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


Short for copper2.
Probably variant of cap, to catch, from Old French caper, from Latin capere; see capture.
Middle English, summit, from Old English.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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. (Wiktionary)
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. (Wiktionary)
Short for copper ("police officer"), itself from cop ("one who cops") above, i.e. a criminal. (Wiktionary)
Old English cop, copp, from Germanic. Cognate with Dutch kop, German Kopf. (Wiktionary)



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