• Pump


    • enPR: pŭmp, IPA: /pʌmp/
    • Rhymes: -ʌmp

    Origin 1

    From Middle English pumpe, possibly from Middle Dutch pompe ("pipe, water conduit") or Middle Low German pumpe ("pump"). Compare Dutch pompen, German pumpen, and Danish pompe.

    Full definition of pump



    (plural pumps)
    1. A device for moving or compressing a liquid or gas.
      This pump can deliver 100 gallons of water per minute.
    2. An instance of the action of a pump; one stroke of a pump; any action similar to pumping
      It takes thirty pumps to get 10 litres; he did 50 pumps of the weights.
    3. A device for dispensing liquid or gas to be sold, particularly fuel.
      This pump is out of order, but you can gas up at the next one.
    4. (bodybuilding) A swelling of the muscles caused by increased blood flow following high intensity weightlifting.
      • 2010, Eric Velazquez, "Power Pairings", Reps! 17:83Want a skin-stretching pump? Up the volume by using high-rep sets.A great pump is better than coming. (Arnold Schwarzenegger)
    5. (colloquial) A ride on a bicycle given to a passenger, usually on the handlebars or fender.
      She gave the other girl a pump on her new bike.
    6. (US, obsolete, slang) The heart.


    1. (transitive) To use a pump to move (liquid or gas).
      I've pumped over 1000 gallons of water in the last ten minutes.
    2. (transitive, often followed by up) To fill with air.
      He pumped up the air-bed by hand, but used the service station air to pump up the tyres.
    3. (transitive) To move rhythmically, as the motion of a pump.
      I pumped my fist with joy when I won the race.
    4. (transitive) To shake (a person's hand) vigorously.
    5. (transitive) To gain information from (a person) by persistent questioning.
      • OtwayBut pump not me for politics.
    6. (intransitive) To use a pump to move liquid or gas.
      I've been pumping for over a minute but the water isn't coming through.
    7. (intransitive, slang) To be going very well.
      The waves were really pumping this morning.
      Last night's party was really pumping.
    8. (sports) To kick, throw or hit the ball far and high.
      • 2011, February 5, Michael Da Silva, Wigan 4 - 3 Blackburn, Blackburn pumped long balls towards Diouf as they became increasingly desperate to salvage a point, but Wigan held on for a win that may prove crucial in their quest for Premier League survival.
    9. (Scotland, slang) To pass gas; to fart.
      • 2008, James Kelman, Kieron Smith, Boy, Penguin 2009, p. 82:People never pumped, just never never, but sometimes ye got smells.
    10. (computing) To pass (messages) into a program so that it can obey them.
      • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 documentation for Marshal.CleanupUnusedObjectsInCurrentContextThe interop system pumps messages while it attempts to clean up RCWs.

    Origin 2

    The etymology of the term is unclear and disputed. One possibility is that it comes from "Pomp" (i.e. ornamentation), claimed in Skeat & Skeat's A Concise Etymological Dictionary of the English Language (ISBN 9781596050921), and another is that it refers to the sound made by the foot moving inside the shoe when dancing, suggested as a probable source in Chambers's etymological dictionary (James Donald - Published by W. and R. Chambers, 1867). The Oxford English Dictionary claims that it appeared in the 16th century, and lists its origin as "obscure". It has also been linked to the Dutch pampoesje, possibly borrowed from Javanese "pampus", ultimately from Persian (papush)
    Arabic (babush) (International archives of ethnography: Volume 9 - Intern. Gesellschaft für Ethnographie; Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië - Ter Lands-drukkerij, 1870).



    (plural pumps)
    1. (British) A type of shoe, a trainer or sneaker.
    2. (chiefly North America) A type of very high-heeled shoe; stilettoes.
      She was wearing a lovely new pair of pumps.
    3. A dancing shoe.
    4. A type of shoe without a heel (source: Dictionarium Britannicum - 1736)


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