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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Keep a copy of your negative test results with you during your trip in case you are asked for them. Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, Forbes, "The CDC Wants You To Skip Spring Break," 26 Feb. 2021 The Times reviewed a copy of Latragna’s email, which was partially redacted. David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times, "Ethics Commission staff were told to soften their advice on gifts, whistleblower says," 25 Feb. 2021 Between August 14 and August 20, 2019: Captain Corbett gives a copy of Haywood's interview, which was audio and video recorded, to Lt. Gulbrandson. Gina Barton, jsonline.com, "A rape accusation against a prominent Milwaukee developer set off a series of events that brought years of turmoil to the surface," 24 Feb. 2021 State law requires senators to wait 20 days from when the attorney general receives a copy of the impeachment charges before beginning the trial. CBS News, "Videos show agents confront South Dakota attorney general about deadly crash: "His face was in your windshield"," 24 Feb. 2021 The South Florida Sun Sentinel was also given a copy of the video. Eileen Kelley, sun-sentinel.com, "Family wonders whether they are targets as video records man trying to set their house on fire," 22 Feb. 2021 The employee was offended by the training and asked for a copy of the PowerPoint. Tori Richards, Washington Examiner, "Anti-racism training forced upon San Diego County healthcare workers," 22 Feb. 2021 The Justice Department on late Saturday released a copy of Garland’s opening statement. Michael Balsamo, Anchorage Daily News, "Snubbed as Obama high court pick, Garland in line to be attorney general," 22 Feb. 2021 The contract Messi signed with Barcelona — in the fall of 2017, in the aftermath of Neymar’s departure — runs to 30 pages, according to a Spanish newspaper that was leaked a copy of the document. New York Times, "Barcelona and the Crippling Cost of Success," 12 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But like plagiarists copy-and-pasting their term papers from Wikipedia, the league’s copycats are likely to get the facts right but miss the main idea. New York Times, "Will N.F.L. Teams Learn the Right Lessons From Josh Allen’s Success?," 14 Jan. 2021 To create a long-lasting, easier to encode medium, researchers are now working to write data into the DNA of living organisms, which copy and pass their genes on to the next generation. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Scientists ‘program’ living bacteria to store data," 11 Jan. 2021 Gosnell’s proof pages were a sight to behold, said Thomas Curwen, a Times narrative writer: copy circled on nearly every page, every sentence and paragraph — and that was after three editors had already combed for errors. Los Angeles Times, "Kathy Gosnell, veteran L.A. Times copy editor who perfected the paper’s signature stories, dies at 75," 8 Dec. 2020 Are homeowners allowed to read or copy committee minutes? Kelly G. Richardson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "HOA Homefront: Questions about HOA disclosures (Part 1)," 5 Dec. 2020 Higaki showed that Ebisu could copy familiar actions, like opening a plastic drawer and biting a rubber string. David Grimm, Science | AAAS, "Kitty see, kitty do: Cat imitates human, in first scientific demonstration of behavior," 25 Sep. 2020 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

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for copy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for copy

Last Updated

1 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Copy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/copy. Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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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

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on copy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for copy

Nglish: Translation of copy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of copy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on copy

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