: a thicket, grove, or growth of small trees

called also coppice

Examples of copse in a Sentence

a small copse of trees shaded the back of the house
Recent Examples on the Web The castaway lifted his eyes slightly, barely making out the thick copse of palm trees dotting the horizon. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 7 Sep. 2023 In fall, the Valley glows yellow and gold thanks to copses of aspen and cottonwood trees. Elizabeth Brownfield, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 Pawpaw clusters are identical clones The trees spread out through root shoots, so a stand of trees will likely be genetically similar, which means one copse relies on insects to carry pollen over from a genetically different copse. Karl Schneider, The Indianapolis Star, 7 Aug. 2023 Most days, he can be found outside, smoking and pacing in a copse of trees right next to the hotel entrance. Joanna Slater, Anchorage Daily News, 8 July 2023 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

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 19 Jul. 2024.

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