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

  • intransitive v. To contend or strive, especially on even terms or with success: coping with child rearing and a full-time job.
  • intransitive v. To contend with difficulties and act to overcome them: "Facing unprecedented problems, the Federal Reserve of the early 1930s couldn't cope” ( Robert J. Samuelson).
  • n. A long ecclesiastical vestment worn over an alb or surplice.
  • n. A covering resembling a cloak or mantle.
  • n. A coping.
  • transitive v. To cover or dress in a cope.
  • transitive v. To provide with coping: cope a wall.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A long, loose cloak worn by a priest or bishop on ceremonial occasions.
  • n. Any covering such as a canopy or a mantle.
  • n. The "vault" or "canopy" of the skies, heavens etc.
  • n. A covering piece on top of a wall exposed to the weather, usually made of metal, masonry, or stone and sloped to carry off water.
  • n. The top part of a sand casting mold.
  • v. To cover (a joint or structure) with coping.
  • v. To deal effectively with something difficult.
  • v. To cut and form a mitred joint in wood or metal.
  • v. To clip the beak or talons of a bird.
  • v. To bargain for; to buy.
  • v. To make return for; to requite; to repay.
  • v. To match oneself against; to meet; to encounter.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A covering for the head.
  • n. Anything regarded as extended over the head, as the arch or concave of the sky, the roof of a house, the arch over a door.
  • n. An ecclesiastical vestment or cloak, semicircular in form, reaching from the shoulders nearly to the feet, and open in front except at the top, where it is united by a band or clasp. It is worn in processions and on some other occasions.
  • n. An ancient tribute due to the lord of the soil, out of the lead mines in Derbyshire, England.
  • n. The top part of a flask or mold; the outer part of a loam mold.
  • intransitive v. To form a cope or arch; to bend or arch; to bow.
  • intransitive v. To exchange or barter.
  • intransitive v. To encounter; to meet; to have to do with.
  • intransitive v. To enter into or maintain a hostile contest; to struggle; to combat; especially, to strive or contend on equal terms or with success; to match; to equal; -- usually followed by with.
  • transitive v. To pare the beak or talons of (a hawk).
  • transitive v. To bargain for; to buy.
  • transitive v. To make return for; to requite; to repay.
  • transitive v. To match one's self against; to meet; to encounter.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To provide with a cope or cloak; cover with a cloak; cloak.
  • To cover as with a cope; furnish with a coping.
  • In architecture, to form a cope or coping; bend as an arch or vault. The soffit of any projection is said to cope over when it slopes downward from the wall.
  • To bargain for; buy.
  • To make return for; reward.
  • To bargain.
  • To strive or contend on equal terms; meet in combat; oppose: often with a preceding negative or word of negative import, the verb then implying ‘oppose with success’: followed by with.
  • To meet in contest or contention; oppose; encounter.
  • In falconry, to cut, as the beak or talons of a hawk.
  • To muzzle, as a ferret, by sewing or tying up its mouth.
  • n. A large outer garment; a cloak; a mantle.
  • n. Eccles., a large mantle of silk or other material worn by priests or bishops over the alb or surplice in processions, at solemn lauds or matins, at benedictions, and on other occasions.
  • n. In the University of Cambridge, England, the ermined robe worn by a doctor in the senate-house on Congregation day.
  • n. Anything spread or extended over the head, as the arch or concave of the sky, the roof or covering of a house, or the arch over a door; specifically, in architecture, a coping.
  • n. In founding, same as case, 10. See cut under flask.
  • n. An ancient tribute due to the king or the lord of the soil out of the lead-mines in Derbyshire, England.
  • n. See coper.

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

  • n. a long cloak; worn by a priest or bishop on ceremonial occasions
  • n. brick that is laid sideways at the top of a wall
  • v. come to terms with


Middle English copen, coupen, to strike, from Old French couper, from Vulgar Latin *colpāre, from Late Latin colpus, blow; see coup.
Middle English cope, from Old English -cāp, from Medieval Latin cāpa, cloak, from Late Latin cappa.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English coupen, from Old French couper ("to strike" or "to cut") (Wiktionary)
From Latin capa ("cape") (Wiktionary)



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  • WordNet favours the architectural sense: what I know as a coping stone.

    February 7, 2008

  • COPE is an acronym for Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience. Yay boyscouts!

    July 21, 2007

  • As in "a long enveloping ecclesiastical garment" or "something resembling a cope (as by covering or concealing).

    February 23, 2007

  • So numberless were those bad Angels seen
    Hovering on wing under the Cope of Hell ...

    Milton, Paradise Lost, I

    December 17, 2006