copy

noun
\ ˈkä-pē How to pronounce copy (audio) \
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

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 Download your copy of The Wall Street Journal’s 2021 tax-guide ebook. Laura Saunders, WSJ, "New Investors Discover Tax Pitfalls of Robinhood and Other Trading Apps," 16 Apr. 2021 My copy is full of underlines, notes on the margins and dog-eared pages. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Wise reader weighs in on encouraging well-behaved children," 14 Apr. 2021 My copy is full of underlines, notes on the margins and dog-eared pages. cleveland, "Dear Annie: Bad behavior should not be rewarded," 14 Apr. 2021 Um, not yet, but my copy just came in the mail yesterday. Kevin Spear, orlandosentinel.com, "National Geographic features Carlton Ward’s Florida panther photos," 12 Apr. 2021 Today’s wellness movement has, at least in its marketing copy, co-opted that language, severing it from its collectivist roots. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "Puzzling Through Our Eternal Quest for Wellness," 22 Mar. 2021 When including testimonials in your website copy, be as concise as possible. John Hall, Forbes, "How Website Copy Can Help You Build Brand Trust," 21 Mar. 2021 Despite losing his copy sometime around 2000, Maddon continued teaching the lessons by memory in his previous managerial jobs. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "The book that’s helping the Angels improve their outfield defense," 7 Mar. 2021 Suppose that someone broke into your house and ripped up your near mint copy of Action Comics #1. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Historical Revisionism of Trump’s Impeachment Defense," 8 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Fans of King's Oscars glam took to social media to praise the star, and some were even inspired to copy her hair. Aimee Simeon, refinery29.com, "Regina King’s Razor-Sharp Bob Kicked The Oscars Off In Style," 26 Apr. 2021 Busy employees who wouldn’t have taken the time to copy and paste each company article into all three social platforms can now do a weeks worth of scheduling content in less than ten seconds. Adrian Dayton, Forbes, "What Is Employee Advocacy And How Can It Help You?," 26 Apr. 2021 Also indicted was Anthony Russo, a friend and former Rand Corp. colleague who encouraged Ellsberg to copy the Pentagon Papers. Christian Appy, The Conversation, "How Richard Nixon’s obsession with Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers sowed the seeds for the president’s downfall," 23 Apr. 2021 The aim is not to copy, but to honor a style in a natural way. Cynthia Frank, ELLE Decor, "Tour a Legendary, Never-Before-Seen Milan Apartment, in All Its Trompe L'Oeil Glory," 22 Apr. 2021 Sapria, however, is mostly filled with DNA transposons that repeatedly copy and paste themselves into the genome directly. Quanta Magazine, "DNA of Giant ‘Corpse Flower’ Parasite Surprises Biologists," 21 Apr. 2021 MagSafe was a brilliant piece of technology that MacBook buyers quickly came to appreciate — and a rare Apple innovation that competitors didn’t rush to copy. Chris Smith, BGR, "We almost missed one of Apple’s most exciting upgrades from yesterday’s event," 21 Apr. 2021 Use the Apple Pages program to copy the Pages documents one at a time, and paste each one into a new Pages document (see tinyurl.com/tm3uaj6x). Steve Alexander, Star Tribune, "Why you can't hear the voice directions on Google Maps," 18 Apr. 2021 Its latest move was a two-minute video urging tourists to think outside the box and not copy other people's clichéd social media posts. CNN, "Travel to New Zealand during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go," 16 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for copy

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for copy

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Copy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/copy. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce copy (audio) \
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

Choose the Right Synonym for copy

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on copy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for copy

Nglish: Translation of copy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of copy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on copy

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