Try Our Apps


Pore Over vs. Pour Over


[duhmps] /dʌmps/
a depressed state of mind (usually preceded by in the):
to be in the dumps over money problems.
Origin of dumps
1515-25; compare German dumpf dull, Middle Dutch domp haze


[duhmp] /dʌmp/
verb (used with object)
to drop or let fall in a mass; fling down or drop heavily or suddenly:
Dump the topsoil here.
to empty out, as from a container, by tilting or overturning.
to unload or empty out (a container), as by tilting or overturning.
to be dismissed, fired, or released from a contract:
The first baseman was dumped from the team after hitting .210 for the first half of the season.
to transfer or rid oneself of suddenly and irresponsibly:
Don't dump your troubles on me!
Boxing Slang.
  1. to knock down:
    The champion was dumped twice but won the fight.
  2. to lose (a match) intentionally:
    a bribe to dump a fight.
  1. to put (goods or securities) on the market in large quantities and at a low price without regard to the effect on market conditions.
  2. to sell (goods) into foreign markets below cost in order to promote exports or damage foreign competition.
Computers. to print, display, or record on an output medium (the contents of a computer's internal storage or the contents of a file), often at the time a program fails.
Slang. to kill; murder:
threats to dump him if he didn't pay up.
verb (used without object)
to fall or drop down suddenly.
to throw away or discard garbage, refuse, etc.
  1. to offer goods for sale in large quantities at a low price.
  2. to dump below-cost goods into foreign markets.
to release contents:
a sewage pipe that dumps in the ocean.
Slang. to complain, criticize, gossip, or tell another person one's problems:
He calls me up just to dump.
Slang: Vulgar. to defecate.
an accumulation of discarded garbage, refuse, etc.
Also called dumpsite, dumping-ground. a place where garbage, refuse, etc., is deposited.
  1. a collection of ammunition, stores, etc., deposited at some point, as near a battlefront, for distribution.
  2. the ammunition, stores, etc., so deposited.
the act of dumping.
  1. a runway or embankment equipped with tripping devices, from which low-grade ore, rock, etc., are dumped.
  2. the pile of ore so dumped.
Informal. a place, house, or town that is dilapidated, dirty, or disreputable.
(in merchandising) a bin or specially made carton in which items are displayed for sale:
Fifty copies of the best-selling paperback novel were in a dump near the checkout counter.
Computers. a copy of the contents of a computer's internal storage or of the contents of a file at a given instant, that is printed, displayed, or stored on an output medium.
dump on (someone), Informal.
  1. to attack with verbal abuse; criticize harshly:
    Reporters never tired of dumping on certain public figures.
  2. to unload one's problems onto (another person):
    You never phone me without dumping on me.
1250-1300; Middle English (in sense “to fall suddenly”) < Old Norse dumpa strike, bump; modern senses as transitive v. and noun (not known before 19th cent.) perhaps < another source, or independent expressive formation
Related forms
dumper, noun
undumped, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for dumps
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • dumps left the house at the commencement of the bustle, and walked home with a light step, and (for him) a cheerful heart.

    Sketches by Boz Charles Dickens
  • Can you deny what is in everybody's mouth, when a person is in the dumps?

    Wit and Wisdom of Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  • Had Linton's play been produced there, you would see him now all smiles instead of down in the dumps.

    Miser Farebrother, Volume I (of 3) Benjamin Leopold Farjeon
  • I get in the dumps at times, and don't open my mouth for days on end.

    A Study In Scarlet Arthur Conan Doyle
  • One must have a fit of the dumps sometimes; life is not all syrup of roses'—rather crossly for Roy.

    Heriot's Choice Rosa Nouchette Carey
British Dictionary definitions for dumps


plural noun
(informal) a state of melancholy or depression (esp in the phrase down in the dumps)
Word Origin
C16: probably from Middle Dutch domp haze, mist; see damp


to drop, fall, or let fall heavily or in a mass
(transitive) to empty (objects or material) out of a container
to unload, empty, or make empty (a container), as by tilting or overturning
(transitive) (informal) to dispose of
(transitive) to dispose of (waste, esp radioactive nuclear waste) in the sea or on land
  1. to market (goods) in bulk and at low prices
  2. to offer for sale large quantities of (goods) on foreign markets at low prices in order to maintain a high price in the home market and obtain a share of the foreign markets
(transitive) to store (supplies, arms, etc) temporarily
(intransitive) (slang, mainly US) to defecate
(transitive) (surfing) (of a wave) to hurl a swimmer or surfer down
(transitive) (Austral & NZ) to compact (bales of wool) by hydraulic pressure
(transitive) (computing) to record (the contents of part or all of the memory) on a storage device, such as magnetic tape, at a series of points during a computer run
  1. a place or area where waste materials are dumped
  2. (in combination): rubbish dump
a pile or accumulation of rubbish
the act of dumping
(informal) a dirty or unkempt place
(military) a place where weapons, supplies, etc, are stored
(slang, mainly US) an act of defecation
See also dump on
Derived Forms
dumper, noun
Word Origin
C14: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian dumpa to fall suddenly, Middle Low German dumpeln to duck


(obsolete) a mournful song; lament
Word Origin
C16: see damp
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for dumps

"low spirits," 1520s, plural of dumpe "a fit of musing," possibly from Dutch domp "haze, mist," from Middle Dutch damp "vapor" (see damp (n.)).



early 14c., "throw down or fall with force," perhaps from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish dumpe, Norwegian dumpa "to fall suddenly"). The sense of "unload en masse" is first recorded in American English 1784. That of "discard, abandon" is from 1919. Related: Dumped; dumping. Dump truck is from 1930.


"place where refuse is dumped," 1865, originally of mining operations, from dump (v.). Meaning "any shabby place" is from 1899. Meaning "act of defecating" is from 1942.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for dumps



  1. Any place so shabby or ugly as to be comparable to a depository for trash and garbage; a repulsive venue: What a dump my hometown is now! (1899+)
  2. Any building or place: Nice little dump you got here/ fanciest dump in town (1930s+)
  3. A prison (1904+ Underworld)
  4. A race, game, etc, that is intentionally lost, usually for gambling advantage; fix: When he took a dive in the first I knew we had a dump on our hands (1940s+ Gambling)
  5. A defecation; a SHIT: To start the morning with a satisfactory dump is a good omen (1940s+)
  6. A fund-raising event that allows many contributions to be given at once; scoop: The chief has a breakfast dump at the Century Plaza, then a stump speech at 2 p.m. (1990s+ Politics)


  1. To sell goods, stock, etc, in order to manipulate or depress a market (1868+)
  2. : Players accepting bribes to ''dump'' games
  3. To bunt a baseball: Dehoney dumped one toward third (1920+ Baseball)
  4. To kill (1930s+ Underworld)
  5. To rid oneself of someone or something; deep six: He dumped the whole cabinet (1848+)
  6. To admit someone to a hospital without proper cause •Often done as a way of avoiding responsibility for a patient (1980s+ Medical)
  7. To assign vulnerable novices and officers with disciplinary infractions to drug-ridden precincts (1990s+ Police)
  8. To speak openly and volubly: I shake my head and proceed to start dumping about my mom (1990s+)

Related Terms

core dump, take a dump

[origin uncertain; perhaps related to a Scandinavian term meaning ''to fall suddenly,'' the connection being the tipping out of a load from a cart]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with dumps


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for dumps

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for dumps

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for dumps