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To lift weights at a gym to improve one's body shape or increase one's muscle mass. My brother-in-law is obsessed with pumping iron and getting huge biceps.
pump (someone or oneself) up
To increase someone's or one's own excitement, confidence, or mental preparation. The coach pumped us all up just before we headed out onto the field. I was pretty nervous before the test, so I took a few minutes to pump myself up before I started.
pump (one's) stomach
To use a mechanical pump to withdraw the contents of one's stomach, especially to rid it of toxic or poisonous substances. He got so drunk on his 21st birthday that we had to take him to the hospital so they could pump his stomach. The child was rushed to the emergency room to have her stomach pumped after swallowing a laundry detergent capsule.
1. To use the force of a vacuum to suck something out of something or some place. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "pump" and "out." The doctors had to pump the alcohol out of his stomach before his body went into toxic shock. The rains have been so heavy that we've been pumping out our basement for days.
2. To empty something or some place of its contents by using the force of a vacuum to suck the contents out. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "pump" and "out." We'll have to pump the construction site out before we can lay down any concrete. They're pumping out the lab because a student accidentally created chlorine gas by mixing bleach with ammonia.
3. To flow or surge out of something freely, rapidly, and with force. Oil pumped out of the offshore well for days before a crew was able to fix the leak. Carbon dioxide pumps out of these plants all day, every day.
4. To create or generate copious amounts of something, especially continuously or at great length. Often used to imply the things are being created in a cheap, efficient manner, often reflected in their low quality. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "pump" and "out." He made a career of pumping out cheesy romance novels. People complain about how bad the movies in this series are, but people go out and see them every time the studio pumps another one out. This factory alone pumps out roughly 85,000 smartphones a month.
slang, obsolescent Euphemism meaning to urinate. A reference to the practice of pumping out water that accumulates in the bilges of nautical vessels. He stood up and mentioned discreetly that he needed to pump ship before exiting the room to find a water closet.
pump (some) iron
Sl. to lift weights for exercise. Andy went down to the gym to pump some iron. Mary's hobbies are pumping iron and running.
Sl. excited; physically and mentally ready. The team is really pumped up for Friday's game. She really plays well when she's pumped!
Lift weights, as in She's started pumping iron three times a week. This idiom was born with the late-20th-century stress on physical fitness. [Second half of 1900s]
If someone pumps iron, they lift heavy weights for exercise. Unlike Richard, I hadn't spent hours pumping iron and running on the treadmill.
pump ironexercise with weights. informal
pump shipurinate. euphemistic
The expression originated in nautical terminology, denoting the pumping of water from a ship's bilges.
pump ˈiron(informal) do exercises in which you lift heavy weights in order to strengthen your muscles: I should take more exercise, but I’m not interested in pumping iron at the local gym three evenings a week.
1. To force or suck something, as a liquid or gas, out of something by means of a pump: The contractors pumped the water out of the ditch. They pumped out the sewage that had flooded the basement.
2. To force the liquid or gas out of something by means of a pump: When the rain finally stopped, we rented a sump pump and pumped out our basement. The holes had filled with water, so the contractors pumped them out before pouring the concrete footings.
3. To flow out of something rapidly and forcefully: When the firefighters arrived, smoke was pumping out of the windows. Blood was pumping out, so the doctor tied a tourniquet around the patient's arm.
4. To produce something continuously and in large amounts: That factory pumps out a lot of toxic waste. Movie sequels continue to make money, and studios continue to pump them out.
1. tv. to urinate. (Crude. From an expression meaning to pump the bilge water from a ship.) He stopped and pumped ship right in the alley.
2. tv. to empty one’s stomach; to vomit. (Crude. Less well known than the previous sense.) After I pumped ship, I felt better.
See pump some iron
1. mod. pregnant; impregnated. (Crude.) Look at her! She’s pumped and looks due any minute.
2. Go to pumped (up).
mod. excited; physically and mentally ready. (Sports.) The team is really pumped up for Friday’s game.
See pumped up
To lift weights.