adjective co·pi·ous \ ˈkō-pē-əs \
|Updated on: 22 Jul 2018

Definition of copious

1 a : yielding something abundantly
  • a copious harvest
  • copious springs
b : plentiful in number
  • copious references to other writers
2 a : 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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Examples of copious in a Sentence

  1. It was no surprise that spin was more copious than ever during the election campaign. —Michael KinsleyTime25 Dec. 2000–1 Jan. 2001
  2. These pockets of melted rock are rich in silica and release copious amounts of volatile gases that are held under high pressures. —Sandra BlakesleeNew York Times7 Apr. 1998
  3. … travelers grew accustomed to having copious helpings of meat when they visited Quimper's inn. —James A. MichenerTexas1985
  4. The Constants—ignorant, vulgar, and brash—had copious quantities of dumb luck. —Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.The Sirens Of Titan1959
  5. The storm produced a copious amount of rain.

  6. She sat in the front row and took copious notes during the lecture.

Recent Examples of copious from the Web

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.

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").

Origin and Etymology of copious

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

Synonym Discussion of 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

COPIOUS Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of copious for English Language Learners

  • : very large in amount or number

COPIOUS Defined for Kids


adjective co·pi·ous \ ˈkō-pē-əs \

Definition of copious for Students

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



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