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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. 2016.
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British Dictionary definitions for over the 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 over the 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 over the hump

over the hump

adjective phrase

Most of the way to success or completion; over the hill

[1925+; a 1914 source defines hump as ''the half-way point in a prison sentence'']



  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 over the hump

over the hump

Past the most difficult part, as in She's over the hump with her dissertation; she'll soon be done. This expression alludes to a barrier that impedes progress. [ ; 1920s ]


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