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noun \ˈtäp\

Definition of top

  1. 1a (1) :  the highest point, level, or part of something :  summit, crown (2) :  the head or top of the head —used especially in the phrase top to toe (3) :  the head of a plant; especially :  the aboveground part of a plant having edible roots <beet tops> (4) :  a garment worn on the upper bodyb (1) :  the highest or uppermost region or part (2) :  the upper end, edge, or surface

  2. 2 :  a fitted, integral, or attached part or unit serving as an upper piece, lid, or covering

  3. 3a :  a platform surrounding the head of a lower mast that serves to spread the topmast rigging, strengthen the mast, and furnish a standing place for men aloftb :  a comparable part of the superstructure; especially :  such a part on a warship used as a fire-control station or antiaircraft gun platform

  4. 4a :  the highest degree or pitch conceivable or attained :  acme, pinnacleb :  the loudest or highest range of a sound

  5. 5a :  the part that is nearest in space or time to the source or beginningb :  the first half of an inning in baseball

  6. 6a (1) :  the highest position (as in rank or achievement) (2) :  a person or thing at the topb plural :  aces and kings in a hand or the three highest honors in a suit

  7. 7 :  the choicest part :  cream, pick

  8. 8 :  a forward spin given to a ball (as in golf or billiards) by striking it on or near the top or above the center; also :  the stroke so given

  9. 9 :  a fundamental quark that has an electric charge of + 2/3 and a measured energy of approximately 175 GeV; also :  the flavor characterizing this particle

topped play \ˈtäpt\ adjective
off the top of one's head
  1. :  in an impromptu manner <sat down and wrote the…story off the top of his head — Jerome Beatty, Jr.>

on top of
  1. 1a :  in control of <acted like a man on top of his job — Newsweek>b :  informed about <tried to keep on top of new developments>

  2. 2 :  in sudden and unexpected proximity to <the deadline was on top of them>

  3. 3 :  in addition to

on top of the world
  1. :  in a position of eminent success, happiness, or fame

over the top
  1. :  beyond the bounds of what is expected, usual, normal, or appropriate

Origin of top

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German zopf tip, tuft of hair

First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with top




Simple Definition of top

  • : to be or become more than (a particular amount)

  • : to be in the highest position on (a list) because of success

  • : to do or be better than (someone or something)

Full Definition of top


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to remove or cut the top of; especially :  to shorten or remove the top of (a plant) :  pinch 1b

  3. 2a :  to cover with a top or on the top :  provide, form, or serve as a top forb :  to supply with a decorative or protective finish or final touchc :  to resupply or refill to capacity —usually used with off <topped off the tank>d :  to complete the basic structure of (as a high-rise building) by putting on a cap or uppermost section —usually used with out or offe :  to bring to an end or climax —usually used with off <the event was topped off with a relay race — Paula Rodenas>

  4. 3a :  to be or become higher than :  overtop <tops the previous record>b :  to be superior to :  excel, surpassc :  to gain ascendancy over :  dominate

  5. 4a :  to rise to, reach, or be at the top ofb :  to go over the top of :  clear, surmount

  6. 5 :  to strike (a ball) above the center thereby imparting topspin

  7. intransitive verb
  8. 1 :  to make an end, finish, or conclusion

  9. 2 :  to reach a summit or crest —usually used with off or out

Examples of top

  1. Donations are expected to top $1,000,000 by the end of the month.

  2. The song has topped the charts for seven weeks.

  3. They topped the other company's offer.

  4. She tops everyone else on the team.

  5. I've seen some pretty weird things in my life—but that tops everything!


First Known Use of top





Simple Definition of top

  • : located at the highest part or position

  • : highest in rank, success, or importance

  • : highest in quality, amount, or degree

Full Definition of top

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, or being at the top :  uppermost

  2. 2 :  chief, leading <one of the world's top journalists>

  3. 3 :  of the highest quality, amount, or degree <top value> <top form>

Examples of top

  1. They live on the top floor of the building.

  2. the top news story of the day

  3. the country's top three car manufacturers

  4. He is among the top pitchers of the league.

  5. Safety is our top concern.

  6. The winner showed top form.

  7. Houses are selling at top prices.

  8. What is the car's top speed?


First Known Use of top





Definition of top

  1. :  a commonly cylindrical or conoidal device that has a tapering point on which it is made to spin and that is used especially as a toy

Origin of top

Middle English, from Old English

First Known Use: 14th century


combining form

Definition of top-

  1. 1 :  place :  locality <topology> <toponymy>

  2. 2 :  topology <topoisomerase>

Variants of top-

or topo-

Origin of top-

Greek, from topos

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up top? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 11, 2016

the holder of an office

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