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Mid 16th century, probably imitative.
thump (plural thumps)
- A blow that produces a muffled sound.
- 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chapter 1:
- ... and so the universal thump is passed round, and all hands should rub each other’s shoulder-blades, and be content.
- 1710 January 4 (Gregorian calendar), Isaac Bickerstaff [et al., pseudonyms; Richard Steele et al.], “Saturday, December 24, 1709”, in The Tatler, number 111; republished in [Richard Steele], editor, The Tatler, […], London stereotype edition, volume II, London: I. Walker and Co.; […], 1822, →OCLC:
- The watchman gave so very great a thump at my door last night, that I awakened at the knock.
- The sound of such a blow; a thud.
- (dated, colloquial, euphemistic) Used to replace the vulgar or blasphemous element in "what the hell" and similar phrases.
- Where the thump have you been?!
thump (third-person singular simple present thumps, present participle thumping, simple past and past participle thumped)
- (transitive) To hit (someone or something) as if to make a thump.
- c. 1593 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Richard the Third: […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act V, scene iii]:
- These bastard Bretons, whom our fathers / Have in their own land beaten, bobb'd, and thump'd.
- 2011 January 19, Jonathan Stevenson, “Leeds 1-3 Arsenal”, in BBC:
- Kasper Schmeichel brilliantly denied Marouane Chamakh before Bacary Sagna thumped home a second, though Bradley Johnson's screamer halved the deficit.
- (transitive) To cause to make a thumping sound.
- The cat thumped its tail in irritation.
- (intransitive) To thud or pound.
- (intransitive) To throb with a muffled rhythmic sound.
- 2013 June 29, “Travels and travails”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 55:
- Even without hovering drones, a lurking assassin, a thumping score and a denouement, the real-life story of Edward Snowden, a rogue spy on the run, could be straight out of the cinema. But, as with Hollywood, the subplots and exotic locations may distract from the real message: America’s discomfort and its foes’ glee.
- Dance music thumped from the nightclub entrance.
to hit someone or something so as to make a thump
to thud or pound
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