cop

1 of 4

noun (1)

plural cops
informal
: police officer
They called the cops to report a robbery.
As he awaits trial, the retired cop is on the other side of the law.Michael Wilson
… the department invests in officers and their futures by providing training that makes them better cops.Laura Lane

cop

2 of 4

verb

copped; copping

transitive verb

1
slang : to get hold of : catch, capture
also : purchase
2
slang : steal, swipe
3
: adopt sense 2
cop an attitude

intransitive verb

slang : admit sense 2b
used with to
these small-timers would … cop to the smallest offense their attorney could negotiateTom Clancy

cop

3 of 4

noun (2)

plural cops
1
: a cylindrical or conical mass of thread, yarn, or roving wound on a quill or tube
a cop of yarn
also : a quill or tube upon which it is wound
2
archaic, dialectal, chiefly England : top, crest

cop

4 of 4

abbreviation

1
copper
2
copulative
3
copy
4
copyright
Phrases
cop a plea
: to plead guilty to a lesser charge in order to avoid standing trial for a more serious one
broadly : to admit fault and plead for mercy

Examples of cop in a Sentence

Verb I managed to cop an invitation. He copped the idea from me. They expected me to cop all the blame! He copped the full force of the blow.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
In May 2019, more than a dozen cops from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office raided Kosinski’s home in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, followed by similar visits to the homes of Inciardi and Horowitz. David Browne, Rolling Stone, 19 Feb. 2024 Churros are thoroughly legal—and a thirteen-year-old can consume them incautiously without having a very memorable panic attack—but cops still occasionally find the motivation to bust ladies who sell them in the subway. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, 19 Feb. 2024 Could all those cops, sheriff’s deputies, highway patrol officers, FBI agents, etc., have been deployed differently? Mike Hendricks, Kansas City Star, 16 Feb. 2024 Nevertheless, Gretchen accepts König’s offer of a job at the resort, working the reception desk with Trixie (Greta Fernández), who’s sleeping with local cop Erik (Konrad Singer). David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Feb. 2024 The cops became de facto art critics and historians, able to discern between Morrisseau’s distinct techniques during different periods in his life. Jordan Michael Smith, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 Feb. 2024 While television is full of cop dramas, Blue Bloods is in a league of its own. Chris Snellgrove, EW.com, 11 Feb. 2024 Scott, who will play a disgraced cop in the upcoming movie Bad Man, is proud of all the work that’s gone into revamping the property. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 6 Feb. 2024 Solutions Police and law enforcement advocacy groups say more cops on the street are needed. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, 6 Feb. 2024
Verb
In more pretentious environments, copping at bargain basement prices might be frowned upon. Dave Schilling, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2023 Just a few spots down, Tony Bennett smiles next to British guitar great Jeff Beck, with beloved comedian/actor Pee Wee Herman copping a squat in the foreground. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 12 Dec. 2023 Costco Membership cards are not transferable, but that’s not stopped people from borrowing their family members’ or friends’ to cop some savings. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 28 June 2023 Now, both tennis fans and fashion fans alike can cop Coco’s style by picking up a pair of sneakers from Gauff’s New Balance collection online. Rudie Obias, The Hollywood Reporter, 11 Sep. 2023 Switch up the product, and your customers might cop from someone else. Vulture, 2 Aug. 2023 Years later, Meta copped TikTok’s format for its Reels offering on Instagram. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz, 4 July 2023 And there's no better way to cop some rich-kid style than at The Ben Silver Collection flagship store in Charleston. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, 31 May 2023 But that crowd wasn’t exactly setting alarms to cop the brand’s newest releases or paying hundreds for hard-to-find styles. Glamour, 21 Mar. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cop.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun (1)

short for copper entry 3

Verb

perhaps from Dutch kapen to steal, from Frisian kāpia to buy; akin to Old High German kouf trade — more at cheap entry 3

Noun (2)

Middle English, from Old English copp

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1859, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1704, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Noun (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of cop was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near cop

Cite this Entry

“Cop.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cop. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

cop

1 of 2 verb
copped; copping
1
slang : to get hold of : capture entry 2 sense 1a
2
3
: adopt sense 2
cop an attitude

cop

2 of 2 noun
Etymology

Verb

probably from Dutch kapen "to steal"

More from Merriam-Webster on cop

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!