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[huhmp] /hʌmp/
a rounded protuberance, especially a fleshy protuberance on the back, as that due to abnormal curvature of the spine in humans, or that normally present in certain animals, as the camel or bison.
Physical Geography.
  1. a low, rounded rise of ground; hummock.
  2. a mountain or mountain range.
Railroads. (in a switchyard) a raised area down which cars pushed to its crest roll by gravity and momentum for automatic sorting through a series of preset switches.
Slang: Vulgar.
  1. an act or instance of coitus.
  2. a partner in coitus.
the hump.
  1. British Slang. a fit of depression or bad humor:
    to get the hump.
  2. (initial capital letter) (in World War II) the Himalayas.
verb (used with object)
to raise (the back) in a hump; hunch:
The cat humped its back.
Railroads. to sort (cars) by means of a hump.
Informal. to exert (oneself) in a great effort.
Slang: Vulgar. to have sexual intercourse with.
  1. to place or bear on the back or shoulder.
  2. to carry or haul.
  3. to load or unload; lift.
verb (used without object)
to rise in a hump.
Informal. to exert oneself; hustle or hurry.
Slang: Vulgar. to engage in sexual intercourse.
over the hump, past the most difficult, time-consuming, or dangerous part or period:
The doctor says she's over the hump now and should improve steadily.
Origin of hump
1700-10; probably abstracted from humpbacked
Related forms
humper, noun
humpless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hump
  • She knows she's over some hump and can envision a solution.
  • Once a camel is given proper food and rest, the hump generally returns to its original size within a few days.
  • The researchers didn't speculate what function the hump might have served.
  • It has a bit of a hump on the back, on the top half where the camera is.
  • But getting them over the hump of paying anything at all for web content is still turning out to be all but impossible.
  • The much admired hump provided sustenance for the camel first, then later for its rider.
  • It's not quite the final frontier, but it'll do for a hump day laugh.
  • He joins in their songs and revels, and the fairies are so pleased with him that they remove his hump.
  • When it finally did show up, it bore the unmistakable hump of a committee camel.
  • The patient is examined while standing and while bending forward, when a hump on one side of the back may become obvious.
British Dictionary definitions for hump


a rounded protuberance or projection, as of earth, sand, etc
(pathol) a rounded deformity of the back in persons with kyphosis, consisting of a convex spinal curvature
a rounded protuberance on the back of a camel or related animal
(Brit, informal) the hump, a fit of depression or sulking (esp in the phrase it gives me the hump)
over the hump, past the largest or most difficult portion of work, time, etc
to form or become a hump; hunch; arch
(transitive) (Brit, slang) to carry or heave
(slang) to have sexual intercourse with (someone)
(Austral & NZ, informal) hump one's swag, (of a tramp) to carry one's belongings from place to place on one's back
Derived Forms
humplike, adjective
Word Origin
C18: probably from earlier humpbacked
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 hump

1680s (in hump-backed), from Dutch homp "lump," from Middle Low German hump "bump," from Proto-Germanic *hump-, from PIE *kemb- "to bend, turn, change, exchange." Replaced, or perhaps influenced by, crump, from Old English crump. A meaning attested from 1901 is "mound in a railway yard over which cars must be pushed," which may be behind the figurative sense of "critical point of an undertaking" (1914). Humpback whale is from 1725.


"to do the sex act with," attested from 1785, but the source of this indicates it is an older word. Meaning "to raise into a hump" is from 1840. Related: Humped; humping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hump


  1. Any unspecified or unspecifiable object; something one does not know the name of or does not wish to name; gadget, gizmo: He took a little hootenanny off the shelf and blew into it (1925+)
  2. A folk-music entertainment, esp one where the audience participates (1940s+)

[one of many fanciful coinages for something unspecified; probably related to hooter, ''anything trifling,'' found fr the mid-1800s, and to hewgag, ''an indeterminate, unknown mythical creature,'' similarly found; the syllable hoo-, which is prominent in such coinages, probably represents the interrogative pronoun who; the folk-music sense is based on this, in spite of a fanciful explanation by the singer Woody Guthrie, involving a loud singer called Hootin' Annie]

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


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