cop-out

1 of 2

noun

1
: the act or an instance of copping out
2
: an excuse or means for copping out : pretext
3
: a person who cops out

cop out

2 of 2

verb

copped out; copping out; cops out

intransitive verb

1
: to back out (as of an unwanted responsibility)
cop out on jury duty
2
: to avoid or neglect problems, responsibilities, or commitments
accused the mayor of copping out on the issue

Examples of cop-out in a Sentence

Verb don't cop out on your promise to pay for the damage
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
This includes an epilogue that feels, no pun intended, like a total cop-out. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Feb. 2024 Many in the brewing industry saw it as a cop-out employed by brewers lacking passion or proficiency. Brandon Hernández, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Jan. 2024 Virtual events are not a cop-out alternative to their in-person counterparts. Lisa Bennett, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 This is going to sound like a cop-out, but none of this stuff particularly interests me. David Marchese David Marchese Photograph By Mamadi Doumbouya, New York Times, 31 Aug. 2023 The enormous role of judgment in Aristotle’s picture of how to live can sound, to modern readers thirsty for ethical guidance, like a cop-out. Nikhil Krishnan, The New Yorker, 26 June 2023 Semaglutide drugs have been called many things: a cure-all, a money grab, a cop-out, a miracle drug. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 8 June 2023 The dialogue is packed with quippy nonsense that neither matches the chintzy style or manages to be clever enough to elevate it, amounting to little more than a conceptual cop-out that’s unfunny and unbalanced in both gameplay and tone. Brittany Vincent, Rolling Stone, 18 Apr. 2023 Resurrecting Amanda as a Guardian feels like a cop-out, a way to make her death not really mean anything. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 22 Mar. 2023
Verb
The performances by Robert De Niro and Al Pacino as, respectively, a thief and the cop out to catch him bring such intensity and power to the film. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 5 Jan. 2024 Needless to say, my hot glue gun gets a lot of action, and after my last one copped out, my shopping research brought me to a life-changing discovery: cordless glue guns actually exist. Stephanie Osmanski, Better Homes & Gardens, 26 Oct. 2023 Plus, fashion needs to be breathable in the summer months, and what’s an easy cop out for stuffy styles? Alyssa Grabinski, Peoplemag, 22 June 2023 But to critics, that has seemed like a cop out, and rejection of the more forceful position of oil majors such as ExxonMobil and BP that have endorsed a carbon price. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, 14 Jan. 2021 Terrible cop out of a call. Chad Finn, BostonGlobe.com, 2 Jan. 2023 But that’s a cop out. Nancy Roman, Fortune, 28 Sep. 2022 So everything else felt like a cop out. Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 July 2022 And to me, frankly, that’s a cop out. Michael Schneider, Variety, 2 Dec. 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

circa 1942, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1952, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of cop-out was circa 1942

Dictionary Entries Near cop-out

Cite this Entry

“Cop-out.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cop-out. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

cop-out

1 of 2 noun
ˈkäp-ˌau̇t
1
: an act or instance of copping out
2
: something that provides a way for someone to cop out
3
: a person who cops out

cop out

2 of 2 verb
(ˈ)käp-ˈau̇t
1
: to back out of something one does not want to do
said I was copping out of the race because I was afraid I'd lose
2
: to avoid or take the easy way out of something one ought to do
cop out on a promise
cop out on a cause
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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