co·​pi·​ous | \ ˈkō-pē-əs How to pronounce copious (audio) \

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



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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 The surface of an exoplanet could range from nothing but reflective rock to a water world that absorbs copious amounts of incoming light. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Climate models go out of this world," 2 Mar. 2020 That's because Beerman and his assistant coaches use the 231-mile trek back to North Bend Road to answer the copious amount of congratulatory texts for leading the AquaBombers to another state team championship. Shelby Dermer,, "St. Xavier wins 12th consecutive OHSAA high school state team swimming championship," 23 Feb. 2020 In 2016, the party hired 50 staffers dedicated to military-community organizing, collected copious amounts of data about veterans and military families, and had fellow veterans knock on more than a million doors. Jasper Craven, The New Republic, "Pete Buttigieg and the Democrats’ Veteran Problem," 11 Feb. 2020 Despite copious talent throughout roster, asking HC Kevin Stefanski and GM Andrew Berry to turn this around in first year on job is a huge ask. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "NFL power rankings: How does rest of field shake out after Chiefs' Super Bowl LIV win?," 5 Feb. 2020 Huntsville is home to copious musical talent, live venues and clubs and behind-the-scenes industry successes. Matt Wake |, al, "What’s Huntsville Music Advisory Board and who’s on it?," 24 Jan. 2020 All six main cast members—Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry, Matt LeBlanc, and David Schwimmer—are present, along with copious amounts of food and sodas. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "This Pic of the Friends Cast the Night Before They Filmed the Finale Will Make You Emotional," 24 Jan. 2020 Recent studies suggest that copious amounts of fungal cells can drip from infected or colonized patients, drenching their surroundings in infectious, drug-resistant germs. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Deadly fungus became resistant to all existing drugs in 3 unlinked US patients," 9 Jan. 2020 That was until a group of one-percenter parents, headlined by a couple of modestly famous actresses, came up with a new script: Pay copious amounts of money to universities to PRETEND their children are scholarship-worthy athletes and scholars. Kevin Cusick, Twin Cities, "Loop Newsmakers of the Year: Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman," 29 Dec. 2019

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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Time Traveler for copious

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

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Last Updated

17 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Copious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for copious


How to pronounce copious (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of copious

: very large in amount or number


co·​pi·​ous | \ ˈkō-pē-əs How to pronounce copious (audio) \

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

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