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 articleremarks 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

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 valley is losing these gems in favor of carbon-copy apartments and homes. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Owner seeks to demolish historic LDS meetinghouse. West-siders aren’t thrilled.," 17 Jan. 2021 Ultimately, patients will likely receive an encrypted, digital copy of the vaccination record — think a QR code — that can be stored in a digital wallet. Clare Duffy, CNN, "Microsoft, Oracle and and other tech giants team up Covid-19 vaccine 'passports'," 16 Jan. 2021 With a large Karen flag draped behind them, Myat and Paw said the oath and each received official documents, a copy of the U.S. Constitution and a small American flag. Peter Warren, Star Tribune, "Karen couple become U.S. citizens in special private ceremony at St. Paul home," 15 Jan. 2021 As news editor, typically a high-ranking position overseeing story selection, copy editing and page design, Gregory had the ability to move comfortably from the newsroom to the composing room to the circulation department. John Pope, NOLA.com, "Longtime newspaper editor Tom Gregory dies at 86," 15 Jan. 2021 The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is preparing to build a working copy of the new OpFires hypersonic missile. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Army's New Mach 5 Missile Hits Targets at 1,000 Miles in 20 Minutes," 15 Jan. 2021 Many of the Boston school district’s 51,000-plus students have been physically away from a classroom since last March, and Walsh acknowledged that parents have struggled with child care, according to an advance copy of his speech. Danny Mcdonald, BostonGlobe.com, "Walsh gives what will likely be his farewell State of the City address," 12 Jan. 2021 The Chronicle employee of almost 50 years, who started as a copy boy in 1935, was known for his hustle. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, "Snow day in the Bay Area 1976: The view from above," 7 Jan. 2021 After a nearly five-month battle, an East Baton Rouge Parish District Court judge fined Louisiana State University and ordered the school to give USA TODAY an unredacted copy of a 2016 police report that names former star running back Derrius Guice. USA TODAY, "Judge orders LSU to turn over complete police report sought in USA TODAY lawsuit," 5 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb That’s because Facebook has a policy against developers who make apps that copy any existing Facebook feature on its platform, which the complaints say is anti-competitive. Heather Kelly, Washington Post, "Five things to know about the Facebook lawsuits," 10 Dec. 2020 The problem is that no one can copy the Golden State Warriors. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons GM Troy Weaver's plan has produced champions. Just ask the Lakers," 27 Nov. 2020 Later, the hateful housekeeper engineers a humiliating episode by suggesting the narrator copy an elegant white gown in a family portrait to wear to a costume ball. Donna Bulseco, WSJ, "‘Rebecca’ Debuts on Netflix This Week. The Book Is Even More Tantalizing.," 21 Oct. 2020 Most diversity and inclusion practices suffer from being copy-and-paste exercises, often set off to the side of a company’s practices and too quick, easy, and superficial to be effective. Quartz Staff, Quartz at Work, "The updated guide to being a better manager," 1 Dec. 2020 To address the absences, Huawei has developed a system for finding installation packages online and also has a cloning utility that will take an existing Android device and copy its apps and data. Vlad Savov, Bloomberg.com, "How Useful Is Huawei’s New $1,445 Phone Without Google? Review," 8 Dec. 2020 This new system will copy Wonder Woman 1984's big upcoming release. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Warner Bros. Announces All 2021 Movies Will Premiere on HBO Max as Same Time as Theaters," 3 Dec. 2020 Still, Portland's wealth tax is something other cities are trying to copy. NBC News, "Can a CEO tax strike a blow to inequality? In Portland, the answer is elusive," 27 Nov. 2020 In October, rival coding platform for kids Tekie even accused a WhiteHat Jr of posing as a six-year-old to understand and copy their model of teaching. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "India’s largest ed-tech startup has acquired a hornet’s nest," 23 Nov. 2020

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

Learn More about copy

Time Traveler for copy

Time Traveler

The first known use of copy was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for copy

Last Updated

24 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Copy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/copy. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for copy

copy

noun
How to pronounce copy (audio)

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

Choose the Right Synonym for copy

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

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!