1

copy

noun \ ˈkä-pē \
Updated on: 10 Dec 2017

Definition of copy

plural copies
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
4 a : 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 1a
  • a copy of a computer file
  • a copy of a gene

Examples of copy in a Sentence

  1. The novel has sold more than a million copies.

  2. She got a job writing advertising copy.

  3. All copy must be submitted by 5 p.m.

Recent Examples of copy from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of copy

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

Synonym Discussion of copy

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

2

copy

verb

Definition of copy

copied; copying
transitive verb
1 : to make a copy or duplicate of
  • copy a document
  • copy a computer file
2 : to model oneself on
intransitive verb
1 : to make a copy
2 : to undergo copying
  • the map did not copy well

Examples of copy in a Sentence

  1. She copied the design on a piece of paper.

  2. Copy the file to your hard drive.

  3. The bills are designed to prevent copying by counterfeiters.

  4. We caught him copying the answers out of the book.

  5. We caught him copying out of the book.

  6. The speech was copied word for word.

  7. His music was copied widely.

  8. Their competitors soon copied the idea.

Recent Examples of copy from the Web

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.

First Known Use of copy

14th century

Synonym Discussion of copy

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


COPY Defined for English Language Learners

copy

noun

Definition of copy for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of copy for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

1

copy

noun \ ˈkä-pē \

Definition of copy for Students

plural copies
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

2

copy

verb

Definition of copy for Students

copied; copying
1 : to make a duplicate of
2 : imitate 1

Synonym Discussion of copy

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.


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