedule across the day.

Electricity used to operate the heat pumps, lighting and other equipment will come from on-site photovoltaics and wind- and solar-generated electricity imported from off-site.

The prototype robot uses a small pump to get its vacuum going.

Her slight miscalculation of how to fix the situation leads to her driving around the gas pump.

Some are homes and some are pump houses, and you can only tell the difference when you see human silhouettes scurry on rooftops.

Two feet from the sawed-off stump of a third willow is the small foot-pump carousel Ray was sitting on when he shot himself.

To accommodate patients getting chemotherapy at odd hours, Hrushesky used a pump that operated automatically.

So we got a compressor and we would literally pump air into each of the four cameras so we could blow water off the lenses.

The formula would be: “The pump invented—Drain a well ,” or Water raised in a hollow.

At Wheal Alfred they have a 64-inch cylinder; the air-pump is 20 inches, and the stroke is half that of the engine.

I observe that you have ordered the pump, and from the description you give of it, I think it will answer very well.

It was placed immediately over the shaft and pump-rods, requiring no engine-beam.

A feed-pump forced water into the boilers; each had a safety-valve with a lever and weight.


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About This Word

What else does pump mean?

Content warning: this article contains references to guns.

Among many other slang senses, pump is short for pump-action shotgun, a type of shotgun that requires the user to change the shell with a pumping-like action.

Where does pump come from?

Pump-action guns, or slide-action guns, date back to the late 19th century. The shortened pump is found on Urban Dictionary by 2003.

Pump has notably been used in rap songs, including Cardi B’s 2017 “Bartier Cardi.” Her lyrics refer to a shotgun she, apparently, keeps in the trunk of her car.

Earlier, pump appeared on rapper The Game’s 2011 “Heavy Artillery”: “Take em back to Boyz in da Hood when I pull the pump out / Something like C-Murder on Worldstar when I dump out.”

First-person shooter (FPS) video games frequently include a pump shotgun weapon, which players often shorten to pump. Games like Destiny, Halo, Call of Duty, and Fortnite, all very popular in the 2000s, have featured pumps.

How is pump used in real life?

Rappers often use pump in their lyrics. Besides Cardi B and The Game, Offset and Fat Joe have each also used pump in their lyrics, usually in an intimidating way.

The only people who probably use pump more than rappers are gun lovers, hunters, and also gamers. Since pump shotguns are common in most FPS games and are generally powerful close range weapons, gamers talk about them a lot.

Some interesting trivia: Ever notice pumps being used a lot in movies? That’s because they don’t need to be modified to shoot blanks like other guns do.


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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