Definition of tramp in English:



  • 1Walk heavily or noisily.

    ‘he tramped around the room’
    • ‘You're tramping through the jungle - you just get a feeling of what you're looking for.’
    • ‘Brad and Julia tramped up the stairs, each carrying a tray laden with food and cups of coffee.’
    • ‘Armed with a third key, I tramp up the stairs once more.’
    • ‘She watched as they all tramped past her, avoiding her eye.’
    • ‘I tramped down the stairs after I mailed my letter.’
    1. 1.1 Walk through or over a place wearily or reluctantly and for long distances.
      ‘we have tramped miles over mountain and moorland’
      • ‘I grabbed an ice pick off the sledge and tramped away from the camp towards the face of Portal Mountain.’
      • ‘He could tramp through deep snow for hours without break, bitching and singing the whole way.’
      • ‘Which is just what one wants when tramping through the snow.’
      • ‘She and her colleagues spent the next 4 hours tramping around the mountain slopes trying to catch sight of a trogon actually calling.’
      • ‘In September, 54 conscripts were arrested after abandoning their barracks in southern Russia and tramped nearly 35 miles to the city of Volgograd to protest at beatings by their superiors.’
      • ‘As summer bled its long days into the shortening evenings of autumn, I'd tramp in reluctantly with feet squidging in wet runners.’
    2. 1.2with object Tread or stamp on.
      ‘one of the few wines still tramped by foot’
      • ‘After tramping the streets for two days he had still not been able to find any relatives or friends.’
      • ‘But he had to tramp the dark streets for three whole nights before anyone would rob him.’
      • ‘Immediately, they began to see signs of the enemies' presence… grass that had been tramped by many feet, ruts from wagons, bits of discarded debris.’
      • ‘We had a good team of 7 people out this morning tramping the streets.’


  • 1A person who travels from place to place on foot in search of work or as a vagrant or beggar.

    • ‘In this category fall some of the adaptive activities of psychotics, autists, pariahs, outcasts, vagrants, vagabonds, tramps, chronic drunkards and drug addicts.’
    • ‘Why wouldn't my attention be attracted by that man, since he was a beggar or a tramp, a veritable rainbow of dark-colored rags?’
    • ‘One of them is the guy the old tramp described.’
    • ‘I noticed he was wearing those fingerless gloves, usually a bastion of the homeless tramp.’
    • ‘I had to face the drunken tramps and the scorn of those wannabe policemen and women: the ticket inspectors.’
    • ‘First a drunken tramp got on and started bawling and shouting and generally upsetting people.’
    • ‘My search for tramps has taken a side trip into terra incognita.’
    • ‘Deserters from foreign armies, prisoners of war, criminals, vagabonds, tramps, and people whom the crimps had entrapped by fraud and violence were the bulk of the regiments.’
    • ‘Secondly, how come on the day of the royal visit there wasn't one tramp or beggar to be found on the street?’
    • ‘The pair of alcoholic tramps started traveling together near Kansas City in 1998 and eventually made their way to Minneapolis.’
    • ‘Armies of transient laborers filled seasonal jobs throughout the country, creating the great era of tramps and hoboes, 1870 to 1920.’
    • ‘Of course he was in exile and did have a great affinity for those kinds of characters, for tramps and vagrants and displaced, placeless people.’
    • ‘The homeless tramp sleeps peacefully on the bench.’
    • ‘I turn around quickly and face what seems to be an old tramp.’
    • ‘But then tramps and vagrants manage pretty well without any of those, although one couldn't say most look happy about it.’
    • ‘The playground is now taken over by tramps and beggars.’
    • ‘After the tramp had washed his feet and his socks, he tip-toed over the gravel to the grass.’
    • ‘He associated with tramps and beggars, whores and ruffians.’
    • ‘Headway has also been made on getting the homeless off the streets as the amount of tramps and beggars seems minimal in comparison to major UK cities.’
    • ‘The first batch, comprising of 14 children, were handed over by the district administration as part of their drive to clear the town of beggars and tramps.’
    vagrant, vagabond, homeless person, derelict, down-and-out
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  • 2in singular The sound of heavy steps, typically of several people.

    ‘the tramp of marching feet’
    • ‘Blue armour was visible, and the tramp of armoured feet was just audible, even above the roaring storm.’
    • ‘The hush swept across the great room as those near the entrance heard the first tramp of heavy feet.’
    • ‘As the march moved off everyone knew instinctively that time was running out and that the guns were increasingly silencing the chants and the tramp of feet.’
    • ‘The tramp of those pale feet might interrupt the flow of his patronising patter.’
    • ‘There were no cartographers, no global positioning system, apart from the tramp of human feet in solemn perambulations.’
    footstep, step, footfall, tread, stamp, stomp, stomping
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  • 3in singular A long walk, typically a tiring one.

    ‘they start off on a tramp from Roxbury to New York’
    • ‘It is really a fine balance running a 26 km two-day tramp in under four hours.’
    trek, trudge, slog, hike, march, walk, constitutional, ramble, roam, wander
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  • 4usually as modifier A cargo vessel that carries goods among many different ports rather than sailing a fixed route.

    ‘a tramp steamer’
    • ‘Uncle Julian hit the road before he got out of his teens, right in the middle of the Depression, and worked his way across the Atlantic as an oiler's pimp on a tramp steamer.’
    • ‘Carr recounts the little-known World War II story about the survivors of a tramp steamer sunk in the summer of 1940.’
    • ‘A good question, and in reply we ask you to imagine a tramp steamer packed to the gunwales with volumes one, three and five as we speak chugging its way across the Atlantic.’
    • ‘Appropriately, he spends most of his days on tramp steamers, skiffs and barges.’
    • ‘Mysteriously, after the first year, the girl disappeared - some said to work on a tramp steamer in the North Atlantic - and we often wondered whatever happened to her.’
    • ‘British shipowners, however, had been slow to build tankers and in the tramp traders had lagged behind in adopting diesel propulsion.’
    • ‘The group has 400 vessels comprising oil tankers, tramps, passenger ships, container vessels and special cargo ships.’
    • ‘Rather than coming from academia, he began by running away to sea to become a junior officer on the tramp freighter Benlawers.’
    • ‘When this tramp steamer went down all 42 on board were drowned, making this one of the worst WW2 shipping losses not caused by enemy action.’
    • ‘It is worth remembering that the average size of steamers in the British tramp fleet was only 3,500 gross tons as late as 1910.’
    • ‘The Andromeda rescues some Wayist refugees traveling on board a tramp freighter.’
    • ‘Having transferred to an old Lebanese tramp steamer, he became the ship's doctor, treating women who fainted in the heat.’
    • ‘It will appear to be just another tramp freighter, but is actually the disguised personal vessel of Lord Isloth.’
    • ‘When I left school in 1959 and joined the Merchant Navy, the cabin on a tramp steamer seemed like my first real home.’
    • ‘The Dream was a deceptively slow looking tramp freighter about 50 meters long and twenty meters across at her widest point.’
    • ‘Poorer and sadder, the couple reunite and have to make their way home on a tramp steamer.’
  • 5North American informal A promiscuous woman.

    • ‘What on earth was that little tramp yammering about now?’
    • ‘I rather thought you were more than a match for that little rebel tramp.’
    • ‘She is nothing more than a tramp that sleeps around.’
    • ‘I knew I shouldn't have trusted that little tramp with our secrets!’
    • ‘I hold this household together and you better pay me back for what I've done for you and that tramp mother of yours.’
    • ‘I would be damned if I was going to stand here and watch this tramp flirt with him.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, I will not fear some tramp that basically grabbed my heart and stepped on it as if it was some squish toy.’
    • ‘She's had a lot of first kisses this year, the little tramp.’
    • ‘‘You dirty tramp,’ she screeched, her eyes bugging out.’
    slut, promiscuous woman, prostitute, whore
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  • 6A metal plate protecting the sole of a boot.

    1. 6.1 The top of the blade of a spade.


Late Middle English (as a verb): probably of Low German origin. The noun dates from the mid 17th century.