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be under the pump
To be under pressure to perform, succeed, or achieve results. Primarily heard in UK. The fast-food giant has been under the pump in the last few years, as sales and market share continue to slide. An ageing batsman, I was under the pump to show that I still had what it takes to be a great cricket player.
put (someone) under the pump
To put (someone) under pressure to perform, succeed, or achieve results. Primarily heard in UK. The fast-food giant has been put under the pump in the last few years by dropping sales and sliding market value. The cricket community has really put the ageing batsman under the pump to deliver results this season, or else consider retirement.
under the pump
Under pressure to perform, succeed, or achieve results. Primarily heard in Australia. The fast-food giant has been under the pump in the last few years, as sales and market share continue to slide. An ageing batsman, I found myself under the pump to show that I still had what it takes to be a great cricket player.
prime the pump
To take action that encourages the growth of something or helps it to succeed. While the government was forced to slash public expenditures following the major economic crash, they've recently begun priming the pump again across the public sectors. The only way we'll get this project off the ground is if one of the directors of the company primes the pump.
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) full of (something)
To forcefully fill one with something. My psychiatrist pumped me full of antidepressants as a child, and it really screwed up the way I saw the world for a long time. The gangsters drove by with their Tommy guns and pumped their rivals full of lead.
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.
all hands to the pumps
Everyone available to help with a problem, or a call for those people to help. The phrase is nautical in origin. Your grandmother arrives tomorrow and the house is still a mess—I need all hands to the pumps to help me clean! All hands to the pumps! We've got to roll out this tarp before the rain starts. Now let's go!
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.
pump someone for something
Inf. to try to get information about something out of someone. The representative of the other company pumped Harry for information, but he refused to say anything. Are you trying to pump me for company secrets?
pump someone up (for something)
Inf. to get someone, including oneself, mentally ready for something. The coach tried to pump the team up so they would win. The coach talked and talked to pump them up.
pump something into someone or somethingand pump something in
to try to force something, such as a gas, liquid, information, or money into someone or something. First you have to pump some air into the ball to make it hard. I pumped in the air. The hospital oxygen system pumped life-giving oxygen into Karen's lungs.
pump something out of someone or somethingand pump something out
to remove something from someone or something by force or suction. The doctors pumped the poison out of her stomach. They pumped out the poison.
pump something through something
to force something, such as a gas or fluid, through something. They pumped crude oil through this pipeline, all the way to the south shore. They pumped fresh air through the sewers while the workers were working inside.
pump something up
1. to inflate something. Do you have something with which I can pump my basketball up? I pumped up the ball just an hour ago.
2. Sl. to exercise to make muscles get bigger and stronger. The body builder pumped her muscles up in preparation for the competition. She pumped up her muscles.
prime the pump
Encourage the growth or action of something, as in Marjorie tried to prime the pump by offering some new issues for discussion. In the late 1800s this expression originally was used for pouring liquid into a pump to expel the air and make it work. In the 1930s it was applied to government efforts to stimulate the economy and thereafter was applied to other undertakings.
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]
1. Inflate with gas or air, as in This tire needs pumping up. [Late 1800s]
2. Fill with enthusiasm, strength, and energy, as in The lively debate pumped us all up. Mary Wollstonecraft used this idiom in slightly different form in The Rights of Women (1792): "Lover-like phrases of pumped-up passion."
If someone pumps iron, they lift heavy weights for exercise. Unlike Richard, I hadn't spent hours pumping iron and running on the treadmill.
prime the pumpmainly AMERICAN, JOURNALISM
COMMON If someone primes the pump, they take action to help something succeed or develop, usually by spending money on it. He said he would consider priming the pump through increased spending on roads or housing if the economy declined more rapidly than expected. Note: You can also talk about pump-priming, or say that someone pump-primes an economy or a project. I think we are going to have to do some more pump-priming in order to get the economy going. The plan offers a way of pump-priming an economy which is growing too slowly. Note: To prime a water pump means to pump it until it is full of water and all the air has been forced out, so that it is ready to be used.
all hands to the pumpsused to indicate that everyone is urgently needed to help out in an emergency.
The expression originated in nautical parlance, and hand in that context means ‘a member of the crew’.
2004 Bolton Evening News If we find ourselves struggling and needing the points then it's going to be all hands to the pumps.
prime the pumpstimulate or support the growth or success of something, especially by supplying it with money.
This phrase is used literally of a mechanical pump into which a small quantity of water needs to be poured before it can begin to function.
1977 Tom Sharpe The Great Pursuit Significance is all…Prime the pump with meaningful hogwash.
pump ironexercise with weights. informal
pump shipurinate. euphemistic
The expression originated in nautical terminology, denoting the pumping of water from a ship's bilges.
prime the ˈpumpgive somebody, an organization, etc. financial help in order to support a project, business, etc. when it is beginning: The government should really prime the pump in new high technology projects. That’s the only way they’ll be able to survive in the current economic climate. ▶ ˈpump-priming noun: The nation is relying on pump-priming to get the economy started.Originally, this was a way of making a pump work properly by adding water to it.
pump somebody full of somethingfill somebody with something, especially drugs: They pumped her full of painkillers.
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.
pump somebody’s ˈstomachremove the contents of somebody’s stomach using a pump, because they have swallowed something harmful: She had to go to the hospital and have her stomach pumped. ▶ ˈstomach pump noun
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. To inflate something with gas by using a pump: We pumped up a new basketball before the game. One of my tires was getting low, so I stopped at a gas station and pumped it up.
2. To force or suck something, as a liquid or gas, from beneath a surface by using a pump: This well pumps up oil from underground. We pump the water up from the lake to tanks on the hillside.
3. Slang To fill someone with enthusiasm, strength, and energy; psych someone up: The crowd's chants pumped up the players. The coach pumped us up for the big game with a rousing speech.
4. Slang To be actively involved in bodybuilding exercises: The football players are always pumping up at the gym.
5. Slang To strengthen something: Pump up the volume on that stereo—I can't hear it. The economy was declining, but investors hoped that a favorable exchange rate would pump it up.
1. tv. to press someone for an answer or information. Don’t pump me! I will tell you nothing!
2. n. the heart. (see also ticker.) He has the pump of a forty-year-old.
3. n. a pumped-up muscle. (Bodybuilding.) He’s tired and can’t quite make a pump.
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.
pump (some) iron
tv. to lift weights. Andy went down to the gym to pump some iron.
See pump some iron
pump (someone) up
tv. & in. to excite someone; to make someone enthusiastic. The coach gave a pep talk to pump the players up for the big game.
See pump someone up
pump something up
tv. to flex and tense a muscle until it is expanded to its fullest size, as with thighs and forearms. (Bodybuilding.) She pumped up her thighs and struck a pose.
prime the pumpInformal
To encourage the growth or action of something.
To lift weights.
all hands to the pumps
Help! The phrase comes from sailing days when a leak in the hull required immediate help in bailing out the incoming seawater. A variant is “all hands and the cook on deck,” meaning the entire ship's roster was needed in an emergency, even the cook, who was never expected to participate in mariner activities.