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

  • n. Informal A police officer.
  • n. Informal One that regulates certain behaviors or actions: "Faced with the world recession of the early 1980s, ... the World Bank ... became a stern economic taskmaster and cop” ( Richard J. Barnet).
  • transitive v. To take unlawfully or without permission; steal. See Synonyms at steal.
  • transitive v. To get hold of; gain or win: a show that copped four awards; copped a ticket to the game.
  • transitive v. To take or catch: "copped a quick look at the gentleman in a caramel cashmere sport coat on the right” ( Gail Sheehy).
  • cop out To avoid fulfilling a commitment or responsibility; renege: copped out on my friends; copped out by ducking the issue.
  • idiom cop a plea To plead guilty to a lesser charge so as to avoid standing trial for a more serious charge.
  • n. A cone-shaped or cylindrical roll of yarn or thread wound on a spindle.
  • n. Chiefly British A summit or crest, as of a hill.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A spider.
  • n. A police officer or prison guard.
  • n. by extension any white male especially large and clean cut
  • n. The ball of thread wound on to the spindle in a spinning machine.
  • n. The top, summit, especially of a hill.
  • n. The head.
  • v. to obtain, to purchase (as in drugs), to get hold of, to take
  • v. to (be forced to) take; to receive; to shoulder; to bear, especially blame or punishment for a particular instance of wrongdoing.
  • v. to steal
  • v. to adopt
  • v. (slang) to admit, especially to a crime.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The top of a thing; the head; a crest.
  • n. A conical or conical-ended mass of coiled thread, yarn, or roving, wound upon a spindle, etc.
  • n. A tube or quill upon which silk is wound.
  • n. Same as Merlon.
  • n. A policeman.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To capture or arrest as a prisoner: as, he was copped for stealing.
  • To throw underhand.
  • n. The head or top of a thing; especially, the top of a hill.
  • n. A tuft on the head of birds.
  • n. A round piece of wood fixed on the top of a beehive. [Prov. Eng.]
  • n. A mound or bank; a heap of anything. [North. Eng.]
  • n. An inclosure with a ditch around it. [Prov. Eng.]
  • n. A fence. Halliwell. [Prov. Eng.]
  • n. A merlon, or portion of a battlement.
  • n. The conical ball of thread formed on the spindle of a wheel or spinning-frame. Also called coppin.
  • n. A tube upon which silk thread is sometimes wound, instead of being made into skeins.
  • n. A measure of peas, 15 sheaves in the field and 16 in the barn.
  • n. A spider.
  • n. An obsolete form of cup.
  • n. A policeman.
  • n. In golf, the face of a bunker.
  • n. An abbreviation of Copernican;
  • n. of Coptic;
  • n. [lowercase] of copper.

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

  • v. take into custody
  • v. take by theft
  • n. uncomplimentary terms for a policeman


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

Short for copper2.
Probably variant of cap, to catch, from Old French caper, from Latin capere; see capture.
Middle English, summit, from Old English.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English coppe, from Old English *coppe, as in ātorcoppe ("spider", literally "venom head"), from Old English copp ("top, summit, head"), from Proto-Germanic *kuppaz (“vault, round vessel, head”), from Proto-Indo-European *gū- (“to bend, curve”). Cognate with Middle Dutch koppe, kobbe ("spider"). More at cobweb.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Possibly from Middle French capere ("to capture"), from Latin capere ("to seize, to grasp"); or possibly from Dutch kapen ("to steal"), from West Frisian kāpia ("to take away"), from Old Frisian kapia, to buy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Short for copper ("police officer"), itself from cop ("one who cops") above, i.e. a criminal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English cop, copp, from Germanic. Cognate with Dutch kop, German Kopf.



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  • See comments on attercop.

    January 16, 2011