co·pi·ous | \ˈkō-pē-əs \

Definition of copious 

1a : yielding something abundantly a copious harvest copious springs

b : plentiful in number copious references to other writers

2a : full of thought, information, or matter … Shakespeare, whose soul was so copious— Gilbert Highet

b : profuse or exuberant in words, expression, or style a copious talker

3 : present in large quantity : taking place on a large scale copious weeping copious food and drink

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Other Words from copious

copiously adverb
copiousness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for copious


galore, gushing, lavish, profuse, riotous


dribbling, trickling

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Choose the Right Synonym for copious

plentiful, ample, abundant, copious mean more than sufficient without being excessive. plentiful implies a great or rich supply. peaches are plentiful this summer ample implies a generous sufficiency to satisfy a particular requirement. ample food to last the winter abundant suggests an even greater or richer supply than does plentiful. streams abundant with fish copious stresses largeness of supply rather than fullness or richness. copious examples of bureaucratic waste

What's the Difference Between copious, ample, and plentiful?

Copious derives from Latin copia ("abundance"), which in turn combines the prefix co- and ops ("wealth" or "power"). "Copious" and "opulent" (also from "ops"), along with "ample," "plentiful," and "abundant," all mean "more than sufficient." "Ample" implies a generous sufficiency to satisfy a particular requirement ("ample proof"). "Copious" puts emphasis upon largeness of supply more than on fullness or richness ("copious toasts to the bride and groom"). "Plentiful" implies a rich, and usually more than sufficient, supply ("a plentiful supply of textbooks"). "Abundant" suggests a greater or richer supply than "plentiful" does ("moved by the abundant offers to help"). But use "opulent" when the supply is both abundant and infused with a richness that allows an extra measure of gratification ("the opulent blossoms of the cherry trees").

Examples of copious in a Sentence

It was no surprise that spin was more copious than ever during the election campaign. — Michael Kinsley, Time, 25 Dec. 2000–1 Jan. 2001 These pockets of melted rock are rich in silica and release copious amounts of volatile gases that are held under high pressures. — Sandra Blakeslee, New York Times, 7 Apr. 1998 … travelers grew accustomed to having copious helpings of meat when they visited Quimper's inn. — James A. Michener, Texas, 1985 The Constants—ignorant, vulgar, and brash—had copious quantities of dumb luck. — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., The Sirens Of Titan, 1959 The storm produced a copious amount of rain. She sat in the front row and took copious notes during the lecture.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Despite reveling in juvenile humor and copious pop-culture references, Deadpool 2 is trying to be about something: kindness. Joshua Rivera, GQ, "Deadpool 2 Review: It Spends Too Much Time Getting Itself Off," 19 May 2018 After counterattacking relentlessly against the Germans, Mexico had to break down South Korea’s defense while also dealing with copious fouling from the Koreans. Grant Wahl,, "Germany Finds a Way; Mexico, Belgium Take Big Steps Toward World Cup Knockout Stage," 23 June 2018 Did the fragility of tissue paper require copious trial and error? Jacoba Urist, Smithsonian, "Maya Freelon’s Immersive and Interactive Sculptures Bring Tissue Paper to Life," 21 June 2018 And any objections to the plot tend to fall away during the copious action sequences. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "With Incredibles 2, Pixar moves away from complicated emotions," 15 June 2018 Cooper wrote copious briefs that showed Atlanta could provide the demand necessary to support international travel, providing the federal government with reams of data. J. Scott Trubey, ajc, "Roy Cooper, 91, helped Hartsfield-Jackson become international airport," 14 June 2018 Owen also recommends daily foam rolling, copious water, and proper nutrition. Abigail Barronian, Outside Online, "Here's How to Get Stronger After 50," 12 June 2018 Plumstead, with its copious green space, is an exception. Jonathan Lai,, "Census data show Chester County's hot, South Jersey's not. Here's how towns are changing," 11 June 2018 Riverbend will offer a residential hall that is open all year, a cafeteria where students can eat free and copious numbers of counselors, all managed by KVC Health Systems. New York Times, "Bulletin Board," 6 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'copious.' 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 copious

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

History and Etymology for copious

Middle English, from Latin copiosus, from copia abundance, from co- + ops wealth — more at opulent

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Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for copious

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

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More Definitions for copious



English Language Learners Definition of copious

: very large in amount or number


co·pi·ous | \ˈkō-pē-əs \

Kids Definition of copious

: very plentiful : abundant She takes copious notes in class.

Other Words from copious

copiously adverb

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More from Merriam-Webster on copious

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for copious

Spanish Central: Translation of copious

Nglish: Translation of copious for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of copious for Arabic Speakers

Comments on copious

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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