\ ˈkōp How to pronounce cope (audio) \
coped; coping

Definition of cope

 (Entry 1 of 4)

intransitive verb

1a : to deal with and attempt to overcome problems and difficulties often used with withlearning to cope with the demands of her schedule
b : to maintain a contest or combat usually on even terms or with success used with with
2 archaic : meet, encounter
3 obsolete : strike, fight

transitive verb

1 obsolete : to meet in combat
2 obsolete : to come in contact with
3 obsolete : match

cope

noun

Definition of cope (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : a long enveloping ecclesiastical vestment The priest wore a cope for the benediction.
2a : something resembling a cope (as by concealing or covering) … the dark sky's starry cope— P. B. Shelley
b : coping
coped; coping

Definition of cope (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

: to cover or furnish with a cope
coped; coping

Definition of cope (Entry 4 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to shape (a structural member) to fit a coping or conform to the shape of another member
2 : notch

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of cope in a Sentence

Noun committed their nefarious deeds under the dark cope of night

First Known Use of cope

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 3

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb (3)

circa 1901, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cope

Verb (1)

Middle English copen, coupen, from Anglo-French couper to strike, cut, from cop, colp blow, from Late Latin colpus, alteration of Latin colaphus, from Greek kolaphos buffet

Noun and Verb (2)

Middle English, from Old English -cāp, from Late Latin cappa head covering

Verb (3)

probably from French couper to cut

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cope

Time Traveler for cope

Time Traveler

The first known use of cope was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for cope

Cite this Entry

“Cope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cope. Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cope

cope

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cope

: a long, loose piece of clothing that is worn by a priest on special occasions

cope

verb
\ ˈkōp How to pronounce cope (audio) \
coped; coping

Kids Definition of cope

: to deal with and try to find solutions for problems
\ ˈkōp How to pronounce cope (audio) \
coped; coping

Medical Definition of cope

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to deal with and attempt to overcome problems and difficulties usually used with with helping children cope with grief

Medical Definition of COPE (Entry 2 of 2)

chronic obstructive pulmonary emphysema

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on cope

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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