Definition of bummer in English:



  • 1A disappointing or unpleasant situation or experience.

    ‘the party was a real bummer’
    • ‘Yeah it's a bummer for a couple of days but I guess it doesn't reflect poorly on the rest of our lives.’
    • ‘Anyway, my birthday last year was more of a bummer, because Rodney Dangerfield passed away.’
    • ‘I thought it might have been 2004 that was a real bummer but it may just have been the age of 47.’
    • ‘They knew from their experience inside that war, that that war was a bummer.’
    • ‘At first, news of devastating global climate change might seem a bit of a bummer.’
    • ‘It's a bit of a bummer - we've had a full time crew out canvassing, full time in this constituency for a month now.’
    • ‘Although it was certainly a bummer, she'd had an amazing experience, and now she has a fantastic video clip of herself singing.’
    • ‘Sheesh, a bummer to be sure, but the show isn't just about despair, faulty canaries and premature death from lung cancer.’
    • ‘Having cracked, bubbly, sore skin on my hands was always a bit of a bummer, especially as a teenager.’
    • ‘He can't see my favorite color which is a bummer, but it's better than the ex-boyfriend who was allergic to many of my favorite foods (shrimp, clam chowder).’
    • ‘Think about what a bummer it would be if after these autobiographies were finished (I think there are supposed to be three volumes) we understood and knew everything about Bob Dylan.’
    • ‘While generally speaking that's a very good thing indeed, it's a bummer when your personal fortune is placed at the mercy of somebody's greed.’
    • ‘Unfortunately she has to work and then has class after work which is a bit of a bummer.’
    • ‘Potentially taking away the opportunity for emerging artists to show there is a real bummer.’
    • ‘One of the reasons I signed on is because I wanted to work with Frankenheimer, so it's a real bummer he's not doing it.’
    • ‘It's a bummer when talented people endeavour to do something artistically challenging, only to have the end result not live up to the promise.’
    • ‘Although they are more prone to slip down, slippage is often not a problem with carbon posts, but it is a bummer if it happens to you.’
    • ‘By Spears' standards, the year to date has been a bummer.’
    • ‘The shoulder is a bummer for paddling, but the pain in the neck is especially a bummer since it is always there.’
    • ‘And it might also be a bummer for recreational smokers.’
    disaster, calamity, catastrophe, cataclysm, devastation, misfortune, misadventure, mishap, reverse, vicissitude, setback, trial, tribulation, affliction, blight, injury, adversity, sad event, serious accident
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  • 2North American A loafer or vagrant.

    • ‘Getting stung by a jellyfish is among summer's beach bummers.’
    • ‘The bill would allow the impecunious tramp, corner loafer, pimp and saloon bummer, who have no interests at stake, to go to the polls and make their voices heard.’
    • ‘A good number of men now filling high places in the land have been, in their Californian days, bummers.’
    • ‘You don't want people around you that are just bummers and hate what they are doing or you don't want people around you that are not very good at what they are doing.’
    • ‘The swagman loafer, or ‘bummer,’ times himself, especially in bad weather, to arrive at the shed just about sundown.’


Mid 19th century: perhaps from German Bummler, from bummeln stroll, loaf about.