1. a sloping surface connecting two levels; incline.
  2. a short concave slope or bend, as one connecting the higher and lower parts of a staircase railing at a landing.
  3. any extensive sloping walk or passageway.
  4. the act of ramping.
  5. Also called boarding ramp. a movable staircase for entering or leaving a cabin door of an airplane.
  6. Also called parking ramp. apron(def 6).

verb (used without object)

  1. (of animals) to stand or move with the forelegs or arms raised, as in animosity or excitement.
  2. (of a lion or other large quadruped represented on a coat of arms) to rise or stand on the hind legs.
  3. to rear as if to spring.
  4. to leap or dash with fury (often followed by about).
  5. to act violently; rage; storm: ramping and raging in a great fury.

verb (used with object)

  1. to provide with a ramp or ramps: Entrances will be ramped to accommodate those in wheelchairs.

Verb Phrases

  1. ramp along, Nautical. to sail on a tack with all sails filled.


  1. a sloping floor, path, etc, that joins two surfaces at different levels
  2. a movable stairway by which passengers enter and leave an aircraft
  3. the act of ramping
  4. British slang a swindle, esp one involving exorbitant prices
  5. another name for sleeping policeman


  1. (intr ; often foll by about or around) (esp of animals) to rush around in a wild excited manner
  2. to act in a violent or threatening manner, as when angry (esp in the phrase ramp and rage)
  3. (tr) finance to buy (a security) in the market with the object of raising its price and enhancing the image of the company behind it for financial gain

1778, “slope,” from French rampe, back-formation from Old French verb ramper “to climb, scale, mount;” see ramp (v.). Meaning “road on or off a major highway” is from 1952, American English.


“rude, boisterous girl or woman,” mid-15c., perhaps from ramp (v.). Cf. romp in Johnson’s Dictionary (1755): “a rude, awkward, boisterous, untaught girl.”


c.1300, “to climb; to stand on the hind legs” (of animals), from Old French ramper “to climb, scale, mount” (12c., in Modern French “to creep, crawl”), perhaps from Frankish *rampon “to contract oneself” (cf. Old High German rimpfan “to wrinkle,” Old English hrimpan “to fold, wrinkle”), via notion of the bodily contraction involved in climbing [Klein], from Proto-Germanic *hrimp- “to contract oneself.” Related: Ramped; ramping.

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