from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A usually metal or rubber bar attached to either end of a motor vehicle, such as a truck or car, to absorb impact in a collision.
  • n. A protective device for absorbing shocks or impeding contact.
  • n. A drinking vessel filled to the brim.
  • n. Something extraordinarily large.
  • adj. Extraordinarily abundant or full: a bumper crop of corn.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A drinking vessel filled to the brim.
  • n. Anything large or successful (now usually attributively).
  • n. Parts at the front and back of a vehicle which are meant to absorb the impact of a collision; fender
  • n. Any mechanical device used to absorb an impact, soften a collision, or protect against impact
  • n. Someone or something that bumps.
  • n. A bouncer.
  • n. A side wall of a pool table.
  • n. A short ditty or jingle used to separate a show from the advertisements.
  • adj. Large; filled to the bumpers at the top of a silo.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A cup or glass filled to the brim, or till the liquor runs over, particularly in drinking a health or toast.
  • n. A covered house at a theater, etc., in honor of some favorite performer.
  • n. That which bumps or causes a bump.
  • n. Anything which resists or deadens a bump or shock, such as a metal or rubber rim extending from an object; a buffer.
  • n. a protective guard device, usually of metal or rubber, attached horizontally to the front or rear of the frame of a vehicle, designed to resist or deaden a bump or shock, and to prevent damage to the main frame of the vehicle in low-velocity collisions.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To fill to the brim.
  • Brimming; abundant; very good; as, a bumper crop.
  • To toast by drinking off a bumper.
  • To drink bumpers: as, “we all sang and bumpered away,”
  • n. One who or that which bumps.
  • n. A log of wood placed over a ship's side to keep off ice, or anything similarly used; a fender.
  • n. A cup or glass filled to the brim, especially when drunk as a toast.
  • n. A crowded house at a theatrical benefit, or the like.
  • n. A species of pompano-like fish, Chloroscombrus chrysurus, of the family Carangidæ, found on the South Atlantic coast and about Cuba. Also called casabe.
  • n. In felt-hat manuf., a machine used for consolidating the felted material.
  • n. In Eng. whist, a rubber of 8 points.
  • n. In pianoforte-making, same as counter-check, 2.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a glass filled to the brim (especially as a toast)
  • n. a mechanical device consisting of bars at either end of a vehicle to absorb shock and prevent serious damage


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Perhaps from bump.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From to bump + -er.



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  • That sense is very British, meseems.

    September 3, 2011

  • bumper car(es )( and pours (pore over)) carefully

    September 3, 2011

  • I didn't know the "drinking glass filled to the brim" sense of it 'til now.

    ""Don't tell me you haven't had orange juice before."

    "Only a couple of times. It's very expensive. It comes from the orangery and one drinks it only on very special occasions. I had a glass on my eleventh birthday. Can I have more? Can you bumper it?"

    "Bumper it?" asked Evelyn, the mother, as she poured.

    "Yes. Fill it to the brim.""

    Under the Harrow by Mark Dunn, p 89

    September 2, 2011

  • See English suntan.

    February 10, 2010

  • Citation on egg on.

    October 9, 2008

  • a cup or glass filled to the brim

    August 2, 2007