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[thuhmp] /θʌmp/
a blow with something thick and heavy, producing a dull sound; a heavy knock.
the sound made by or as if by such a blow.
verb (used with object)
to strike or beat with something thick and heavy, so as to produce a dull sound; pound.
(of an object) to strike against (something) heavily and noisily.
Informal. to thrash severely.
verb (used without object)
to strike, beat, or fall heavily, with a dull sound.
to walk with heavy steps; pound.
to palpitate or beat violently, as the heart.
Origin of thump
1530-40; imitative
Related forms
thumper, noun
unthumped, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for thump
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They had no gun, so they each picked up a good big stone and both threw at once; and one of them hit the bear, thump, on his back!

    When Life Was Young C. A. Stephens
  • Miss G. Lord, father, what a thump on the back to salute one with.

  • Drake brought down his fist with a thump on to the mantelpiece.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • They landed with a thump which seemed to shake all life from two of them.

    The Bluff of the Hawk Anthony Gilmore
  • From under the shingle roof there was a sound of struggling—a thump, as a body hit the ground—an old woman's squeal of rage.

    The Plow-Woman Eleanor Gates
  • The Cahoon fist descended upon the kitchen table with a thump.

    Fair Harbor Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • I could hear my heart go thump, thump, thump; it seemed to be right up in my very throat.

    Jim Davis John Masefield
  • His feet slipped from the hearth and struck the floor with a thump.

    Fair Harbor Joseph Crosby Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for thump


the sound of a heavy solid body hitting or pounding a comparatively soft surface
a heavy blow with the hand: he gave me a thump on the back
(transitive) to strike or beat heavily; pound
(intransitive) to throb, beat, or pound violently: his heart thumped with excitement
Derived Forms
thumper, noun
Word Origin
C16: related to Icelandic, Swedish dialect dumpa to thump; see thud, bump
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for thump

1530s, "to strike hard," probably imitative of the sound made by hitting with a heavy object (cf. East Frisian dump "a knock," Swedish dialectal dumpa "to make a noise"). Related: Thumped; thumping.


1550s, from thump (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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