Definition of bumper in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbʌmpə/


1A horizontal bar fixed across the front or back of a motor vehicle to reduce damage in a collision: she started the car with a jerk and hit the bumper of the car in front
More example sentences
  • After a year, the Ford Aspire had minor changes done in that included new front and rear bumpers, headlamps, turn signals, tail lamps, and wheel covers.
  • This airbag is deployed from just above the front bumper when a frontal collision is imminent.
  • Usually such damages will weaken the bumper's ability to absorb the shock of collision.
1.1North American A shock-absorbing piston projecting from a cross-beam at the end of a railway track or at the end of a railway vehicle.
2 Cricket , dated another term for bouncer (sense 2).
Example sentences
  • Sometimes he would bowl bumpers just for this purpose - even at his old mate.
  • He's got a very good bumper, and his slower ball comes out really well.
  • He bowled the bumper sparingly but brilliantly.
3 (also bumper race) Horse Racing A flat race for inexperienced horses which are intended for future racing in hurdles or steeplechases.
Example sentences
  • He rides them in national hunt flat races called bumpers but he lets a professional jockey take over for the hurdles.
  • Winning trainer Jonjo O'Neill said the horse may have one more run in a bumper before going hurdling with the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Festival one of the aims.
  • Mark Pitman's gelding has shown decent form in bumpers and also over hurdles, and has finished runner-up in both his races over the minor obstacles this term.
4 archaic A generous glassful of an alcoholic drink, typically one drunk as a toast.
Example sentences
  • He who drank a bumper on his knees to the health of his mistress, was dubbed a knight for the evening.
  • On my way home I stopped in at the tavern and drank a bumper of whiskey, something I had not indulged in for the last five or six years.
  • There are whole pages full of Masonic toasts from which the presiding officer could select, and after every one of which a bumper was drunk by the Brethren present.


Exceptionally large, fine, or successful: a bumper crop everyone in the business predicts a bumper year
More example sentences
  • In many areas, this year's bumper crop means exceptionally high removal of nutrients.
  • There were thousands of acres [of wheat] sown in our vicinity this fall and prospects for a bumper crop are fine so far this winter.
  • Hopefully we will have a fine weekend and bumper crowds.
abundant, rich, heavy, healthy, bountiful, goodly, large, big, huge, immense, massive, exceptional, unusual, good, excellent, fine, magnificent, lovely, vintage, superabundant, prolific, profuse, copious, profitable
informal whopping
South African informal lank
literary bounteous, plenteous



Very close together, as cars in a traffic jam.
Example sentences
  • Traffic was bumper-to-bumper after police closed part of Ribbleton Lane and Deepdale Road, near the prison, and also St Mary's Street, off Ribbleton Lane.
  • Both the morning and afternoon races witnessed the closest bumper-to-bumper action that the S championship has seen so far in 2005, with similar starts but very different endings.
  • Usually on any working day the traffic moves bumper-to-bumper.
1.1(Of an insurance policy) comprehensive; all-inclusive: choose our 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty
More example sentences
  • In addition, unlike comprehensive bumper-to-bumper car warranties, boats are sold with separate warranties for the boat and for the engine, as well as a host of warranties for other equipment on board.
  • Right off the internet, you can buy extended warranty used car coverage that is generally bumper-to-bumper and lasts several years.
  • Hyundai offers a 100,000-mile warranty on its engine and related powertrain systems and a 60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty on other vehicle parts and systems.


Late 17th century (in sense 4 of the noun): from bump + -er1. sense 4 of the noun derives from the earlier form bumping, meaning 'very large, great', and is the source of the adjective meaning 'exceptionally large, fine, or successful', as in a bumper year. sense 3 of the noun is said to be from an earlier racing term meaning 'amateur rider'.

Words that rhyme with bumper

dumper, gazumper, jumper, lumper, stumper, thumper

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: bump¦er

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