See more synonyms for stump on
  1. the lower end of a tree or plant left after the main part falls or is cut off; a standing tree trunk from which the upper part and branches have been removed.
  2. the part of a limb of the body remaining after the rest has been cut off.
  3. a part of a broken or decayed tooth left in the gum.
  4. a short remnant, as of a candle; stub.
  5. any basal part remaining after the main or more important part has been removed.
  6. an artificial leg.
  7. Usually stumps. Informal. legs: Stir your stumps and get out of here.
  8. a short, stocky person.
  9. a heavy step or gait, as of a wooden-legged or lame person.
  10. the figurative place of political speechmaking: to go on the stump.
  11. Furniture. a support for the front end of the arm of a chair, sofa, etc.Compare post1(def 2).
  12. a short, thick roll of paper, soft leather, or some similar material, usually having a blunt point, for rubbing a pencil, charcoal, or crayon drawing in order to achieve subtle gradations of tone in representing light and shade.
  13. Cricket. each of the three upright sticks that, with the two bails laid on top of them, form a wicket.
verb (used with object)
  1. to reduce to a stump; truncate; lop.
  2. to clear of stumps, as land.
  3. Chiefly Southern U.S. to stub, as one's toe.
  4. to nonplus, embarrass, or render completely at a loss: This riddle stumps me.
  5. to challenge or dare to do something.
  6. to make political campaign speeches to or in: to stump a state.
  7. Cricket. (of the wicketkeeper) to put (a batsman) out by knocking down a stump or by dislodging a bail with the ball held in the hand at a moment when the batsman is off his ground.
  8. to tone or modify (a crayon drawing, pencil rendering, etc.) by means of a stump.
verb (used without object)
  1. to walk heavily or clumsily, as if with a wooden leg: The captain stumped across the deck.
  2. to make political campaign speeches; electioneer.
  1. up a stump, Informal. at a loss; embarrassed; perplexed: Sociologists are up a stump over the sharp rise in juvenile delinquency and crime.

Origin of stump

1200–50; (noun) Middle English stompe, cognate with or < Middle Low German stump(e), Middle Dutch stomp (compare German Stumpf); (v.) Middle English stumpen to stumble (as over a stump), derivative of the noun
Related formsstump·less, adjectivestump·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for stump

Contemporary Examples of stump

Historical Examples of stump

  • Many a rod, I grieve to say, was worn to the stump on that unlucky night.

    Biographical Stories

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Then she wagged the stump of her tail, and they considered themselves acquainted.

    Johnny Bear

    E. T. Seton

  • He looked at the stump, then at the sign, with his little pig-like eyes.

    The Biography of a Grizzly

    Ernest Seton-Thompson

  • "You're just about as satisfying to talk to as a stump," she paid tribute to his unassailable calm.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • Mr. Halloway had learned a certain perceptiveness on the stump.

British Dictionary definitions for stump


  1. the base part of a tree trunk left standing after the tree has been felled or has fallen
  2. the part of something, such as a tooth, limb, or blade, that remains after a larger part has been removed
  3. informal, facetious
    1. (often plural)a leg
    2. stir one's stumpsto move or become active
  4. cricket any of three upright wooden sticks that, with two bails laid across them, form a wicket (the stumps)
  5. Also called: tortillon a short sharply-pointed stick of cork or rolled paper or leather, used in drawing and shading
  6. a heavy tread or the sound of heavy footsteps
  7. a platform used by an orator when addressing a meeting
  8. (often plural) Australian a pile used to support a house
  9. on the stump mainly US and Canadian engaged in campaigning, esp by political speech-making
  1. (tr) to stop, confuse, or puzzle
  2. (intr) to plod or trudge heavily
  3. (tr) cricket (of a fielder, esp a wicketkeeper) to dismiss (a batsman) by breaking his wicket with the ball or with the ball in the hand while he is out of his crease
  4. mainly US and Canadian to campaign or canvass (an area), esp by political speech-making
  5. (tr) to reduce to a stump; lop
  6. (tr) to clear (land) of stumps
Derived Formsstumper, noun

Word Origin for stump

C14: from Middle Low German stump; related to Dutch stomp, German Stumpf; see stamp
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 stump

mid-14c., "remaining part of a severed arm or leg," from or cognate with Middle Low German stump (from adjective meaning "mutilated, blunt, dull"), Middle Dutch stomp "stump," from Proto-Germanic *stump- (cf. Old Norse stumpr, Old High German and German stumpf "stump," German Stummel "piece cut off"), perhaps related to the root of stub or stamp, but the connection in each case presents difficulties.

Earliest form of the word in English is a now-obsolete verb meaning "to stumble over a tree-stump or other obstacle," attested from mid-13c. Meaning "part of a tree trunk left in the ground after felling" is from mid-15c. Sense of "walk clumsily" is first recorded c.1600; that of "baffle" is first recorded 1807, perhaps in reference to plowing newly cleared land.


"to go on a speaking tour during a political campaign," 1838, American English, from phrase stump speech (1820), from stump (n.), large tree stumps being a natural perch for rural orators (this custom is attested from 1775).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

stump in Medicine


  1. The extremity of a limb left after amputation.
  2. The pedicle remaining after removal of the tumor to which it was attached.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.