Definition of bump in English:

bump

noun

  • 1A light blow or a jolting collision:

    ‘a nasty bump on the head’
    • ‘Although the road from Maneybhanjang to Sandakphu is motorable, it is a wiser choice to hike it rather than suffer the jolts and bumps of the track.’
    • ‘The drive is working well, travels well and absorbs its share of bumps and bangs during daily transit.’
    • ‘During the past eight weeks I have seen two minor bumps and one almost head-on collision.’
    • ‘‘It could have been something as simple as a bump; you know, somebody bumped into someone’.’
    • ‘In times of bumps, falls and collisions, knees can be susceptible to fractures.’
    • ‘It will go in a case - the slightest bump or knock considerably affects the value.’
    • ‘Even with a wheel and pedals, the lack of G-forces, bumps and jolts make the visual elements too detached for me to remain in control.’
    • ‘A tripod that is too light may be too susceptible to wind and slight bumps.’
    • ‘He didn't see the scorched metal walls or feel the thuds and bumps as they drove over drift after drift.’
    • ‘It's also fully lined with high quality foam to protect your premium ammo from bumps and bangs.’
    • ‘And many knocks, bumps and detours later here I ride in Honduras, central America.’
    • ‘Boring stuff, though I was delighted to find a very small soft camera case for my pencam, to protect it from bumps and knocks when it's in my bag.’
    • ‘Its advanced collision detection ensures that any bumps will probably not kill or severely cripple you.’
    • ‘To prevent the crashes, bumps, thuds, nicks and dings, follow these top ten parking lot driving tactics.’
    • ‘The amniotic fluid and membrane cushion the fetus against bumps and jolts to the mother's body.’
    • ‘Creakings and the rumbling of wheels could be heard and occasional bumps jolted me.’
    • ‘I happen to like my knees, but nobody ever accused them of being well protected from bumps and bangs.’
    • ‘Let's face it, injuries from collisions, falls, bumps, etc. are not that simple.’
    • ‘Now she was just getting angry over it all, she felt a bump or some impact as she fell down still crying and not even noticing the change of position or the pain in her lower back.’
    • ‘He said he had seen a crash and a shunt on Monday and a bump on Tuesday.’
    jolt, collision, crash, smash, smack, crack, thwack, bang, thud, thump, buffet, knock, rap, tap, impact
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1the bumpsBritish informal (on a person's birthday) a custom by which the person is lifted by the arms and legs and let down on to the ground, once for each year of their age:
      ‘the children were given the bumps’
      • ‘Beth turned 17 on the 5th of September so we gave her the bumps.’
      • ‘The other actors sang me the usual and then they gave me the 'bumps', where they had to hold my arms and legs and throw me up in the air.’
      • ‘Singer Athesia will be given the bumps with the help of DJs Uzi, Emanuelle, Scott C and Chevy Van on the Road and a plethora of visual artists and performers.’
    2. 1.2Rowing (in races where boats make a spaced start one behind another) the point at which a boat begins to overtake or touch the boat ahead, thereby defeating it.
      • ‘The crew got back on top of Corpus at the Railway Bridge to gain a hard fought bump.’
      • ‘A good crew will gain a bump every day.’
      • ‘On gaining a bump, crews move out of the way and cease racing.’
    3. 1.3Aviation A rising air current causing an irregularity in an aircraft's motion.
      • ‘While the bump itself still can be felt, the reaction of the airplane to it can be almost completely dampened out with no change in altitude.’
      • ‘With a gentle bump on the bottom, we arrive at minus 500 feet.’
      • ‘As soon as they passed over the ridge they experienced a considerable air bump throwing the aircraft suddenly upwards on the windward side.’
  • 2A protuberance on a level surface:

    ‘bumps in the road’
    • ‘The problem is that they do this by forcing the drivers to almost come to a stop before each bump.’
    • ‘The bumps in Leeds Road are irregularly placed, not symmetrical across the carriageway, and in one place it is possible to drive between two bumps.’
    • ‘Gina was jolted awake by the bus going over a bump.’
    • ‘They claim the bumps impede the movement of emergency vehicles and buses, disturb neighbours and damage cars.’
    • ‘How many babies before mine have been jolted awake by the bumps and cracks in the concrete created by unruly tree roots and water damage?’
    • ‘Killy's technique of avalement - literally, swallowing the bumps by thrusting knees outward - was revolutionary for its day.’
    • ‘Seconds later, a family friend on skis went over the same bump and crashed into Jack after failing to spot him lying in the snow.’
    • ‘She gazed up at the ceiling above the bed she'd been sleeping on and stared at the numerous bumps, cracks and bubbles.’
    • ‘He banged his head on the cab when he went over the bumps, and hurt his hip.’
    • ‘That said, the sporty T5 version can thump and bang over bad bumps, the downside of its quicker, meatier responses and extra grip.’
    • ‘Then, about 30 minutes later, I hit a bump and heard a loud clatter that sounded suspiciously like a cell phone hitting the ground.’
    • ‘Jane didn't remember falling asleep but she must have because she was jerked instantly awake when Ty drove over a large bump.’
    • ‘As Ellis drives over bumps, she notices, the noise in the car is loud.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, that seal proved no match for the bumps and potholes of New York City streets.’
    • ‘It is a grassy bump amongst other grassy bumps and is marked with a small cairn.’
    • ‘It went around corners happily, and wasn't badly upset by the sort of suburban ruts and bumps which had the YRV thudding and bumping along.’
    • ‘Confused, she crawled over to the spot and felt on the ground for a bump, a rock, anything.’
    • ‘If you hit a major bump, you get bangs from the front suspension reminiscent of the previous model, which was certainly less than perfect dynamically.’
    • ‘The bus wheel hit a bump, and her forehead made a sharp rapping sound on the glass.’
    • ‘Take it from me, when you are being driven over bumps at high speed, the scenery is a blur.’
    hump, bulge, lump, knob, knot, projection, prominence, eminence, ridge, protuberance
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 A swelling on the skin, especially one caused by illness or injury:
      ‘her mosquito bites had come up in huge red bumps’
      • ‘It said the pain should be underneath the bump and the whole bump should go hard.’
      • ‘Muammar touched the bump on his head gingerly, trying to remember.’
      • ‘A common skin symptom of a food allergy is hives, or raised red itchy bumps on the skin.’
      • ‘Clumps of itchy or prickly tiny red bumps on the skin that appear with hot humid weather in tropical countries is called miliaria or prickly heat in layman's terms.’
      • ‘Any lump, be it a mild swelling, a bump, a nodule, or whatever you choose to call it, and wherever you find it, visit your doctor and get it looked at.’
      • ‘Mine was small, light, and I only had writer's bumps from holding paintbrushes.’
      • ‘Symptoms, such as a tingling feeling, itching, or pain followed by a rash with red bumps and blisters appear only in the area of the skin that the nerve goes to.’
      • ‘If you look at the bumps closely, you might see white scales or flakes on them.’
      • ‘She's going to have a nasty bump on her head when she wakes up, and one hell of a headache.’
      • ‘I got a huge purple bump on my forehead… and he didn't even ask me out.’
      • ‘Well that's a nasty bump, but nothing serious.’
      • ‘Always looking backwards whilst trying to move forward, you might get a nasty bump or fall down a hole.’
      • ‘Ouch, those nasty shaving bumps that we can all get from time to time.’
      • ‘Goose flesh formed on her arms, and Bo began to rub her arms after she noticed the little bumps.’
      • ‘Grass ticks are about the size of a pinhead and cause little reaction other than an itchy bump at the bite site.’
      • ‘Sciama remembered clearly, as do his colleagues, that on some days Hawking would turn up at the office with a bandage around his head, having fallen heavily and received a nasty bump.’
      • ‘I have this gross bump on my eyelid, and it's so painful.’
      • ‘There were no physical injuries except the crew chief got a bump on the head.’
      • ‘You have moderate acne if you have swelling, red bumps, or pustules, along with the whiteheads and blackheads.’
      • ‘She works for months to build the cracks, bumps and wrinkles on the skins of the figures in her paintings.’
      swelling, lump, bulge, injury, contusion
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2dated A lump on a person's skull, formerly thought to indicate a particular mental faculty.
      • ‘Gall thought that he was able to correlate certain particular mental faculties to bumps and depressions on the surface of the skull.’
      • ‘A bump on the skull directly above one of these sections indicates that the particular faculty, called an organ, is more than normally developed.’
      • ‘Where some people have a bump of direction, I have a small black hole.’
  • 3US informal An increase:

    ‘there was a bump in the number of outbound flights’
    • ‘But they say the sales increase would only be a small bump to total industry sales, already exceeding $20 billion.’
    • ‘Obama checked in at 22 percent, a 4-point bump from the earlier poll.’
    • ‘The average post-convention bump in the polls is, over the last six elections, 7%.’
    • ‘And by comparing the two emission bumps, scientists can begin to learn even more.’
    • ‘Given that Christmas is a major moviegoing day, the built-up must see for a movie like this could be expected to reflect a 15%-20% bump on opening day.’
    • ‘I think all the polls in the last week since the announcement have shown a slight bump for the ticket, somewhere between three and four points.’
    • ‘I have every reason to believe it'll be a good change for me - a good bump in pay, a stronger human resources infrastructure, etc.’
    • ‘Why is it that one candidate is getting a bump in the polls?’
    • ‘In the next few years, we're going to see a bump in the population of 12-to 15-year-olds.’
    • ‘Will it help pave the way for a pullout of troops or a bump up in the polls?’
    • ‘This helped bump it up two spots to the ninth largest in 2003 from the No.11 spot in 2002.’
  • 4[mass noun] A loosely woven fleeced cotton fabric used in upholstery and as lining material.

    • ‘Looking ahead, Valentini says she's exploring other uses for her Bump fabric, possibly as an industrial upholstery or wall covering.’
    • ‘Bleached bump is suitable for white curtains or backgrounds, unbleached for other fabrics when a cream cast will not matter.’
    • ‘Yarn used to produce the average cotton bump contains seed contamination which can cause problems with some face fabrics.’

verb

  • 1[no object] Knock or run into someone or something with a jolt:

    ‘I almost bumped into him’
    [with object] ‘she bumped the girl with her hip’
    • ‘I stood by the curb of the road and waited for the cars to go by when I caught sight of the girl I bumped in the airport.’
    • ‘The ship heaved a little, bumped gently against the stone wall, the impact absorbed by the bundles of branches, then settled contentedly into her berth.’
    • ‘Colouring and flavouring surface baits such as pellets chum mixer and crust can further improve takes, but often species such as carp will bump and knock such baits.’
    • ‘Behind, the young women are fast asleep, their heads gently bumping against each other now and then.’
    • ‘Eventually the kid bumps into someone, their parent immediately glares at the person who's been run into or grudgingly tells their kid to behave who immediately carries on as before.’
    • ‘The day was almost over they were going out of the water ride when a girl walked out and bumped against Tom.’
    • ‘Knocking down the fire-irons, tumbling over the chairs, bumping against the piano, smothering himself among the curtains, wherever she went, there went he.’
    • ‘Suddenly, three taxicabs raced along both sides of the motorcade, even bumping against the security car.’
    • ‘Grace struggled more violently than before, bumping against a table and knocking a large porcelain vase to the floor, where it shattered into a thousand pieces with a loud crash.’
    • ‘Michelle bumped right into the stranger, literally knocking the breath out of her.’
    • ‘He sighed, following her from the room, on the way to the door a red coated man bumped heavily into them, knocking Kirsten to the side and brushing heavily against Kaerin.’
    • ‘He swayed, bumping against the altar and pitching over it.’
    • ‘To get bumped or struck by a big fish like this was pretty incredible.’
    • ‘You should take it easy for the first few days and take special care not to bump or knock the operation site.’
    • ‘The couple met three years ago when they literally bumped into each other at a Hampton Court funfair.’
    • ‘The rubber tyres of the wheelchair bumped and banged against the curb as he tried to manoeuvre back onto the pavement.’
    • ‘‘Hey there,’ he said, bumping against her arm with his.’
    • ‘I also like how the cars bump and bang into each other, and that if you wreck a guy one week he'll come back and wreck you the next.’
    • ‘Her smoke curled toward the light over the table where a moth was bumping against the bulb.’
    • ‘Darcy gave a little whimper, and then Austin distinctly heard the sound of something bumping against the tile.’
    hit, ram, collide with, be in collision with, strike, knock against, crash against, crash into, smash into, slam into, crack against, crack into, dash against, run into, plough into
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1bump into Meet by chance:
      ‘we might just bump into each other’
      • ‘There is little chance of casually bumping into people, and I can see why stars who crave anonymity choose to live here.’
      • ‘The two of them bumped into each other completely by chance, which sparked the talks for the documentary film.’
      • ‘After 20 years of drudgery to pay off the loan, she bumps into her rich friend and finally confesses the truth, only to be told that the lost necklace was a fake.’
      • ‘At the end of the day, when she actually bumps into him, she is left with a feeling, whether it is still a daydream or sure reality.’
      • ‘By chance I happened to bump into the two gentlemen in one of our local establishments.’
      • ‘At the train station, she bumps into her ex-husband Bruno, Viktor's father, by chance.’
      • ‘As chance would have it, he bumped into him one day in Parliament Street.’
      • ‘It was great fun and a chance to bump into a few names and faces from the past.’
      • ‘But his complacency comes to an end when he bumps into his childhood piano teacher, who encourages him to audition for him.’
      • ‘Because of my disfigured body I chose to swim when there was no chance of bumping into anyone I knew.’
      • ‘The film, which features local acting talent, was shot in Temple Hill in 2003, and is about a poor single mum who bumps into an old flame.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, Sadie bumps into Sam and he tells her he is going to be a dad.’
      • ‘I had tried to bump into Roland whenever I got the chance and he had done the same.’
      • ‘Professor Albeit is about a professor who wants to be a magician but is unhappily stuck teaching mathematics, till he bumps into a beautiful woman.’
      • ‘We've never met, though someday if we do bump into each other we'll manage to get someone to buy us both a drink.’
      • ‘By chance he bumped into her again that night at another pub and worked up the courage to speak with her.’
      • ‘He comes to a reception with his wife, but leaves with another woman - an old friend who bumps into him at the party.’
      • ‘But, within minutes, he bumps into a local retired poetry teacher.’
      • ‘Isabelle met Calissa at the Astoria Mall to avoid bumping into anyone she may know.’
      • ‘Then imagine bumping into the players by chance afterwards to tell them exactly what you thought of their display.’
      encounter, meet up with, run into, come across, run across, chance on, stumble across, stumble on, happen on
      run against
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    2. 1.2[with object] Hurt or damage (something) by striking it on something else:
      ‘she bumped her head on the sink’
      • ‘IG tells in his book of how, attending a Fund or Bank meeting in Washington, he found Morarji seated on a couch and bumping his head gently against the adjacent wall.’
      • ‘I think he really thought it was perfectly OK to knock people, to bump people and get by them and go on and win.’
      • ‘My leg was bumped between boat and wall and though I wasn't hurt it was a nasty shock.’
      • ‘It provided extra padding, so that when I bumped the finger, it didn't hurt so much.’
      • ‘One couch was very close to a bookshelf, and Barbara explained to me that bumping your head on this bookshelf was a rite of passage for members of the English Department.’
      • ‘She hissed quietly as Jessica accidentally bumped her ribcage with her elbow.’
      • ‘She bumps her head and looks at me before she starts to cry.’
      • ‘It was thought the boy's knee was injured and he then fell forward and bumped his head and chest.’
      • ‘My fingertips hurt and sting if I bump them into things, my shoulder muscles are stiff.’
      • ‘There is an element out there that revels in it anytime some police officer bumps his head.’
      • ‘I instantly pushed myself up, bumping my head on the headboard in the process.’
      • ‘Lee and Luke had promised their mother they would not leave their sisters, but a weeping Sarah bumped her head during their game and set off alone for home with Lee - mindful of his promise - trying to catch up.’
      • ‘If you hadn't been there in time to catch Maddie, she might have bumped her head and done even more serious damage to herself.’
      • ‘I got a nice bump on my foot, and after about a year, it no longer hurt like hell to bump that part of my foot on something.’
      • ‘At one point George tells of his struggle ‘I was standing, well not really, I was crouched over trying to stand and kept bumping my head, damn that hurt’.’
      • ‘Mr Lamb had a strong start but disaster struck at Great End when he tripped, gashing his right knee, bumping his head and cracking a couple of ribs.’
      • ‘The cars jerked and yawed so much that we were constantly bumping our heads or smashing our elbows.’
      • ‘A stairway upon which a tall man is in danger of bumping his head is an example of bad art.’
      • ‘We all kept bumping our heads on the loopily low ceiling.’
      • ‘I imagine I'll just spend all of my remaining days bumping my head on things and reaching things on high shelves for people less fortunate than I.’
      • ‘But in Isabella's case, the disease was only diagnosed when she was taken to hospital after bumping her head when Miss Wagstaff fell downstairs while carrying her.’
      • ‘What if he bumps his knee and decides to take a little rest without letting you know?’
      bang, hit, strike, crack
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3Rowing [with object] (in a race) gain a bump against.
      • ‘During torpids once a boat has bumped another they must stop racing (as you can bump only one boat per round).’
      • ‘The object is to catch up to and physically bump the boat in front - or overtake them - before being caught and bumped by the boat behind you.’
      • ‘In rare circumstances boats are able to bump the boat five places ahead.’
  • 2[no object, with adverbial of direction] Move or travel with much jolting:

    ‘the car bumped along the rutted track’
    • ‘As we headed for the forest, we bumped along in a large all-wheel-drive military-type vehicle over the roughest forest roads we'd ever experienced.’
    • ‘The suspension bumps and thumps loudly and sometimes uncomfortably.’
    • ‘As the car bumped along on our way back to my house, I couldn't suppress a smile.’
    • ‘He went quiet, and we bumped along in silence for a little while.’
    • ‘I more or less slept through flight, wakened only occasionally by those Twilight Zone gremlins on the wings that make planes bump and jolt.’
    • ‘The carriage bumped and jolted on the rough track from the castle.’
    • ‘Within minutes, we had turned off the main road, bumped along a narrow city street, and come to a stop outside a house.’
    • ‘He poured clumsily, spilling a good amount of claret as the carriage bumped along.’
    • ‘At one time four-wheel drive vehicles were just muddy workhorses, box-like things used by folk who just liked to bump along tracks or plough across muddy fields.’
    • ‘It gave Elissa the green light and she walked down quickly, keeping her footsteps light, feeling her knapsack bump lightly against her back.’
    • ‘If not for the TV, I was sure I would have been able to hear the box jerk and bump across the attic floor at night.’
    • ‘With the price bumping around the £4 mark after a 10% fall following a relatively heavy volume of trade, it became clear that some investors had voted with their feet.’
    • ‘This is what happened in those animal skin pouches: as the camels bumped along across the desert, air was incorporated into the whole milk.’
    • ‘His ancient sword was steadily bumping against his side.’
    • ‘As the ambulance bumped gently along the jolts in the road on its journey to the hospital Kim tried to keep her eyes closed tight and think of nothing like she was meditating.’
    • ‘They bumped along, going at least eighty on the dark highway.’
    • ‘But since Deja had bumped along with a skeleton staff for several months, and functioned fine, we wondered if this would really have hurt Google financially.’
    • ‘The cart still tottered as it bumped along the Mourning Valley.’
    • ‘My wife, perhaps becoming complacent, went ahead across the steep traverse, lost her footing and slid at terrifyingly high speed, bumping to a halt on some rocks where the terrain levelled and badly grazing her arm.’
    • ‘When the ambulance finally came, they put her on a stretcher and drove her to the hospital, with us sitting beside her as the car bumped along.’
    bounce, jolt, jerk, rattle, shake, jounce
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    1. 2.1[with object and adverbial of direction] Push (something) jerkily in a specified direction:
      ‘she had to bump the pushchair down the steps’
      • ‘He bumped the stroller up over a curb, and the baby began to cry.’
      • ‘It is a well known fact that cod will respond well to a bright and shiny pirk bumped along the bottom.’
      • ‘Lily would back her husband's wheelchair to the steps and then would bump the wheelchair down very steep and narrow ceramic steps to the floor.’
      nudge, prod, poke, push, elbow, tap
      View synonyms
  • 3[with object] Refuse (a passenger) a reserved place on a flight because of deliberate overbooking by the airline:

    ‘if you check in on time and are bumped, you will be entitled to a full refund’
    • ‘Obviously, if all of the passengers do turn up, then the airline has an additional cost to pay as customers have every right to some compensation for being bumped off their flight.’
    • ‘The rate of getting bumped is down to one in 600 this year from one in 450 last year, and the odds are slightly higher with Delta and Southwest.’
    • ‘Airline passengers who are bumped off flights or suffer serious delays will receive automatic compensation under rules agreed by the EU yesterday.’
    • ‘That is sound practice, and this bill makes an airline liable for those delays when it has been a deliberate case of the airline either cancelling a flight or bumping passengers off it.’
    • ‘MEPs want to place a new requirement on airlines to provide significant sums of cash, as well as catering and accommodation, for passengers who are bumped off flights or have them cancelled altogether.’
    • ‘JetBlue and US Airways bumped the fewest passengers of the nation's top 10 airlines.’
    • ‘So when we meet Carl Weathers, he's on his way to get bumped from a flight so he can get a free airline ticket.’
    • ‘The fine art of airline bumping: Volunteering to be bumped off on an oversold flight isn't quite the bonanza that it used to be.’
    • ‘Stranded air passengers will be paid up to €600 in compensation for being bumped off flights under new rules introduced yesterday.’
    • ‘The odds of being bumped from a flight are just 1 in 11,628.’
    • ‘The European Union has approved a measure guaranteeing automatic compensation for travelers involuntarily bumped from overbooked flights.’
    • ‘It should also have been a clue that they might have a problem as during the day more and more overbooked passengers were bumped to the next flight.’
    • ‘Sophisticated computer systems are employed to project the number of no-shows, to maximize flight loads and minimize bumped passengers.’
    • ‘Passengers who are bumped off a flight because it is full, or prevented from boarding because it is cancelled without notice, are therefore entitled to compensation depending on the length of the flight.’
    • ‘Don't… try to get voluntarily bumped while traveling with a large group unless you're prepared to split up.’
    • ‘You're right: You followed the rules and shouldn't have been bumped from the flight.’
    1. 3.1North American Displace from a job, especially in favour of someone else:
      ‘she was bumped for a youthful model’
      • ‘You obviously want to bump him off pole position and yet the two of you will be in briefing together.’
      • ‘They bumped Franklin off of the half dollar and replaced him with Kennedy in 1964.’
      • ‘Getting bumped is no reflection on MarineMax, which is one of the best-performing public companies in the Tampa Bay area.’
      • ‘The end came last Thursday when his weekly column was bumped to accommodate a rant by Andrew Neil about a matter of global significance - Naomi Campbell.’
      • ‘He has decent size, so bumping him off his route at the line is a difficult task.’
      • ‘The team has committed heavily to Pena, handing him the first base job and bumping Young off the position shortly after signing Young to a four-year deal.’
      • ‘Ever since Make Up's release, however, Hot Hot Heat have apparently been trying their damnedest to bump Interpol off the cover of the Post-Fame Jinx Handbook.’
      • ‘When his studio slot was unexpectedly bumped, Bellows started tackling pre-production duties here with guitar god/sound vet Stew Kirkwood.’
      • ‘Celtic's bid for European glory bumped Sharon Small off the schedules, and when her cop drama returned to the box she finished the run having to eat lead.’
      • ‘CAR boss Bob Quirk and his two-family party were bumped from their luxury hotel just a week before departure - and offered an alternative break at a hotel with a nudist balcony.’
      • ‘By comparison, Russia has five current or former world champions and is so deep that Sajidov bumped reigning Olympic champion Adam Saitiev for these games.’
      • ‘I believe they're still the best selling - when last I checked Harry Potter still hadn't quite bumped them out of that spot.’
      • ‘Because of this, the song is bumped from the first disc with the other essential songs and is instead banished to the weaker second disc.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, Korea was bumped off the list of countries that Soldiers could receive the bonus, though Soldiers there are still eligible for a Military Occupational Skill-based bonus, he added.’
      • ‘Aging receivers bumped were Jacksonville's Jimmy Smith, Denver's Rod Smith and Oakland's Tim Brown.’
      • ‘Gore's senior aides were so frustrated that they actually bumped the keynote address out of its prime-time slot.’
      • ‘Arizona and British Columbia, Canada both earned A grades in the 2003 version of IMBA's Report Card, bumping Colorado off the top spot for mountain bike advocacy, trails and riding.’

Phrases

  • be bumping along the bottom

    • Reach the lowest point in performance or ranking without improving or deteriorating further:

      ‘the economy was still bumping along the bottom’
      • ‘If we have had a number of quarters of bumping along the bottom, then it is hardly surprising that growth can now be perceived.’
      • ‘With the economy believed to be bumping along the bottom, such companies might well be a good way of investing in an economic recovery.’
      • ‘The European economy will be bumping along the bottom for quite some time before it recovers later next year.’
      • ‘Could it be that the recent sale by Daimler of its MTU aviation engine building business is simply a clearing of the decks in preparation for worse to come from the US, where Chrysler car sales are bumping along the bottom?’
      • ‘With the US economy having been at best bumping along the bottom and media companies suffering from a drastic reduction in advertising revenue, American media moguls have more immediate issues on their mind than bids in Britain.’
      • ‘Musically, however, she has bumping along the bottom for years, relying on her eye for the zeitgeist to boost interest.’
      • ‘By contrast, the previous low in 1999 was reached while the price of oil was bumping along the bottom.’
      • ‘If you compare us to other schools in the Doncaster area we have gone from bumping along the bottom to now being in mid-table in Doncaster, yet we were placed into special measures.’
      • ‘In terms of celebrity, Amanda and Les have been bumping along the bottom on a low-grade notoriety.’
      • ‘The best you can say is that the manufacturing sector is bumping along the bottom.’
  • a bump in the road

    • informal A problem or setback:

      ‘their relationship has hit another bump in the road’
      • ‘This is just a bump in the road for the company, but likely one they did not expect.’
      • ‘Does this president consider failure to pay over $100,000 in taxes a bump in the road?’
      • ‘Maybe this is nothing more than a bump in the road, a mere blip on the sports radar.’
      • ‘It is not implausible now to see Modernism, for example, as a bump in the road rather than a major alternative tradition.’
      • ‘Having to stare at an image for long moments simply in order to decipher what is being shown tends to place a bump in the road of the story.’
      • ‘This row now is just a bump in the road.’
      • ‘Call it a pause or a hiatus or a bump in the road or a dead end.’
      • ‘But it was just a bump in the road for Lewis.’
      • ‘A film like this doesn't have the luxury of having money thrown at it every time it encounters a bump in the road.’
      • ‘Senior administration officials insist the split within the party is just a bump in the road.’
  • with a bump

    • Suddenly and shockingly:

      ‘the scandal brought them down to earth with a bump’
      • ‘Newly promoted Gimcrack came back down to earth with a bump with a 5-0 thrashing from visitors St John's College in division one of the York and District Sunday Afternoon league.’
      • ‘Well the party had to stop some time, and England's high-flying cricketers have already been brought back to earth with a bump after their abject batting against the Patron's XI last week.’
      • ‘It brings me right back down to earth with a bump because my life now is so hectic.’
      • ‘It's been the same for the past four years; over the nine summer weeks, I pass quickly through the Big Brother stages of boredom, rejection, revision, adulation and elation, only to come down to earth with a bump when it ends.’
      • ‘After a convincing start to the season last week, Leigh RU came down to earth with a bump, beaten 15-7 by newly promoted Bowdon.’
      • ‘Walton & Hersham won 6-1 at Chertsey last week, but they were brought down to earth with a bump by a 3-1 home defeat against Leatherhead on Saturday.’
      • ‘He may stay on in Italy for another couple of days, but the chances are that this afternoon Ivano Bonetti's honeymoon period will end with a bump.’
      • ‘One of the most respected analysts in his field, he has predicted that the housing market is due to come down to the ground with a bump and, more than once, he has been wrong.’
      • ‘Birmingham came down to earth with a bump after their derby victory over Aston Villa on Monday, losing 1-0 at Middlesbrough to a stunning Franck Queudrue free-kick.’
      • ‘Top-flight newcomers Brasenose came down to earth with a bump, losing 32-8 to a well-drilled Keble side who dominated a bad-tempered game in the University Parks this Tuesday.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • bump someone off

    • Murder someone:

      ‘he would try and bump the blackmailer off’
      • ‘If you were caught out of doors after hours, the Tans could bump you off.’
      • ‘You know the formula - nasty psychopath bumps off nice young girls in appalling ways.’
      • ‘If I didn't know for a fact that they cannot survive without me I might start thinking that my dog and my sickie are in a cahoot to bump me off for my Insurance policy.’
      • ‘Relatives of people who have critical illnesses where there are no cures are being sent a signal that it is ok to bump them off.’
      • ‘Instead of bumping Ruby off, let the character develop-and hang on to Jesneck and Eustis.’
      • ‘But you don't get George Clooney going round bumping people off in ER.’
      • ‘If a human life begins at the moment of the fusion of the gametes, then experimenting on embryos and subsequently discarding them is morally equivalent to experimenting on human beings before bumping them off.’
      • ‘The study found that it wasn't feuding Mafia types paying to bump someone off, but angry spouses and jilted lovers.’
      • ‘That cheeky little scamp Claude Raines, for instance, went on a murderous rampage, and sizzling Kevin Bacon discovered the joy of now you see me, now you don't sex before he too went a bit bonkers and started bumping people off.’
      • ‘Ten strangers are trapped by a rainstorm at an isolated desert hotel and someone starts bumping them off until they eventually turn on each other.’
  • bump something up

    • Increase something:

      ‘the hotel may well bump up the bill’
      • ‘As a result of the game, Kansas got bumped up to #1, Maryland moved to #2 and Duke dropped to #3.’
      • ‘Then it occurred to me that ‘Take Me Out’ by Franz Ferdinand was also released this year, so the list was immediately bumped up to SIX.’
      • ‘Guns lead to other crimes such as robbery & kidnapping so this bumps up their figure.’
      • ‘Firms surveyed said the rollout of new products had boosted demand both at home and abroad, with customers in Britain and eastern Europe bumping up their spending on Irish-produced goods.’
      • ‘Such progress helped bump up annual 2003 pre-tax profits by a hefty 21% to €4.8b.’
      • ‘Say no, and bump up their school's truancy statistics?’
      • ‘The subject of employing a company to organize the event was also raised to increase public relations and bump up the numbers of competitors.’
      • ‘That also helped bump up gross margins from 17.1 per cent to 17.7 per cent sequentially.’
      • ‘It's actually a better bet that the next time the price of a barrel of oil has a two in it is when it hits $200-and it's a dead cert that high fuel prices are bumping up the price of everything with a transport component in it.’
      • ‘That's how Congress has always dealt with threats: give more money to the Feds for investigation and enforcement, bump up the penalties, and let the evil bastards rot.’
      • ‘Does the press gallery bump up the significance of a potential challenge because it provides such good copy and provocative sound bites?’
      • ‘Whatever the case, Qantas, in capitalising expenses, has been bumping up its net profit in the past couple of years by up to 15 per cent, though it doesn't state this.’
      • ‘A well-executed ad campaign bumps up the impact of demos and other traditional labor activities.’
      • ‘At the last moment though I realised that some kind of DVD authoring software might be needed so the budget was unexpectedly bumped up by £25 based on a quick search around the web.’
      • ‘And bumping up the superannuation surcharge on the well-off is hardly justified when one of the biggest imbalances in the economy is between savings and investment.’
      • ‘Even Angus MacKay, the Scottish finance minister and local government minister, acknowledged in a letter to Donald Gorrie MSP that most of the rent relief is being lost to landlords who are bumping up rentals.’
      • ‘But why bump up the penalties for simple possession of objectionable material to 5 years?’
      add to, make larger, make bigger, make greater, augment, supplement, top up, build up, enlarge, expand, extend, raise, multiply, elevate, swell, inflate
      View synonyms

Origin

Mid 16th century (as a verb): imitative, perhaps of Scandinavian origin.

Pronunciation:

bump

/bʌmp/