- 1[countable] the action or sound of something hitting a hard surface He fell to the ground with a bump. We could hear loud bumps from upstairs where the children were playing.
- 2[countable] a swelling on the body, often caused by a blow synonym lump She was covered in bumps and bruises. How did you get that bump on your forehead? See related entries: Injuries
- 3[countable] a part of a flat surface that is not even, but raised above the rest of it a bump in the road see also bumpy
- 4[countable] a slight accident in which your vehicle hits something I had a bump in the car earlier, but it wasn’t serious. See related entries: Motoring problems and accidents
- 5the bumps [plural] (British English) (on a child’s birthday) the act of lifting the child in the air and then putting them down on the ground, once for every year of their age We gave her the bumps. Word Origin mid 16th cent. (as a verb): imitative, perhaps of Scandinavian origin.Extra examples My job is to smooth out the bumps in supply and demand. We hit a bump and the car swerved. We landed with a loud bump. He fell to the ground with a bump.Idioms
(informal) to return, or to make somebody return, to a normal way of thinking or behaving after a time when they have been very excited, not very practical, etc. see also down to earth (informal, humorous) used to refer to ghosts and other supernatural things that cannot be explained There are mysterious lights in the sky and things that go bump in the night.