Mc·​Coy mə-ˈkȯi How to pronounce McCoy (audio)
the real McCoy or less commonly the McCoy
: something or someone that is real or genuine : something or someone that is neither an imitation or a substitute
Even though I knew it was useless I tried tugging at the bars but they were the real McCoy, solid steel.Christopher Paul Curtis
These men refused to talk, but their taciturn, disciplined, no-nonsense demeanor indicated that they were the real McCoy.Bill Weinberg

Word History


alteration of Mackay (in the phrase the real Mackay), of unknown origin

First Known Use

1898, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of McCoy was in 1898

Dictionary Entries Near McCoy

Cite this Entry

“McCoy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: something that is neither imitation nor substitute
often used in the phrase the real McCoy
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