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

Kitchen cabinets: All your cups and glasses will become tumblers, when a quake hurls them past the cabinet doors and onto the floor. Steve Carney, latimes.com, "The 9 earthquake hazards lurking in your home," 13 July 2019 Many of us start our days with some form of caffeine in our cups—or increasingly on our faces. A.a. Newton, SELF, "Caffeine Doesn’t Really 'Wake Up' Your Skin—But It Might Do Something Else," 11 July 2019 Her glass cup was lying on the floor still intact and the straw was still in the jar. Char Adams, PEOPLE.com, "Woman Dies After Falling on Metal Straw and It Goes Through Her Eye & Brain: 'I Miss Her Very Much,' Wife Says," 10 July 2019 Just moments after the match ended, the company released a commercial celebrating the US women’s team and its fourth cup. Marc Bain, Quartzy, "The women’s World Cup caps a world-class marketing opportunity for Nike," 8 July 2019 Hanging from the ceiling is a potted Asian pitcher plant, its long fleshy cups dangling over the pot’s edges, maws agape. Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post, "Maggots: A taste of food’s future," 3 July 2019 Enjoy your cup or cone at a sidewalk table or get a pint or ice cream sandwich to go. Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News, "7 new OMG-good extreme ice cream shops in the Bay Area," 1 July 2019 One of my favorite writers and poets and musicians—like Patti Smith talks about her cup of black coffee. Rachel King, Fortune, "Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski on Netflix, Social Media, and Opening a Restaurant," 30 June 2019 Iglesias has been a nice addition during his apparent cup of coffee in Cincinnati. Jay Brinker, Cincinnati.com, "Guest TML: The midseason awards for 2019 Bengals, Reds, UC, FC Cincinnati, Tiger Woods," 28 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Transfer to a shallow bowl and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup pistachios. Christopher Kimball, BostonGlobe.com, "Recipes: Three new ways to love grains," 9 July 2019 In addition, if the lid of your cooler features cup holders, consider putting a plug made of insulating material like styrofoam at the bottom of them. Meredith Fore, WIRED, "What Makes a Good Cooler (According to Physics)?," 3 July 2019 Shawn lit a cigarette, cupping his hands around the lighter, protecting the flame from the wind. David Canfield, EW.com, "First Look: The Andromeda Strain is back with a new look for its 50th anniversary," 26 June 2019 In one unsavory incident, England winger Raheem Sterling cupped his ears after scoring England’s fifth goal and Montenegro fans responded with jeers before an object — reportedly a lighter — was thrown onto the field. Rob Harris, The Seattle Times, "PM May wants ‘swift action’ on racial abuse of England stars," 26 Mar. 2019 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

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

18 Jul 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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