: a thicket, grove, or growth of small trees

called also coppice

Example Sentences

a small copse of trees shaded the back of the house
Recent Examples on the Web The path climbs past copses of mountain hemlocks and red firs, and through alpine meadows dotted with wildflowers in the spring and summer. Eric Rosen, Travel + Leisure, 10 Apr. 2023 Smoke envelops a Russian bunker hit by the Ukrainians; the Buhay, hiding near a copse, is somehow spared from bombardment by enemy forces. Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times, 10 Apr. 2023 NJ Agwuna’s lively direction fit neatly into Peter J. Davison’s festival unit set—a copse of tree trunks at stage right, an array of colored lightbulbs above—and Christelle Matou’s handsome, sculptural costumes made a clear visual statement. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, 18 Aug. 2021 The hulking mass of the Hagia Sophia, the sixth-century church that became the enduring symbol of Christendom, seemed like a basilica to me again, surrounded by a copse of slim, tapered minarets. New York Times, 12 May 2022 Suddenly, an enormous whoosh rose from the canyon, and a copse of aspen exploded. The New Yorker, 6 Dec. 2021 In a small copse of trees near the street in front of the nursing home, a large cargo van had smashed down on top of the trees, breaking what branches the wind had spared. Dale Ellis, Arkansas Online, 13 Dec. 2021 The copse of fan varieties at the 49 Palm Oasis in the northeast corner of Joshua Tree National Park is the place to go. Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times, 11 Nov. 2021 There is a homeless encampment in a little copse of wood where Georgetown starts. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, 7 Oct. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'copse.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


by alteration

First Known Use

1578, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of copse was in 1578

Dictionary Entries Near copse

Cite this Entry

“Copse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition



More from Merriam-Webster on copse

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!