copy

noun
\ˈkä-pē \
plural copies

Definition of copy 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an imitation, transcript, or reproduction of an original work (such as a letter, a painting, a table, or a dress)

2 : one of a series of especially mechanical reproductions of an original impression also : an individual example of such a reproduction

3 archaic : something to be imitated : model

4a : matter to be set especially for printing

b : something considered printable or newsworthy used without an article remarks that make good copy— Norman Cousins

c : text especially of an advertisement

5 : duplicate sense 1a a copy of a computer file a copy of a gene

copy

verb
copied; copying; copies

Definition of copy (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make a copy or duplicate of copy a document copy a computer file

2 : to model oneself on

3 in radio/military communications : to acknowledge receipt of (a message) The operator of the Titanic was busy figuring his accounts and did not bother to copy the message. A little later in the afternoon, another ship named the Baltic called the Titanic to tell her about icebergs that were in her way.— Rev. Robert P. Lawrence

intransitive verb

1 : to make a copy

2 : to undergo copying the map did not copy well

3 in radio/military communications : to acknowledge receipt and understanding of a message "Block the road with your car. Take no other action. … No resistance, do you copy? Over."— Stephen King

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Choose the Right Synonym for copy

Noun

reproduction, duplicate, copy, facsimile, replica mean a thing made to closely resemble another. reproduction implies an exact or close imitation of an existing thing. reproductions from the museum's furniture collection duplicate implies a double or counterpart exactly corresponding to another thing. a duplicate of a house key copy applies especially to one of a number of things reproduced mechanically. printed 1000 copies of the lithograph facsimile suggests a close reproduction often of graphic matter that may differ in scale. a facsimile of a rare book replica implies the exact reproduction of a particular item in all details a replica of the Mayflower but not always in the same scale. miniature replicas of classic cars

Verb

copy, imitate, mimic, ape, mock mean to make something so that it resembles an existing thing. copy suggests duplicating an original as nearly as possible. copied the painting and sold the fake as an original imitate suggests following a model or a pattern but may allow for some variation. imitate a poet's style mimic implies a close copying (as of voice or mannerism) often for fun, ridicule, or lifelike imitation. pupils mimicking their teacher ape may suggest presumptuous, slavish, or inept imitating of a superior original. American fashion designers aped their European colleagues mock usually implies imitation with derision. mocking a vain man's pompous manner

Verb

copy, imitate, and mimic mean to make something so that it resembles something else. copy means trying to duplicate a thing as much as possible. Copy this drawing exactly. imitate means that a person uses something as an example but does not try to make an exact copy. They imitated the actions of their parents. mimic means carefully copying something (as a person's voice) often for the purpose of making fun of it. The comedian mimicked a popular singer.

Examples of copy in a Sentence

Noun

The novel has sold more than a million copies. She got a job writing advertising copy. All copy must be submitted by 5 p.m.

Verb

She copied the design on a piece of paper. Copy the file to your hard drive. The bills are designed to prevent copying by counterfeiters. We caught him copying the answers out of the book. We caught him copying out of the book. The speech was copied word for word. His music was copied widely. Their competitors soon copied the idea.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Two copies, heavily annotated, were found in Hitler’s bunker. The Economist, "The welfare state needs updating," 12 July 2018 The food—always bright and healthy—has spawned avo-toast copy-cats the world over. Erin Florio, Condé Nast Traveler, "What to Do in Sydney: The Black Book," 5 July 2018 Scattered around the room were several copies of one tome: The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. Katrine Jo Andersen, The New Republic, "Rejected by A.A.," 27 June 2018 Funds to repair the cameras if they are damaged also will come from a new $150 fee, allowed by a new state statute, for copies of the videos as requested by the public, McClure said, adding people will be able to view the videos for free. Amy Lavalley, Post-Tribune, "Body, vehicle cameras to cost $468k for Porter County police," 19 June 2018 For copies of Resolution No. 18-19 or other comments, questions or requests, contact the Office of the City Secretary at (281) 275-2730, e-mail citysec@sugarlandtx.gov or visit www.sugarlandtx.gov. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Sugar Land appoints redistricting committee, solicits public input," 14 June 2018 Miller is set to take over as executive director of human resources in District 308 July 1, according to a copy of his contract. Staff Report, Aurora Beacon-News, "New administrator selected in District 308 to fill position of hire disciplined over Facebook post," 12 June 2018 Expressway officials on Friday said the latest route had not yet been posted on the project web site and did not respond to a request for a copy. Jenny Staletovich, miamiherald, "It was once part of the Everglades. Now Miami-Dade wants to use it for a highway," 8 June 2018 The mother of that child issued a Freedom of Information Act request for copies of the officers’ video from that evening. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Chesterfield County, Va., Police Say 'Facts Matter' After Violent Arrest Video Goes Viral. Here's Why You Shouldn't Believe Them," 23 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Despite their perceived solidarity, the most celebrated, cherished, copied and marketable band of pro cheerleaders is finally suing its parent organization. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "Jerry, you're going to have to pay for the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders," 19 June 2018 One of those friends wasn’t a real friend and apparently copied the images and created a new page. Christopher Elliott, courant.com, "Problem Solved: Facebook Won't Delete Her Private Photos From A Fake Page," 14 June 2018 Some academics said the data could have been easily copied and sold to marketers or political consulting firms. Sheera Frenkel, New York Times, "Scholars Have Data on Millions of Facebook Users. Who’s Guarding It?," 6 May 2018 In the photography world, amateurs on Instagram have been criticized for homogenizing outdoor photography by copying each other and perpetuating what's popular. Tracey Lien, latimes.com, "Likes, comments and sometimes sales — how Instagram is shaping the art world," 5 Mar. 2018 The robot draws on a databank of recipes that are records of the actions of a human master chef collected by a motion-capture system, so that the machine can copy them exactly—whisking eggs, slicing onions or frying bacon like a pro. The Economist, "The rise of the robochef," 12 July 2018 To simply copy them would be almost an insult to their sacrifice. Douglas Perry, OregonLive.com, "Woodburn teenager arrested after allegedly making school-shooting threats on Snapchat," 23 May 2018 While Markle is busy switching up her look, brides all over the world will be taking her official royal wedding portraits to their hairdresser asking to copy her look. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Just Ditched Her Favorite Messy Bun For A Sleek Version," 22 May 2018 One laced his hands behind his head and knelt; the other two then copied him. Katherine Reynolds Lewis, The Atlantic, "One Ohio School’s Quest to Rethink Bad Behavior," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'copy.' 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 copy

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for copy

Noun

Middle English copie, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin copia, from Latin, abundance — more at copious

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Statistics for copy

Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for copy

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

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More Definitions for copy

copy

noun

English Language Learners Definition of copy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that is or looks exactly or almost exactly like something else : a version of something that is identical or almost identical to the original

: one of the many books, magazines, albums, DVDs, etc., that are exactly the same and are produced to be sold or given to the public

: written information that is to be published in a newspaper, magazine, etc.

copy

verb

English Language Learners Definition of copy (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make a version of (something) that is exactly or almost exactly like the original : to make a copy or duplicate of (something)

: to write (something) down exactly as it appears somewhere else

: to use (someone else's words or ideas) as your own

copy

noun
\ˈkä-pē \
plural copies

Kids Definition of copy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that is made to look exactly like something else : duplicate a copy of a letter a copy of a painting

2 : one of the total number of books, magazines, or papers printed at one time She owns a copy of a popular atlas.

3 : written material to be published

copy

verb
copied; copying

Kids Definition of copy (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make a duplicate of

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Comments on copy

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