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

Following the surprise release of The Carters' Everything Is Love on June 16, JAY-Z and Beyoncé have confirmed that physical copies of the nine-track joint album are on the way. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "JAY-Z & Beyonce Are Releasing Physical Copies of 'Everything Is Love'," 2 July 2018 Across the Atlantic, just 20 copies were on bookshop shelves across the whole of the UK on Friday. Houston Chronicle, "Whiskeytown book documents volatile early years for Ryan Adams," 28 June 2018 Eighteenth-century newspapers were printed on quality rag paper, and these copies are nearly as nice as the day our founding parents read them. John Kelly, Washington Post, "His name was ‘Alexander Hamilton.’ New exhibits recount his words and deeds.," 27 June 2018 Initially speaking only German and French, Mr. Kalischer landed a copy boy job in Agence France-Presse’s New York bureau. Bryan Marquard, BostonGlobe.com, "Clemens Kalischer, who memorably photographed refugees and musicians, dies at 97," 20 June 2018 Frayed, browned and in fragile condition, the Voynich manuscript currently resides deep in a basement at Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library but digitized copies of it are available for free online. Jane Bracher, CNN, "The Voynich manuscript: Will this medieval mystery ever be solved?," 15 June 2018 Fuller started at the Tribune as a copy boy at age 16 and returned to the newspaper as a reporter after getting a law degree from Yale University. Robert Channick, chicagotribune.com, "MacArthur grants boost local Chicago journalism to honor former Tribune publisher Jack Fuller," 14 June 2018 By the 2000s, copies were trading for $1,000-$3,000. Jim Mclauchlin, WIRED, "The Secret History of the Racy Module That Almost Ruined D&D," 12 June 2018 Thumb through Kitchen Work, the understated, all-text journal of food and wine essays that the restaurant publishes quarterly; copies are available by the host stand. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "At Heirloom Cafe, Matt Straus keeps alive the dying art of cellaring wine," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But there's more to the collection than just copying Bey's on-stage look. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beyoncé and Balmain Collaborate On Charitable Merch Collection," 10 July 2018 Staff will scan photos and digitally copy recordings, letters and other materials for preservation. Fox News, "Library collecting artifacts from Boston's hip hop scene," 19 May 2018 Investors had been concerned that Snapchat’s user growth rate would continue to slow amid mounting competition from Facebook and its subsidiary, especially since Instagram’s 2016 launch of its Snapchat-copying Stories feature. Tom Huddleston Jr., Fortune, "Snap Touts Snapchat Redesign as Revenue, User Growth Send Shares Soaring," 6 Feb. 2018 The pretty clothing brand Vineyard Vines reportedly sued for trademark infringement, positing that her Macbeth Collection copied their designs. Megan Stein, PEOPLE.com, "RHONJ's Margaret Josephs Faces Foreclosure on Unfinished $1 Million Mansion: Report," 19 Jan. 2018 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

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

12 Nov 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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