Definition of thump in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /THəmp/


[with object]
1Hit (someone or something) heavily, especially with the fist or a blunt implement: Holman thumped the desk with his hand [no object]: she thumped on the door
More example sentences
  • At this point I thump my fist down onto my desk and toss my hair defiantly.
  • His fist thumps the wooden table - bare except for a pen and a notepad for writing orders - for emphasis.
  • He gesticulated and swore at the young couple, holding up his fist and thumping the vehicle, and mouthing to the passenger to get out of the car.
informal bash, bop, clout, clobber, sock, swipe, slug, lash, whack, wallop, beat the (living) daylights out of, belt, tan, lay into, let someone have it, whup
literary smite
1.1Move (something) forcefully, noisily, or decisively: she picked up the kettle then thumped it down again
More example sentences
  • When he pulled the trigger his bullet thumped into the log and the crow flew lazily away unscathed.
  • You could hear the sound of its blades thumping through the air-con vents.
  • Last night, between about 7 pm and 8 pm there were thumping sounds every few seconds.
1.2 [no object] Move or do something with a heavy deadened sound: Philip thumped down on the sofa
1.3 [no object] (Of a person’s heart or pulse) beat or pulsate strongly, typically because of fear or excitement.
Example sentences
  • Quietly I began to retreat down the stairs, my heart thumping wildly with fear for my life.
  • All he heard was his own heart beat, thumping in his ears.
  • When he spotted Shama coming towards him, dressed in a yellow floral-patterned sari, his heart thumped heavily with excitement.
throb, pound, thud, hammer, pulsate, pulse, pump, palpitate, race, beat heavily
1.4 (thump something out) Play a tune enthusiastically but heavy-handedly.
Example sentences
  • Last time the Stereophonics were here, they were headlining Glasgow Green and thumping beery hits out over the heads of a huge celebratory crowd.
  • I just grabbed that old banjo and started thumpin' on it - and thumped out a tune.
  • The Soviet national anthem and the Moscow Festival song were thumped out by the band.
1.5 informal Defeat heavily: Tampa Bay thumped Toronto 8-0
More example sentences
  • Firstly France, with their star fly-half back in harness, won revenge for their previous defeat, thumping Scotland by a whopping 61-0.
  • Sir Clive Woodward's side were thumped 51-15 by Australia following back-to-back defeats to New Zealand.
  • The magic of the cup is one thing, but should a team really qualify for Europe without defeating a single Premiership side and then being thumped in the final?


1A heavy dull blow with a person’s fist or a blunt implement: I felt a thump on my back
More example sentences
  • By the time I left, the pressure of that bitterness had created a dull thump in my head.
  • Just at that moment, several dull thumps hit against the carriage from outside; Evelyn drew back, a small gasp escaping her lips.
  • As for watermelons, pick the ones minus dents or scratches and a light thump should yield a dull hollow sound.
1.1A loud deadened sound: his wife put down her iron with a thump
More example sentences
  • The recorder captured the sounds of loud thumps, crashes, shouts, and breaking glasses and plates.
  • There is a muffled thump, and the sound of running footsteps.
  • The image jitters, there is a thump as the sound comes on, and a haggard, hair-covered face fills the frame.
1.2A strong heartbeat, especially one caused by fear or excitement.
Example sentences
  • Feeling the thumps of fear in the fragile body, I lifted the tiny beast to the sand and watched it scamper away.
  • In one particularly engaging scene a barrage of news reports on black ‘suspects’ is pasted over the quickening thump of a heartbeat.
  • After four hours of climbing the near vertical mountain footpath, the headache had matured into a persistent thump with each heartbeat.



Pronunciation: /ˈTHəmpər/
Example sentences
  • ‘Driving in Whiskey’ is a decent dancefloor thumper featuring vocals by Ellen Allien.
  • The Rockies should be an interesting team because they abandoned their one-year experiment with singles hitters and piled up on thumpers, and they now have two solid front-line starters in Jason Jennings and Dennis Stark.
  • IT'S A BASEBALL GIVEN THAT THE GUY who beats you with his glove takes a backseat to the hefty thumpers who put big numbers on the board.


Mid 16th century: imitative.

  • jump from early 16th century:

    Like bump (mid 16th century) and thump (mid 16th century), jump was probably formed because it ‘sounded right’, and seemed to express the sound of feet hitting the ground. It was first used around 1500. To jump the gun, or act too soon, comes from the idea of an athlete starting a race a split-second before they hear the starting gun. A jumpsuit was a term first used in the USA in the 1940s for the outfit worn by parachutists when making their jumps. Jumper (mid 19th century) is unrelated. In the 19th century it was a loose outer jacket worn by sailors and is now a woollen jersey in UK English, but a style of dress in the USA. It may come from Scots jupe, ‘a loose jacket or tunic’, which in turn came through French from Arabic jubba.

Words that rhyme with thump

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

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: thump

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.