\ ˈdōp How to pronounce dope (audio) \

Essential Meaning of dope

1 : an illegal drug (such as marijuana or heroin) They were caught smoking dope. a dope addict/dealer
2 : a stupid or annoying person What a dope he is.
3 : information about someone or something that is not commonly or immediately known What's the dope [=skinny, scoop] on the new guy? [=what do you know about him?] The magazine claims to have the inside dope [=information known only by those involved] on her new romance. Give me the straight dope on it. [=tell me the truth about it]

Full Definition of dope

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 informal : a stupid person I think fast drivers are dopes.— Randy Wayne White … people are promised windfall profits from can't-miss investments—to be paid, when they are paid at all, only out of money collected from subsequent dopes and dupes.— David Margolick
2 informal
a : an illicit drug (such as heroin or cocaine) used for its intoxicating or euphoric effects especially : marijuana smoking dope
b : a preparation (such as an anabolic steroid, diuretic, or tranquilizer) given to a racehorse to help or hinder its performance
3 informal : information especially from a reliable source the inside dope on a celebrity's new romance
4a : a thick liquid or pasty preparation Apply a small amount of pipe dope or Teflon tape to the threads of the adapter …— Michael J. McGroarty
b : a preparation for giving a desired quality to a substance or surface She … would also glue the canvas over the frames of the planes and then use "dope," a special type of lacquer to harden the body of the plane.The Washington (Indiana) Times-Herald
c : absorbent or adsorbent material used in various manufacturing processes (such as the making of dynamite) A dynamite's strength and its water resistance are determined by the dopes—the particular dry ingredients that are combined with the nitroglycerin.— Bryan Di Salvatore
5 chiefly Southern : a cola drink


doped; doping

Definition of dope (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 informal
a : to give a narcotic or intoxicating drug to It was only when doped with scopolamine that he got any rest.— Robert McAlmon and Kay Boyle
b : to surreptitiously put a sedating drug into What does the murder have to do with the phone-date service he was investigating when someone doped his drink?— Marilyn Stasio
c : to administer a drug to (a horse) to help or hinder performance in a race Francis rode a doped horse once. The animal … ran right through the first hurdle, throwing Francis, and veered off into the woods nearby, where it was finally captured hours later.— Bill Barich
2 informal : figure out usually used with out The following day I returned and spent some time trying to dope out the trails the deer was using.— John WeissIt's hard to dope out what, exactly, flavors the lemony, faintly soyish marinade that powers the excellent barbecued chicken …— Sam Sifton
3 : to treat with dope or a dopant The airfoil leading edge and ribs are fiberglass moldings, and the skin, as on early airplanes, is fabric doped to drum-tightness.— David Scott We developed a method to dope semiconductor nanocrystals with metal impurities, enabling control of the band gap …— David Mocatta et al.

intransitive verb

1 informal : to take an intoxicating drug
2 informal : to use a performance-enhancing substance typically banned for use in sports A week after that surreal scene, Danish hero Bjarne Riis admitted that he'd doped to win the 1996 Tour France Riis …— Austin Murphy



Definition of dope (Entry 3 of 3)

: excellent used as a generalized term of approval

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Examples of dope in a Sentence

Noun They were caught smoking dope. What a dope he is. Verb They tried to dope him. Adjective That movie was so dope. Check out this dope new song.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun This was my first session in with Tiara Thomas, who's actually joining me on tour dates in October and who's a really dope artist and songwriter. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, 8 Oct. 2021 When Livia, in her already paranoid rage, accuses him of smoking dope, the accusation is all in her head. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 21 Sep. 2021 The song opens with the idyllic Southern imagery of a preacher delivering a Sunday morning sermon, until, just three lines in, Victoria reveals that the preacher’s daughter is injecting herself with dope just outside the service. Jonathan Bernstein, Rolling Stone, 17 Sep. 2021 Down North Pizza is about dope food: Detroit-style pizza that’s nostalgic and reminds people of Pizza Fridays as a kid. Bon Appétit, 14 Sep. 2021 His family shattered, Malcolm grew up in foster homes and ended up in Roxbury, as a dope dealer and pimp., 1 Sep. 2021 In the season two finale, Bumpy Johnson must fight off rivals to receive the largest dope shipment in New York history; Malcolm X reluctantly agrees to getting protection from an unusual source. Washington Post, 28 Aug. 2021 Their acknowledgment of the importance of the Stretch and Bobbito show is dope! Kyesha Jennings, Vulture, 8 Aug. 2021 There was our first load: a refrigerator box filled with 250 pounds of dope, standing sentinel in the dining room like an upright coffin. Norman Vanamee, Town & Country, 27 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Tough to dope out a week when the possibilities include four games in five days, or maybe a two-day break before a wild-card game, or the saddest scenario of all - see you next spring. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 1 Oct. 2021 To recover from the current opioid epidemic and to prevent others from occurring in the future, a broader reckoning is necessary and the structures that enabled the Sacklers to dope America need to be dismantled. Haider J. Warraich, STAT, 20 Sep. 2021 The next year, Maximum Security’s trainer, Jason Servis, was among 27 people charged by federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging scheme to secretly dope horses and cheat the betting public. New York Times, 2 June 2021 The next year, Maximum Security’s trainer, Jason Servis, was among the 27 people charged by federal prosecutors in a wide-ranging scheme to secretly dope horses and cheat the betting public. New York Times, 9 May 2021 Armstrong then confessed to doping in January 2013. Brent Schrotenboer, USA TODAY, 1 June 2020 The author of this open letter to baseball is Jonathan Vaughters, a former professional cyclist on teams including the United States Postal Service with Lance Armstrong, who admitted to doping in 2012. Jonathan Vaughters, WSJ, 14 Feb. 2020 The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) issued the ban because of RUSADA's failure to cooperate fully during probes into doping in Russian sport. Ben Church, CNN, 19 Dec. 2019 Rupp earned the win with his new coach, Mike Smith, after former coach Alberto Salazar received a four-year doping ban in 2019. Charles Odum,, 29 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The bride tries to find the most dramatic place to put that sucker so the wedding pics look dope-as-hell. Laura Beck, Cosmopolitan, 11 Sep. 2017

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


1786, in the meaning defined at sense 4a


1889, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3


1981, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for dope


Dutch doop sauce, from dopen to dip; akin to Old English dyppan to dip

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Learn More About dope

Dictionary Entries Near dope



dope fiend

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Statistics for dope

Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dope.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for dope


\ ˈdōp How to pronounce dope (audio) \

Kids Definition of dope

1 : an illegal drug
2 : a stupid person
3 : information What's the dope on the new kid?


\ ˈdōp How to pronounce dope (audio) \

Medical Definition of dope

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a preparation of an illicit, habit-forming, or narcotic drug (as opium, heroin, or marijuana)
b : a preparation given to a racehorse to help or hinder its performance
2 : a narcotic addict


doped; doping

Medical Definition of dope (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to give a narcotic to

intransitive verb

: to take dope

More from Merriam-Webster on dope

Nglish: Translation of dope for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dope for Arabic Speakers


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