copy

noun
\ ˈkä-pē How to pronounce copy (audio) \
plural copies

Definition of copy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an imitation, transcript, or reproduction of an original work (such as a letter, a painting, a table, or a dress)
2 : one of a series of especially mechanical reproductions of an original impression also : an individual example of such a reproduction
3 archaic : something to be imitated : model
4a : matter to be set especially for printing
b : something considered printable or newsworthy used without an article remarks that make good copy— Norman Cousins
c : text especially of an advertisement
5 : duplicate sense 1a a copy of a computer file a copy of a gene

copy

verb
copied; copying; copies

Definition of copy (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make a copy or duplicate of copy a document copy a computer file
2 : to model oneself on
3 in radio/military communications : to acknowledge receipt of (a message) The operator of the Titanic was busy figuring his accounts and did not bother to copy the message. A little later in the afternoon, another ship named the Baltic called the Titanic to tell her about icebergs that were in her way.— Rev. Robert P. Lawrence

intransitive verb

1 : to make a copy
2 : to undergo copying the map did not copy well
3 in radio/military communications : to acknowledge receipt and understanding of a message "Block the road with your car. Take no other action. … No resistance, do you copy? Over."— Stephen King

Keep scrolling for more

Choose the Right Synonym for copy

Noun

reproduction, duplicate, copy, facsimile, replica mean a thing made to closely resemble another. reproduction implies an exact or close imitation of an existing thing. reproductions from the museum's furniture collection duplicate implies a double or counterpart exactly corresponding to another thing. a duplicate of a house key copy applies especially to one of a number of things reproduced mechanically. printed 1000 copies of the lithograph facsimile suggests a close reproduction often of graphic matter that may differ in scale. a facsimile of a rare book replica implies the exact reproduction of a particular item in all details a replica of the Mayflower but not always in the same scale. miniature replicas of classic cars

Verb

copy, imitate, mimic, ape, mock mean to make something so that it resembles an existing thing. copy suggests duplicating an original as nearly as possible. copied the painting and sold the fake as an original imitate suggests following a model or a pattern but may allow for some variation. imitate a poet's style mimic implies a close copying (as of voice or mannerism) often for fun, ridicule, or lifelike imitation. pupils mimicking their teacher ape may suggest presumptuous, slavish, or inept imitating of a superior original. American fashion designers aped their European colleagues mock usually implies imitation with derision. mocking a vain man's pompous manner

Verb

copy, imitate, and mimic mean to make something so that it resembles something else. copy means trying to duplicate a thing as much as possible. Copy this drawing exactly. imitate means that a person uses something as an example but does not try to make an exact copy. They imitated the actions of their parents. mimic means carefully copying something (as a person's voice) often for the purpose of making fun of it. The comedian mimicked a popular singer.

Examples of copy in a Sentence

Noun

The novel has sold more than a million copies. She got a job writing advertising copy. All copy must be submitted by 5 p.m.

Verb

She copied the design on a piece of paper. Copy the file to your hard drive. The bills are designed to prevent copying by counterfeiters. We caught him copying the answers out of the book. We caught him copying out of the book. The speech was copied word for word. His music was copied widely. Their competitors soon copied the idea.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The novel, published in 6,000 copies, sold out in days and but a second edition was not allowed until after the collapse of communism in 1989. Washington Post, "Hungarian writer and dissident Gyorgy Konrad dies at 86," 13 Sep. 2019 Select from hundreds of books: first editions, signed copies, multi-volume sets and vintage children’s books. La Cañada Valley Sun, "La Cañada area events," 3 Sep. 2019 Another copy of that book, with tabs in other spots, would be a different book. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker, "Reader, I Googled It," 26 Aug. 2019 For Sony, Uncharted, which has sold over 40 million copies across four major titles, is one of its best bets at turning into a successful Hollywood franchise. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "PlayStation’s first movie just lost its director—for the fifth time," 23 Aug. 2019 Published in both Chinese and English, the Global Times boasts a daily circulation of two million copies, and every month its website attracts around 30 million unique visitors. Steven Jiang, CNN, "The man taking on Hong Kong from deep inside China's propaganda machine," 16 Aug. 2019 After that, the number of digital copies available to libraries will be restricted. John Warner, chicagotribune.com, "Macmillan spat over e-books highlights library woe — and that’s bad news for readers," 12 Aug. 2019 In another sign that the future of work is already here, JPMorgan Chase has signed a five-year deal with a software startup that uses artificial intelligence to write marketing copy, following a successful pilot with the technology. Michelle Cheng, Quartz at Work, "JPMorgan Chase has an AI copywriter that writes better ads than humans can," 7 Aug. 2019 However many thousands of copies were supposed to exist existed. Sarah Menkedick, Longreads, "The First Book," 24 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The two top senators on the Judiciary Committee at the time - Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California - were copied on Coons's letter to the FBI. Seung Min Kim, Anchorage Daily News, "Senator told FBI last fall of new information about Kavanaugh," 16 Sep. 2019 As my colleague Roger Vincent reported in May, some big office space developers have taken a look at WeWork’s business model and done it the ultimate compliment of copying it — offering tenants more flexible leases and occupancy amenities. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: WeWork carries Silicon Valley’s ‘unicorn’ craze to its absurd limits," 12 Sep. 2019 County Executive Barry Glassman and other members of the Harford County Council, along with attorneys for both branches of county government, were copied on the letter. Erika Butler, baltimoresun.com, "Sheriff asks Harford councilman to pay more than $600 for use of ‘government resources’ at campaign event," 11 Sep. 2019 Similarly, Apple benefits greatly from the inventiveness of millions of app developers, first when their apps spur customers to keep using iPhones — and again if Apple takes their most successful ideas and copies them. Reed Albergotti, oregonlive, "How Apple uses its App Store to copy the best ideas," 6 Sep. 2019 In the process of copying itself, the gene drive can also add, delete or modify genes at its insertion point. Quanta Magazine, "Gene Drives Work in Mice (if They’re Female)," 27 Aug. 2019 Nic Sheff, one of the writers on the show, originally wrote an op-ed for Vanity Fair in 2017 arguing that the graphic detail of Hannah’s death was necessary, because the horror of the scene should help dissuade viewers from copying her. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Why Netflix Edited 13 Reasons Why," 19 July 2019 Having bulldozed the opposition, perhaps Mr Modi will now feel emboldened not to copy it. The Economist, "In its second term, will India’s ruling coalition be bolder about reform?," 8 June 2019 Land Rover kept developing the system, even as other manufacturers began to copy it. Matthew Scott, Outside Online, "The New Defender Will Not Be Like the Old One," 7 June 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of copy

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for copy

Noun

Middle English copie, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin copia, from Latin, abundance — more at copious

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for copy

copy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of copy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that is or looks exactly or almost exactly like something else : a version of something that is identical or almost identical to the original
: one of the many books, magazines, albums, DVDs, etc., that are exactly the same and are produced to be sold or given to the public
: written information that is to be published in a newspaper, magazine, etc.

copy

verb

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

: to make a version of (something) that is exactly or almost exactly like the original : to make a copy or duplicate of (something)
: to write (something) down exactly as it appears somewhere else
: to use (someone else's words or ideas) as your own

copy

noun
\ ˈkä-pē How to pronounce copy (audio) \
plural copies

Kids Definition of copy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that is made to look exactly like something else : duplicate a copy of a letter a copy of a painting
2 : one of the total number of books, magazines, or papers printed at one time She owns a copy of a popular atlas.
3 : written material to be published

copy

verb
copied; copying

Kids Definition of copy (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make a duplicate of

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on copy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with copy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for copy

Spanish Central: Translation of copy

Nglish: Translation of copy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of copy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on copy

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

WORD OF THE DAY

transposition of initial sounds of words

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Word Puzzles

  • alt 57589b2b4c6a3
  • Which answer pairs best with each of the following words? living, estate, club, music, road, mile
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!