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 process of storing copious amounts of makeup, skin-care, hair-care products, plus a bevy of tools for all three has been a battle of wits between myself and the layout of my one-bedroom apartment. Jihan Forbes, Allure, "Bob the Drag Queen on How Pandemic Drag Has Changed the Game," 30 Apr. 2021 The hazing and failing to comply with underage alcohol laws reflect that those charged gave copious amounts of alcohol to Foltz and the other new fraternity members, Dobson said in a statement. John Seewer,, "8 people indicted in alcohol-related death of Ohio student at college fraternity party," 29 Apr. 2021 In Taiwan, where a large number of chips are produced for applications in the auto industry, the worst drought in half a century is now threatening fresh disruptions for chip makers, whose factories require copious amounts of water. William Boston, WSJ, "Global Chip Shortage Set to Worsen for Car Makers," 29 Apr. 2021 On Pregnant women are instructed to drink copious amounts of water, for plenty of good reasons like staving off headaches, easing dry itchy skin, and supporting the production of amniotic fluid and extra blood volume. Cory Baldwin, Forbes, "The Best Gifts For Pregnant Women, According To A Mom-To-Be," 28 Apr. 2021 Since then — in large part because of copious amounts of money spent on awards campaigns — the streaming giant has come to dominate the nominations. New York Times, "‘Nomadland’ Makes History, and Chadwick Boseman Is Upset at the Oscars," 25 Apr. 2021 For the better part of the 20th century, the word lemon evoked bitterness, just a sour citrus that needed copious amounts of sugar to make something palatable to sell at sidewalk lemonade stands. Bill Ward Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Lemon-tinted herbs perking up sweet and savory dishes," 21 Apr. 2021 Some of the most dazzling recent advances in artificial intelligence have come thanks to resources only available at big tech companies, where thousands of powerful computers and terabytes of data can be as copious as free granola bars and nap pods. Will Knight, Wired, "This AI Can Generate Convincing Text—and Anyone Can Use It," 29 Mar. 2021 At its most robust, The Tribune carried hundreds of pages in a day, with copious display advertising geared to an expanding class of consumers in Utah. Tony Semerad, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Salt Lake Tribune will move to a weekly print edition in 2021," 26 Oct. 2020

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for copious

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Copious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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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 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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Comments on copious

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