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hump Syllabification: hump

Definition of hump in English:


1A rounded protuberance found on the back of a camel or other animal or as an abnormality on a person’s back.
Example sentences
  • He provides a sketch of a creature with the head of an elephant, a fishlike body with a camel hump, four legs like a lion, and a forked tail like a fish.
  • The wild Bactrian camel has longer legs, lighter fur, and smaller humps than domesticated camels have.
  • These adverse events include acne, easy bruising, moon face, swollen ankles, hirsutism, buffalo hump, and skin striae.
2A rounded raised mass of earth or land.
2.1A mound over which railroad vehicles are pushed so as to run by gravity to the required place in a switchyard.
Example sentences
  • A single-track hump can handle about 800 cars per shift.
  • Lastly, to accommodate the increasing postwar coal business, 26 more tracks were added to the classification yard west of the hump in 1949.
  • Six more tracks were also added to the classification yard, west of the hump.


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1 [with object] informal Lift or carry (a heavy object) with difficulty: he continued to hump cases up and down the hotel corridor
More example sentences
  • Removals took one full day moving to and fro between the two houses with my two sons helping to hump the heavy stuff into and out of the van.
  • And the vandal humping various bags of concrete and heavy tools around in the middle of the night may also have been deterred by the sight of a uniform or two.
  • I saw one group of traders run off like a startled herd, humping their bags of bags, while three police, like a pack of hunting dogs, scragged the least nimble.
1.1 [no object] Move heavily and awkwardly: it was late morning by the time I finally humped into camp
2 [with object] Make hump-shaped: the cat humped himself into a different shape and purred
More example sentences
  • Without further pause and again in silence, I hump my body up over the rock.
3 [with object] vulgar slang Have sexual intercourse with.


Early 18th century: probably related to Low German humpe 'hump', also to Dutch homp, Low German humpe 'lump, hunk (of bread)'.

  • If something annoying makes you get the hump the word is being used in something like its original sense. Hump arrived in English in the mid 17th century and is probably related to German humpe ‘hump’, and to Dutch homp ‘lump, hunk of bread’. Its earliest use was to mean ‘a complaint’, especially in the rhyming phrase humps and grumps, the ancestor of get the hump. With reference to a personal deformity it dates from the early 18th century.


over the hump

Over the worst or most difficult part of something.
Example sentences
  • But when I'm over the hump, rest assured I will get back to you, even if you've totally forgotten that you emailed me.
  • If we all kick in a few bucks we can help them get over the hump.
  • Local retailers will be looking to residents to help them over the hump so that everyone can be part of the bright new future this regeneration will bring.



Example sentences
  • Our work has shown that the cattle of Europe, northern Asia, and Africa all have closely related DNA sequences and that they all belong to a group that corresponds most closely to the humpless cattle known as Bos taurus.
  • A pencil drawing from 1982 presents four hunchbacks and freaks aboard a humpless camel standing on a platform mounted on a wheelcart.
  • Among these large animals was the prehistoric forerunner of all domestic humpless cattle: the aurochs.


Pronunciation: /ˈhəmpē/
adjective (humpier, humpiest)
Example sentences
  • Straddling a sharp turn of the Wuyang River, its picturesque jumble of stone and concrete houses line banks loomed over by steep, humpy hills.
  • The dark, humpy peak sneaks in and out of view over the next couple of days as we climb higher into the valley.
  • Over the humpy bits you can get air and there are roadside elements that you can now hit, such as cones and wooden barriers, which go flying out into traffic.

Words that rhyme with hump

bump, chump, clump, crump, dump, flump, frump, gazump, grump, jump, lump, outjump, plump, pump, rump, scrump, slump, stump, sump, thump, trump, tump, ump, whump

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