Definition of stump in English:



  • 1The bottom part of a tree left projecting from the ground after most of the trunk has fallen or been cut down.

    • ‘She stands on a tree stump with two gnomes, four fairies, a raven, an owl, two hares, a rooster, squirrels, rabbits, mice, hedgehogs, toads and a fox.’
    • ‘They have these little statoliths or balance organs in the back of their head and we can section those and look under a microscope and have daily rings just like tree rings in a tree stump.’
    • ‘Helicopter bounces forward and keels over on to one side at a 45 degree angle as it comes to rest on a tree stump.’
    • ‘He found that 300 coniferous tree stumps had not been treated with urea, which was the normal practice.’
    • ‘In addition the tree covered quite a large area which, once the stump has been ground out and the soil improved, will offer an exciting opportunity for redesign and new plantings.’
    • ‘He caught his foot on a tree stump at high speed, leaving him in severe pain with badly bruised and swollen toes and in doubt as to whether he could continue with the competition.’
    • ‘For a while we sat on tree stumps next to the grain storage barn, talking with her parents and passing around a bottle of her father's homemade rakia to keep our blood flowing.’
    • ‘They climbed on to a tree stump and squeezed through barbed wire to get over a concrete fence next to their hideout.’
    • ‘It's best to set the board up off the ground - on a tree stump, for instance, or anchored to a limb.’
    • ‘Zander tend to spawn on submerged tree stumps, branches and reeds, although it is suspected that they can also spawn on plants and even canal pilings.’
    • ‘I first assume that snag density is a function of snag formation from living trees and snag deterioration to stumps and fallen logs.’
    • ‘Dried flowers, leaves and even tree stumps can be treated, preserved and arranged artfully, giving a simple, but elegant look to the interiors.’
    • ‘Removing tree stumps and shifting of pipelines and cables by utility agencies took time.’
    • ‘Before you reach Baldi, you see tree stumps dotting the landscape.’
    • ‘There he closed his eyes and invoked his magic, changing himself into a tree stump so that no one would recognize him.’
    • ‘The area was full of tree stumps and held little interest for farmers.’
    • ‘They found large piles of sawdust and tree stumps cut to ground level.’
    • ‘It shows a charred stump of a tree with the ground around it burnt.’
    • ‘Once the site is logged, he and his crew recycle the leftovers: tree limbs, saplings, logs, and tree stumps.’
    • ‘There were already other children, no older than fifteen, already seated on logs and tree stumps, drinking their stew.’
    chunk of wood, branch, tree trunk, bole
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    1. 1.1 The small projecting remnant of something that has been cut or broken off or worn away.
      ‘the stump of an amputated arm’
      • ‘Nowadays, between scraps of undulating green parkland, there are stumps of surviving Victorian tenements.’
      • ‘They'd torn my shirt off and used rags of that to staunch the blood trickling from the remaining stump of my little finger where it'd been severed at the last joint.’
      • ‘However, the pillar has been chipped away by pilgrims and is now reduced to a stump.’
      • ‘The only break in the smoothness of the wing's design was the fragmented stump at the back, which may have been a tailfin before the plane crashed.’
      • ‘All I was able to do was to put antiseptic on the remaining stumps and stand by with the morphine in case it was needed.’
      • ‘A German article 10 addressed stump breakdown following traumatic amputation in children.’
      • ‘The blastemal cells are derived locally from the mesenchymal tissues of the stump, close to the site of amputation.’
      • ‘Between the foc'sle store and the hold are the remnants of a mast stump, with the hole in the decking above still clearly identifiable.’
      • ‘Elsewhere the remnants are more mundane and ambiguous, like a shattered stump of bone which may point to the giant moa.’
      • ‘The carbon flakes were not transported across the turbinectomy stump.’
      • ‘Umbilical granulomas are common inflammatory reactions to the resolving umbilical stump.’
      • ‘A stump remained where his arm had been.’
      • ‘The team has developed an ultrasensitive neural network that can pick up multiple nerve signals sent to muscles near the stump of an amputated arm.’
      • ‘Today 27 stones remain standing along with the stumps and fragments of another nine.’
      • ‘The nerve, however, is severed at the preformed autotomy breakage plane and the nerve stub retracts into the coxal stump.’
      • ‘These symptoms could be secondary to a cystic duct remnant or cystic duct stump from the patient's prior surgery.’
      • ‘And so, on 1 February, his arm was in plaster, the stumps of his torn-off fingers were bleeding and shrapnel was digging into his legs.’
      • ‘The cold air would become extremely painful on his amputation stumps.’
      • ‘Most haunting is a frostbite victim's stump of an arm, newly amputated after he had fallen asleep in temperatures of minus 40C while he was on a vodka binge.’
      • ‘In 1988, a recurrent nodule was detected at the above-the-knee amputation stump site.’
      stub, end, tail end, remnant, remains, remainder, butt
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  • 2Cricket
    Each of the three upright pieces of wood which form a wicket.

    • ‘Blakey soon recovered to take over behind the stumps but the game remained a constant headache for the 6,500 crowd who had been let in free of charge.’
    • ‘If a batsman breaks his bat when striking the ball, and a piece of the bat hits the stumps, how is he out?’
    • ‘Kiddy Cricket is a popular spectacular featured during international matches, with the youngsters engaged in games using rubber balls, plastic bats and stumps.’
    • ‘Prior looked every inch an England prospect for his work behind the stumps and with the bat.’
    • ‘Only 20 runs were added in nine more overs and Inzamam's approach caused his dismissal, the ball going off bat and pad onto the stumps.’
    1. 2.1stumps Close of play in a cricket match.
      • ‘With Border having to bowl 20 overs before the close of play, Easterns played defensively and this may have contributed to their losing four wickets by stumps.’
      • ‘Thurstan batting the second time scored 155 for the loss of 3 wickets when stumps were drawn.’
      • ‘Then to rub salt in the wounds, the home team took a slender five-run lead with three wickets down by stumps to set themselves up for a considerable first innings lead.’
      • ‘The day got better for Haryana when they snapped up two Jharkhand wickets in the four overs that they got before stumps.’
      • ‘The last four wickets added 263 and by stumps England were 58 for 3.’
  • 3Art
    A cylinder with conical ends made of rolled paper or other soft material, used for softening or blending marks made with a crayon or pencil.

  • 4North American Used in relation to political campaigning.

    ‘his jibes at his opponents may have won him some support on the stump early in his campaign’
    as modifier ‘an inspiring stump speaker’
    • ‘He's trotted out today not only a new ad, but also a new stump speech, really focusing not only on his record of accomplishment but on a broad vision for the future.’
    • ‘Lincoln's skill as a stump speaker, enhanced by his six-foot-four-inch height, contributed to his political rise.’
    • ‘The candidate's central stump speech is the heart of the campaign.’
    • ‘Since they last met the polls are tighter, the stump speeches sharper and election day, eight days closer.’
    • ‘It's more likely to be a recitation of the candidates' stump speeches and campaign promises.’
    • ‘She doesn't have a stump speech - or, for that matter, any set speeches.’
    • ‘They know the players, they've heard all the stump speeches, and there's not much that happens that they haven't seen before.’
    • ‘There is plenty of time for our patented 10-point-plan yawner of a stump speech as we move into the next election cycle.’
    • ‘Without any prompting from Pettitt, he was feverishly muttering snippets from his stump speech in the middle of the frantic gesturing.’
    • ‘And we're hearing a little new wrinkle in his stump speech, and that has to do with taking a swipe at John.’
    • ‘Instead, it boiled down to here's my stump speech, he's wrong, so vote for me.’
    • ‘Edwards gave a speech which drew very heavily on his stump speech.’
    • ‘He has had barely a month on the campaign stump, but Wesley K. Clark is giving his fellow Presidential contenders a run for their money.’
    • ‘He then launches into his stump speech - he wants health care.’
    • ‘But even after a two-month stump campaign, the Bush plan for private Social Security accounts is sputtering.’
    • ‘In addition, the budgetary mathematics he weaves into his basic stump speech have been challenged on network television.’
    • ‘At about this time in the last month of the campaign, his stump speech changed.’
    • ‘The boyish-looking Edwards fought Kerry well in the primary campaign, serving up the best stump speech of any candidate.’
    • ‘On the other hand, Gephardt often comes across as wooden on the campaign stump.’
    • ‘I think it's fair to say that it's the stump speech in his prospective campaign for Norm Coleman's senate seat in 2008.’


  • 1informal (of a question or problem) be too hard for; baffle.

    ‘education chiefs were stumped by some of the exam questions’
    • ‘When the speaker is stumped by a question there is nothing but deathly silence as they consulted their notes.’
    • ‘But the 58-year-old, who has worked for Ladbrokes for more than 30 years, says he is stumped as to why he should have beaten more than 750 applicants to reach the final.’
    • ‘But I was stumped about how I might contribute anything that would add to the festivities.’
    • ‘The electrician was stumped as far as how to go about restoring power to the lower level of our abode.’
    • ‘As a boy he reputedly solved an architectural problem that had stumped a group of builders.’
    • ‘Occasionally I set a question that I think will stump you all and then someone gets it within about 5 minutes, and it's usually Pat.’
    • ‘If you're stumped, start by answering the following questions in your journal and look for rules in your answers.’
    • ‘We were sure the last question would stump them and leave us with great video footage.’
    • ‘James Irving is a travel professional, but even he was stumped when his cousin issued a challenge.’
    • ‘We both like to read inscriptions and puzzle over symbols, but this one stumped us.’
    • ‘This innocent-sounding question has stumped mathematicians from Cantor's time to the present.’
    • ‘After five years in the business, I still go there every few weeks to learn new microscopy techniques, or when someone stumps me with a tough question.’
    • ‘Women get attacked in public bathrooms all the time, and if the cops could not remove men who were in there they were stumped about what they were going to do.’
    • ‘Ms. Olynyk complains that ‘after quoting two paragraphs from the press kit, Ms. Barratt is stumped for something to say.’
    • ‘Jeb Bush was stumped by a math problem that reportedly was on the state's standardized test for high school students.’
    • ‘You can go here to the bulletin board on Jeopardy and read some game recaps and see which rare questions stumped Ken.’
    • ‘Well, if you're stumped about what to get for that hard to buy somebody on your list, we've got some amazing ideas for you.’
    • ‘Hm, you know, looking back, I wish I had said all that stuff and more in the job interview, instead of getting stumped by that trap of a question.’
    • ‘Irwin is not only a great Islamic scholar, he is an exciting writer who gets the facts right - or is ready to admit when he (like everybody else) is stumped for more than a reasonably informed guess.’
    • ‘But when the time came to confer with our local suppliers to translate the questionnaire into Spanish / Portuguese, we were stumped.’
    baffle, perplex, puzzle, confuse, confound, bewilder, mystify, nonplus, defeat
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    1. 1.1be stumped Be at a loss; not know what to do or say.
      ‘detectives are stumped for a reason for the attack’
      • ‘When challenged to name a single person who holds these supposedly widespread views, the person who headed up the task force was stumped.’
      • ‘There was only one question that stumped me initially: When I was asked how I thought the Magistracy should support the police I couldn't think of an answer.’
      • ‘As usual we were largely stumped by questions that needed the year of release.’
      • ‘But she was stumped on the £32,000 question when she was asked who Roy Rogers married in 1947 (answer: Dale Evans).’
      • ‘But when she got a National award for the song, they were stumped.’
      • ‘McAuliffe was stumped when Hannity asked him whether Kerry was lying when he said he spent Christmas in Cambodia.’
      • ‘Visitors were stumped by simple questions testing their knowledge of the syndrome.’
      • ‘If you are stumped by a question and draw a blank, don't panic, simply state that the question is a tough one and ask for a little extra time to consider your response.’
      • ‘When the interviewer asked him what was the highest score by an individual in Test cricket, the candidate was stumped.’
      • ‘But when Mr. Bush was asked if the United States was prepared with such an early warning system, he appeared stumped by the question.’
      • ‘Each examined him separately but they, too, were stumped.’
      • ‘For example, the press agents were stumped when asked to explain the rules and legal implications of the Wi-Fi Internet waves.’
      • ‘Only one question stumped him: ‘Which tree has the most leaves?’’
      • ‘Her questions stumped me, but Noelle had an answer ready.’
      • ‘He asked me if I knew how the tradition of men opening doors for women started and I was stumped.’
      • ‘While police were stumped in their investigation, they got lucky after arresting John for shoplifting.’
      • ‘He was stumped and he said, ‘You give me a minute to explain.’’
      • ‘By now he's quite refreshed by his meal and primed by a good deal of political conversation, and this question momentarily stumps him.’
      • ‘But the question stumped both MPs, who each confessed to their audience in the Dante Suite at York Racecourse that they had not heard of the scheme.’
      • ‘The organizers were stumped as to what to do with the food, and finally said we could just take the stuff home.’
  • 2no object, with adverbial of direction Walk stiffly and noisily.

    ‘he stumped away on short thick legs’
    • ‘Haley walked into the kitchen and two minutes later Trevor came stumping into the kitchen.’
    • ‘Bader was stumping in carrying suitcases, and the boy rushed to help.’
    • ‘I hope these socks keep Miss Phoebe's feet warm, as she is stumping around her house already.’
    • ‘All at once, I saw two figures: one a little man who was stumping along eastward at a good walk, and the other a girl of maybe eight or ten who was running as hard as she was able down a cross street.’
    • ‘I jumped when I heard thunder and kids stumping and running around in the other room.’
    stomp, stamp, clomp, clump, lumber, trudge, plod
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  • 3Cricket
    (of a wicketkeeper) dismiss (a batsman) by dislodging the bails with the ball while the batsman is out of the crease but not running.

    • ‘Burn opener Stuart Nesbitt had reached 54 when stumped by opposing wicketkeeper Dave Greenway, who snapped up a further two chances.’
    • ‘The Alice team were given good service by their wicketkeeper, V Makapela, who stumped two batsmen and caught one.’
    • ‘Easts wicket keeper Dale Box did well with the gloves, stumping two batsmen, one off the bowling of Jobson and another off David Wells.’
    • ‘Sangakkara then stumped new batsman Justin Ontong off the bowling of Chandana for seven, leaving South Africa on 119 for five.’
    • ‘Then Mark Boucher, who smashed two fours and one massive six in his 24, was coolly stumped by Sangakkara.’
  • 4North American Travel around (a district) making political speeches.

    ‘there is no chance that he will be well enough to stump the country’
    • ‘Mr Bush was stumping in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa and New Mexico today, before a crowning home-state rally in Dallas and a night at his Crawford ranch.’
    • ‘In the 2000 primary Wellstone also opposed Gore, stumping for candidate Bill Bradley.’
    • ‘The campaign is pretty excited about what they call a Democratic rock star that's going to be out there stumping for them.’
    • ‘Dean has most of the Hollywood glamour; both Martin Sheen and Rob Reiner were here stumping for him in recent days.’
    • ‘Max is now stumping for his friend and fellow veteran, John Kerry.’
    • ‘Senator John Kerry on the day after the first debates, stumping for votes in Florida, a place that's been difficult to get to of late because of all the hurricanes that blasted through that state.’
    • ‘President Bush stumping in Columbus, Ohio, also, John Kerry, John Edwards stumping in Saint Louis, Missouri.’
    • ‘The two were stumping together for the first time as running mates in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida, showcasing their newfound camaraderie and putting aside past differences.’
    • ‘In early 1996, he crisscrossed the state, stumping for an environmental bond act, which his polls showed that voters supported.’
    • ‘For the first time this year the former First Lady, adored by the Republican faithful, is stumping on behalf of her son George W, the Texas governor, to try and bridge the gender gap.’
    • ‘John Edwards is stumping in Ohio and Illinois - the latter hosting a fundraising bash for the DNC.’
    • ‘While stumping in Denver, John Kerry took a few pot shots at President Bush's scientific policy and expressed how he'd be different.’
    • ‘But, y'see, the thing is, she's stumping for Kerry and coming off like Marie Antoinette is just a bad way to win hearts and minds.’
    • ‘California Governor Gray Davis is stumping in Santa Monica, faced with new evidence that he may indeed be voted out of office next week.’
    • ‘Call me silly, but I just don't care whether or not a candidate lugs a spouse along while he or she is stumping for votes.’
    • ‘Bryan stumped for the ‘little guy,’ a slogan echoed by Gore's ‘the people versus the powerful’ in 2000.’
    • ‘The chief Minister, Oommen Chandy, stumped the District Collectors at their two-day annual conference here on Monday.’
    • ‘Warren Beatty and Rob Reiner were stumping against Arnold, too, but, when polled against Arnold, don't run as well as Angelides and Westly.’
    • ‘He's not stumping for Kerry, he's not running for office.’
    • ‘He's out there simultaneously denouncing the attack on Kerry's service record while he stumps for the President.’
  • 5Art
    Use a stump on (a drawing, line, etc.).


  • up a stump

    • informal In a situation too difficult to manage.

      ‘he was up a stump if his animals got sick’
      • ‘But we never came to an asylum - so I was up a stump, as you may say.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • stump something up

    • Pay a sum of money.

      ‘a buyer would have to stump up at least £8.5 million for the site’
      • ‘You will have to stump it up and hope you can claim it back in court.’
      • ‘I would add the bond amount if you are going to rent (I know its refundable but you still have to stump it up, up front) and the connection charges for electricity/ phone/ internet.’
      • ‘The festive scheme, a nationwide first, is sponsored by electricity provider npower, which is stumping up £30,000 towards the cost of the lights.’
      • ‘But the railway will not be able to use the Harry Potter name in other events unless it stumps up large amounts of cash.’
      • ‘The BBC is now stumping up £489,000 to pay for four 60-minute documentaries, while Scottish Screen, a quango which funds film projects, is paying out £311,000.’
      • ‘The membership surge ensured the Trust, which last week announced it was stumping up the cash to keep the Minstermen running for the next four weeks, banked almost £5,500 on the night.’
      • ‘A settlement, based on the companies collectively stumping up £200m for a compensation scheme, was expected to be announced on Friday but was delayed at the last minute.’
      • ‘I still haven't stumped it up yet, I think I'vegot till the end of the month to find 10 k behind my sofa.’
      • ‘If Aer Lingus doesn't come to market the state will be forced to dig deep to accommodate Willie Walsh's expansion plans for the airline, stumping up about €300m to fund its new fleet.’
      • ‘Yorkshire will, therefore, be stumping up a total of £350,000 for this year's Test match and the one-day international but the Test is expected to gross £1.2million.’
      pay, pay up, hand over, part with, give, put in, contribute, donate
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Middle English (denoting a part of a limb remaining after an amputation): from Middle Low German stump(e) or Middle Dutch stomp. The early sense of the verb was ‘stumble’.