1. The part of a tree trunk left protruding from the ground after the tree has fallen or has been felled.
2. A part, as of a branch, limb, or tooth, remaining after the main part has been cut away, broken off, or worn down.
a. stumps Informal The legs.
b. An artificial leg.
4. Derogatory A short, thickset person.
5. A heavy footfall.
6. A place or an occasion used for political or campaign oratory: candidates out on the stump.
7. A short, pointed roll of leather or paper or wad of rubber for rubbing on a charcoal or pencil drawing to shade or soften it.
8. Sports Any of the three upright sticks in a cricket wicket.
v. stumped, stump·ing, stumps
1. To reduce to a stump.
2. To clear stumps from: stump a field.
3. To stub (a toe or foot).
4. To walk over heavily or clumsily.
5. To traverse (a district or region) making political speeches.
6. To shade (a drawing) with a stump.
7. To challenge (someone); dare.
8. To cause to be at a loss; baffle: stumped the teacher with a question.
1. To walk heavily or clumsily.
2. To go about making political speeches.
[Middle English stumpe, possibly from Middle Low German stump.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.