pump up


1 [puhmp]
an apparatus or machine for raising, driving, exhausting, or compressing fluids or gases by means of a piston, plunger, or set of rotating vanes.
Engineering, Building Trades. a shore having a jackscrew in its foot for adjusting the length or for bearing more firmly against the structure to be sustained.
Biology. an animal organ that propels fluid through the body; heart.
Cell Biology. a system that supplies energy for transport against a chemical gradient, as the sodium pump for the transfer of sodium and potassium ions across a cell membrane.
verb (used with object)
to raise, drive, etc., with a pump.
to free from water or other liquid by means of a pump.
to inflate by pumping (often followed by up ): to pump a tire up.
to operate or move by an up-and-down or back-and-forth action.
to supply with air, as an organ, by means of a pumplike device.
to drive, force, etc., as if from a pump: He rapidly pumped a dozen shots into the bull's-eye.
to supply or inject as if by using a pump: to pump money into a failing business.
to question artfully or persistently to elicit information: to pump someone for confidential information.
to elicit (information) by questioning.
verb (used without object)
to work a pump; raise or move water, oil, etc., with a pump.
to operate as a pump does.
to move up and down like a pump handle.
to exert oneself in a manner likened to pumping: He pumped away at his homework all evening.
to seek to elicit information from a person.
to come out in spurts.
Verb phrases
pump up,
to inflate.
to increase, heighten, or strengthen; put more effort into or emphasis on; intensify: The store has decided to pump up its advertising.
to infuse with enthusiasm, competitive spirit, energy, etc.: The contestants were all backstage pumping themselves up for their big moment.
prime the pump,
to increase government expenditure in an effort to stimulate the economy.
to support or promote the operation or improvement of something.
pump iron. iron ( def 29 ).

1400–50; late Middle English pumpe (noun); cognate with German Pumpe, Dutch pomp

pumpable, adjective
pumpless, adjective
pumplike, adjective
unpumpable, adjective
unpumped, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pump1 (pʌmp)
1.  any device for compressing, driving, raising, or reducing the pressure of a fluid, esp by means of a piston or set of rotating impellers
2.  biology a mechanism for the active transport of ions, such as protons, calcium ions, and sodium ions, across cell membranes: a sodium pump
vb (when tr, usually foll by from, out, into, away, etc)
3.  to raise or drive (air, liquid, etc, esp into or from something) with a pump or similar device
4.  (tr; usually foll by in or into) to supply in large amounts: to pump capital into a project
5.  (tr) to deliver (shots, bullets, etc) repeatedly with great force
6.  to operate (something, esp a handle or lever) in the manner of a pump or (of something) to work in this way: to pump the pedals of a bicycle
7.  (tr) to obtain (information) from (a person) by persistent questioning
8.  (intr; usually foll by from or out of) (of liquids) to flow freely in large spurts: oil pumped from the fissure
[C15: from Middle Dutch pumpe pipe, probably from Spanish bomba, of imitative origin]

pump2 (pʌmp)
1.  a low-cut low-heeled shoe without fastenings, worn esp for dancing
2.  a type of shoe with a rubber sole, used in games such as tennis; plimsoll
[C16: of unknown origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"apparatus for forcing liquid or air," c.1440, possibly from M.Du. pompe "water conduit, pipe," or M.L.G. pumpe "pump," both from some North Sea sailors' word, possibly of imitative origin. The verb is recorded from 1508. Metaphoric extension in to pump (someone) for information is from 1667. Pumper
"fire engine tha pumps water" is recorded from 1915.

"low shoe without fasteners," 1555, perhaps echoic of the sound made when walking in them, or perhaps from Du. pampoesje, from Javanese pampoes, of Arabic origin.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

pump (pŭmp)

  1. A machine or device for raising, compressing, or transferring fluids.

  2. A molecular mechanism for the active transport of ions or molecules across a cell membrane.

v. pumped, pump·ing, pumps
  1. To raise or cause to flow by means of a pump.

  2. To transport ions or molecules against a concentration gradient by the expenditure of chemically stored energy.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
pump   (pŭmp)  Pronunciation Key 

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  1. A device used to raise or transfer fluids. Most pumps function either by compression or suction.

  2. A molecular mechanism for the active transport of ions or molecules across a cell membrane.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

pump up

  1. Inflate with gas or air, as in This tire needs pumping up. [Late 1800s]

  2. Fill with enthusiasm, strength, and energy, as in The lively debate pumped us all up. Mary Wollstonecraft used this idiom in slightly different form in The Rights of Women (1792): "Lover-like phrases of pumped-up passion."

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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