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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from cup

Noun

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

Synonyms for cup

Synonyms: Noun

mug

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Surprisingly, one cup of pumpkin packs 14% of your daily value for potassium, whereas one banana has 12%. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Pumpkin Health Benefits Every Fall Lover Needs to Know About," 14 June 2019 Styrofoam Common types of Styrofoam, including shipping peanuts and coffee cups, go in the trash. Dustin Gardiner, SFChronicle.com, "Six items that people try to recycle, but shouldn’t," 12 June 2019 Enjoy a peaceful cup of coffee in the bush, listening to the sounds of the wilderness waking up, and head back to the lodge for a full breakfast. National Geographic, "Africa by Private Jet," 12 June 2019 Add broth to skillet, increase heat to medium-high, and cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup, 8 to 9 minutes. Taylor Murray, Country Living, "Southwest Shrimp & Grits," 10 June 2019 Twenty-four nations will hash it out for the coveted cup, culminating with a final game on July 7. Anabel Pasarow, refinery29.com, "Today Kicks Off The Women's World Cup — & Here's How To Watch," 8 June 2019 Haev Old-school Basi pour-over coffee maker with a concrete stand and ceramic dripper delivers a sophisticated ground-to-order cup; $770, mrporter.com. Carol Mccolgin, The Hollywood Reporter, "Father's Day Gift Guide: Top Choices for Execs, Stars, Agents, Writers and Directors," 7 June 2019 Pots of good coffee, not cups, are served, a welcome touch for caffeine junkies. Michael Mayo, sun-sentinel.com, "All-day breakfast: A critic’s guide to 5 egg-centric new eateries," 5 June 2019 Witnesses told police Wisniewski punched the victim multiple times, causing the victim to drop several glass cups, which shattered and cut her hand. Staff Report, Daily Southtown, "Southland crime: People claiming to be with ComEd scam resident out of $600, more," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Donnelly would get in an athletic stance, cup his hands over his mouth and shout instructions to runners on second base. Byron Mccauley, Cincinnati.com, "Rich Donnelly buried two children and nearly lost two more. He's speaking to men about family.," 9 June 2019 The cover showed a bone-thin girl, her hands cupped, begging for rice. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "Speaking for baby Rose: How a Baltimore detective found his purpose investigating child abuse," 6 June 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cup

Statistics for cup

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cup

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up cup? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!