cup

noun
\ ˈkəp How to pronounce cup (audio) \

Definition of cup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an open usually bowl-shaped drinking vessel
2a : a drinking vessel and its contents
b : the consecrated wine of the Communion
3 : something that falls to one's lot
4 : an ornamental cup offered as a prize (as in a championship)
5 : something resembling a cup: such as
a : a cup-shaped plant organ
b : an athletic supporter reinforced usually with plastic to provide extra protection to the wearer
c : either of two parts of a brassiere that are shaped like and fit over the breasts
d : the metal case inside a hole in golf also : the hole itself
6 : a usually iced beverage resembling punch but served from a pitcher rather than a bowl
7 : a half pint : eight fluid ounces
8 : a food served in a cup-shaped usually footed vessel a fruit cup
9 : the symbol ∪ indicating the union of two sets — compare cap sense 7
in one's cups
: drunk

cup

verb
cupped; cupping

Definition of cup (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to treat by cupping
2a : to curve into the shape of a cup cupped his hands around his mouth
b : to place in or as if in a cup

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Other Words from cup

Noun

cuplike \ ˈkəp-​ˌlīk How to pronounce cuplike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for cup

Synonyms: Noun

mug

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Examples of cup in a Sentence

Noun

Would you like another cup of tea? The winner will take home the cup.

Verb

He cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted at us. I had to cup my hand to my ear in order to hear him. He cupped his mouth with his hands and shouted at us. I sat with my chin cupped in my hand.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The curve-friendly suit also boasts ample bust support for those who need it, plus removable padded cups and slimming ruching details along the abdomen. Rebekah Lowin, Country Living, "People Are Obsessed With This $27 Swimsuit on Amazon—and Now It's a Best-Seller," 29 May 2019 This portable dog paw cleaner is basically a plastic cup with soft silicone bristles inside, which helps brush away any dirt or mud. Sophia Caraballo, Woman's Day, "This 4.5 Star Paw Mudbuster Will Help Keep Your Carpet Clean," 21 May 2019 The table is set with delicate green china cups and saucers, and there’s a small plate of butter cookies. Norman Vanamee, Town & Country, "How Sackler Became the Most Toxic Name in Philanthropy," 16 May 2019 The purchase of these special mugs, and the need to constantly replace them when dropped, is reportedly what has caused the Air Force to spend over $300,000 on cups since 2016. Kim Quindlen, Teen Vogue, "U.S. Air Force Admits to Spending $326,785 on Coffee Mugs," 23 Oct. 2018 The Under Armour logo on the right ear cup is actually a big button. Amy Marturana, SELF, "Why I Love Using These Wireless Headphones When I Lift—and Think You Will Too," 31 Aug. 2018 Croat Sime Vrsaljko could be an alternative but Atletico Madrid are unlikely to sell him especially off the back of an impressive world cup. SI.com, "Man Utd Defender Could Sign Contract Extension as Inter Continue Hunt for New Right Back," 13 July 2018 Whisking constantly, slowly stream in remaining ⅓ cup oil. Claire Saffitz, Bon Appetit, "Lazy Caesar Salad," 25 June 2018 Participants get a commemorative cup with free refills of soft drinks, VIP seating for fireworks, one free ride exit pass to skip the line during the day and an invitation to an exclusive foam dance party. Sheryl Devore, Lake County News-Sun, "More bang for buck at Six Flags 4th Fest," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The photo shows Archie's delicate, soft little baby feet cupped gently in Meghan's hands, set against a gorgeous background of green leaves and Princess Diana's favorite flower, forget-me-nots, in the background. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Share a New Picture of Archie in Honor of Mother's Day," 12 May 2019 The Peanut Butter Lovers cup and Chocolate Lovers cups will be released in April in both regular and king size, but only for a limited time. Woman's Day, "We Tried the New Reese's Cup Made Strictly For Peanut Butter Lovers," 27 Mar. 2019 The 21 year old skated to the end boards, cupping his hand around his ear. Tim Hackett, SI.com, "Stanley Cup Playoffs Roundup: Pastrnak, Bruins Blitz Maple Leafs for a 2-0 Series Lead," 15 Apr. 2018 One Line Coffee: Owned by a father and son, One Line features a cupping lab where coffees are profiled and roasts perfected. Catherine Strawn, Country Living, "Is Columbus, Ohio America's Next Great Coffee City?," 1 Oct. 2014 In the dark backstage photo, the star stands behind the curtain of the stage at the at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn., while cupping her new baby bump through her sequin dress. Fox News, "Carrie Underwood shows first photo of baby bump after second pregnancy announcement," 11 Aug. 2018 The photo, taken in April before a Women’s Copa America match in Chile, showed the Argentine players with their hands cupped behind their right ears, a sign of protest highlighting that no one was listening to them. Debora Rey, The Seattle Times, "Argentine women fight against inequality in soccer," 7 Nov. 2018 White recommends cupping it around your hair and pushing it around with your fingers to shape it — no brushes or combs. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, "How to Get Perfect Curls Using a Diffuser," 9 Sep. 2015 Whisk in ⅓ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup red miso, and 1 Tbsp. Alex Delany, Bon Appetit, "Chicken Wing Dinner: A Rent Week Winner," 4 May 2018

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

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cup

Noun

Middle English cuppe, from Old English, from Late Latin cuppa cup, alteration of Latin cupa tub — more at hive

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Statistics for cup

Last Updated

6 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cup

The first known use of cup was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for cup

cup

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small round container that often has a handle and that is used for drinking liquids (such as tea and coffee)
: the liquid that is contained in a cup
US : a unit of measurement that is used when you are cooking

cup

verb

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

: to curve (your hand) into the shape of a cup
: to put your hand in a curved shape around (something)

cup

noun
\ ˈkəp How to pronounce cup (audio) \

Kids Definition of cup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a container to drink out of in the shape of a small bowl usually with a handle
2 : the contents of a small drinking container : cupful I drank a cup of tea.
3 : a unit of measure that equals half a pint or eight fluid ounces
4 : a trophy in the shape of a cup with two handles
5 : something like a small bowl in shape or use I picked her up in the cup of my hands …— Jean Craighead George, My Side of the Mountain

cup

verb
cupped; cupping

Kids Definition of cup (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to curve the hand or hands into the shape of a small bowl
2 : to put the hands in a curved shape around She cupped my face.

cup

noun
\ ˈkəp How to pronounce cup (audio) \

Medical Definition of cup

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a usually open bowl-shaped drinking vessel often having a handle and a stem and base and sometimes a lid
2 : a drinking vessel and its contents : the beverage or food contained in a cup a second cup of coffee
3 : something resembling a cup invagination of the blastula to form a multilayered cellular cup : as
a(1) : an athletic supporter reinforced for providing extra protection to the wearer in certain strenuous sports (as boxing, hockey, or football)
(2) : either of the two parts of a brassiere that are shaped like and fit over the breasts
b : a small bell-shaped glass formerly used in cupping
c : a cap of metal or plastic shaped like the femoral head and used in plastic reconstruction of the hip joint

cup

verb
cupped; cupping

Medical Definition of cup (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to treat by cupping

intransitive verb

: to undergo or perform cupping

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More from Merriam-Webster on cup

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cup

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cup

Spanish Central: Translation of cup

Nglish: Translation of cup for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of cup for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cup

Comments on cup

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