noun, often attributive
\ ˈdräp \

Definition of drop 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : the quantity of fluid that falls in one spherical mass a drop of rain

(2) drops plural : a dose of medicine measured by drops eye drops for dilating the pupil of the eye

b : a minute quantity or degree of something nonmaterial or intangible not a drop of meanness in her

c : a small quantity of drink hasn't touched a drop of alcohol in three years

d : the smallest practical unit of liquid measure

2 : something that resembles a liquid drop: such as

a : a pendent ornament attached to a piece of jewelry also : an earring with such a pendant

b : a small globular cookie or candy sucking on lemon drops

3 [ 2drop ]

a : the act or an instance of dropping : fall a sudden, short drop in an elevator

b : a decline in quantity or quality His income took a sudden drop. a drop in demand

c : a descent by parachute also : the people or equipment dropped by parachute expecting another drop this week

d : a place or central depository to which something (such as mail, money, or stolen property) is brought for distribution or transmission left the package at the drop also : the act of depositing something at such a place made the drop

4a : the distance from a higher to a lower level or through which something drops It's a twenty-foot drop from the top of the fence. a steep drop

b electrical engineering : a decrease in electric potential (see potential entry 2 sense 2b)

5 : a slot into which something is to be dropped

6 [ 2drop ] : something that drops, hangs, or falls: such as

a : a movable plate that covers the keyhole of a lock

b : an unframed piece of cloth stage scenery also : drop curtain

c : a hinged platform on a gallows

d : a fallen fruit

7 : the advantage of having an opponent covered (see cover entry 1 sense 1b(2)) with a firearm broadly : advantage, superiority usually used in the phrase get the drop on waiting to get the drop on me

8 : a move back from the line of scrimmage (as in preparation for making a forward pass) a quick drop

at the drop of a hat

: as soon as the slightest provocation is given : immediately loses her temper at the drop of a hat

drop in the bucket

: a part so small as to be negligible


dropped; dropping

Definition of drop (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to fall in drops

2a(1) : to fall (see fall entry 1 sense 1a) unexpectedly or suddenly The book dropped from her hand.

(2) : to descend (see descend sense 1) from one line or level to another the land drops to sea level

b : to fall in a state of collapse (see collapse entry 2 sense 1b) or death dropped from exhaustion

c of a playing card : to become played by reason of the obligation to follow suit

d : to fall or roll into a hole or basket

3 : to enter or pass as if without conscious effort of will (see will entry 2 sense 4a) into some state, condition, or activity dropped into sleep

4a : to cease to be of concern : lapse let the matter drop

b : to pass from view or notice : disappear often used with out drop out of sight

c : to become less production dropped often used with off

5 nautical : to move with a favoring wind or current usually used with down We dropped down the harbor.

transitive verb

1 : to let fall : cause to fall dropped the ball dropping bombs on the city

2a : give up sense 2, abandon drop an idea drop the charges

b : discontinue dropped what she was doing

c : to break off an association or connection with : dismiss drop her old friends was dropped by his sponsors students who dropped the class

3a : to utter or mention in a casual way drop a suggestion drop names

b : write drop us a line soon

4a : to lower or cause to descend from one level or position to another drop the hem two inches drop the water level

b : to cause to lessen or decrease : reduce dropped his speed

5 of an animal : to give birth to

6a : lose dropped three games dropped $50 in a poker game

b : spend drop $20 for lunch

c : to get rid of dropped 20 pounds

7a : to bring down with a shot or a blow dropped the buck with one shot dropping the world champion in the ring

b card games : to cause a cardholder to unwillingly play (a high card) dropped her ace

c : to toss or roll into a hole or basket drop a putt

8a : to deposit or deliver during a usually brief stop usually used with off drop the kids off at school

b : air-drop drop the supplies to the medical team

9 : to cause (the voice) to be less loud

10a linguistics : to leave (a letter representing a speech sound) unsounded drop the g in running

b : to leave out in writing : omit accidentally dropped a whole line

11 : to draw from an external point drop a perpendicular to the line

12 : to take (a drug) orally : swallow drop acid

drop a dime

: to inform authorities (such as the police) of another's wrongdoing

drop behind

: to fail to keep up

drop the ball

: to make a mistake especially by failing to take timely, effective, or proper action

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Other words from drop


droppable \ˈdrä-pə-bəl \ adjective

Examples of drop in a Sentence


He squeezed the bottle until a few drops came out. She doesn't have a single drop of selfishness in her. The poet wrings the last drop of meaning from every word.


Be careful not to drop the chair on your foot. She dropped the apple core into the trash can. They dropped bombs on the city. He dropped the vase and it shattered into pieces. The player dropped the ball. The pen rolled to the edge of the table and dropped to the floor. The book dropped from my hand. The ball dropped between the right and center fielders. She was so tired she felt she would drop. He worked until he dropped.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The San Diego County Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force maintains a master list of all drop-off locations in the region. Paul Sisson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "CVS pharmacies add medication disposal units in San Diego," 13 July 2018 Considering the 2017 edition was the festival's heavily hyped 50th edition, an attendance drop-off was likely. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Summerfest in Milwaukee reports lowest attendance in at least 25 years," 13 July 2018 The bank’s mortgage volume was down 11% after higher rates led to a drop-off in refinancing activity. Peter Rudegeair, WSJ, "Wells Fargo Reports Profit Fall Amid Regulatory Issues," 13 July 2018 She and her husband blame the construction for a significant drop-off in their sales, and are frustrated that some of the members of the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) have a financial stake in the project. Christa Case Bryant, The Christian Science Monitor, "As local news outlets struggle to survive, citizen-led efforts are stepping up," 10 July 2018 Fesenmeyer said adapting the rail line for the busway would provide a drop-off point for the new train and bus complex, though how to get riders to the complex conveniently still would need to be worked out. Kenneth R. Gosselin, Courant Community, "Hartford's Union Station May Be Used By CTfastrak Under Redevelopment Plan," 9 July 2018 The reasons behind the drop-off — driven by gains in San Francisco and Oakland as well as Vallejo and Antioch — are difficult to pin down, according to police officials and criminologists. Evan Sernoffsky, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area homicides plunge to historic lows in first half of 2018," 6 July 2018 Deerfield Beach will no longer be recycling, except for the foam material that Dart Corporation recycles when residents bring it to the city’s waste drop-off. Larry Barszewski, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Two South Florida cities turn their recyclables into trash," 3 July 2018 Stroll across your driveway and pretend there’s a lake on one side and sheer drop-off on the other. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Really? Hoover Dam is the 4th best travel experience in America?," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But Greyhound officials said they players were tossed for becoming unruly when their driver refused to drop them off at different location than the destination on their tickets. Randy Tucker, Cincinnati.com, "Colombian ultimate Frisbee players headed to Cincinnati were kicked off Greyhound for speaking Spanish. Greyhound says otherwise.," 13 July 2018 Her rendition is slow and meandering, with lilts that lift the melody and then drop it again into quietness. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "What two fictional Gileads can teach us about America in 2018," 12 July 2018 YouTube subsequently dropped him from the upcoming YouTube Red series Foursome and Google Preferred, a branding liason program, severed ties with the YouTuber. Rebecca Farley, refinery29.com, "Chloe Bennet Explains Why She's Dating Controversial YouTuber Logan Paul," 12 July 2018 Palin also claimed the production company intentionally dropped her and her daughter off at the wrong Washington, D.C., airport, causing the pair to miss their flight back to Alaska. NBC News, "Sarah Palin accuses Sacha Baron Cohen of duping her for Showtime series," 11 July 2018 My mother found a stick, lifted the melting newspaper that curled red at the corners, and dropped it back into the barrel, with the frilled cuffs of her sleeves dripping too close to the fire, too close. Liz Arnold, Longreads, "Making Peace with the Site of a Suicide," 11 July 2018 According to Daytona Beach police, 25-year-old Ryan Nihart picked up the man who was dressed as a Minion, spun him around and dropped him on the pavement on Sunday evening. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "Florida man body slams partially blind man in a Minion costume in a ‘prank’ gone wrong," 11 July 2018 Since the scooters are dockless, there are no parking stations, allowing riders to pick them up and drop them off anywhere. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "You'll soon be able to rent a Lime scooter through Uber," 10 July 2018 After crossing into Thailand eight years ago, Adul’s parents dropped him off at a local Baptist church in Mae Sai, asking that the pastor and his wife care for him. Hannah Beech, The Seattle Times, "For some Thai soccer-team members, cave ordeal was only their latest test," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'drop.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of drop


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for drop


Middle English, from Old English dropa; akin to Old High German tropfo drop


see drop entry 1

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Statistics for drop

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for drop

The first known use of drop was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for drop



English Language Learners Definition of drop

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a very small amount of liquid that falls in a rounded shape

: a small amount of a drink

: a small amount of something (such as a quality)



English Language Learners Definition of drop (Entry 2 of 2)

: to let (something) fall

: to fall

: to lie down or fall down suddenly


\ ˈdräp \

Kids Definition of drop

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small amount of liquid that falls in a rounded shape

2 drops plural : liquid medicine measured by drops ear drops

3 : something (as a small round candy) that is shaped like a liquid drop

4 : a small amount I'll have just a drop of tea.

5 : the distance of a fall a 20-foot drop

6 : a decrease in amount or quality a drop in sales

7 : an act of delivering something : a place where something is left to be picked up a mail drop


dropped; dropping

Kids Definition of drop (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to fall or let fall often by accident I dropped my ice cream cone!

2 : to go down suddenly The cliff drops straight down.

3 : to go or make lower The temperature dropped. He dropped his voice.

4 : to become less or make less Business has dropped.

6 : disappear sense 1 They dropped out of sight.

7 : to stop or let end Let the matter drop.

8 : quit Don't drop out of school.

9 : to make a brief visit We dropped in on a friend.

10 : to deliver with a quick stop Mom dropped us off at school.

11 : send sense 1 Drop me a note.

drop off

: to fall asleep


\ ˈdräp \

Medical Definition of drop 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the quantity of fluid that falls in one spherical mass

b drops plural : a dose of medicine measured by drops eye drops for dilating the pupil of the eye

2 : the smallest practical unit of liquid measure that varies in size according to the specific gravity and viscosity of the liquid and to the conditions under which it is formed — compare minim


dropped; dropping

Medical Definition of drop (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to fall in drops

transitive verb

1 of an animal : to give birth to lambs dropped in June

2 : to take (a drug) orally drop acid

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Comments on drop

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


the setting in which something occurs

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