noun, often attributive
\ˈdräp \

Definition of drop 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a(1) : the quantity of fluid that falls in one spherical mass a drop of rain

(2) drops plural : a dose of medicine measured by drops eye drops for dilating the pupil of the eye

b : a minute quantity or degree of something nonmaterial or intangible not a drop of meanness in her

c : a small quantity of drink hasn't touched a drop of alcohol in three years

d : the smallest practical unit of liquid measure

2 : something that resembles a liquid drop: such as

a : a pendent ornament attached to a piece of jewelry also : an earring with such a pendant

b : a small globular cookie or candy sucking on lemon drops

3 [ 2drop ]

a : the act or an instance of dropping : fall a sudden, short drop in an elevator

b : a decline in quantity or quality His income took a sudden drop. a drop in demand

c : a descent by parachute also : the people or equipment dropped by parachute expecting another drop this week

d : a place or central depository to which something (such as mail, money, or stolen property) is brought for distribution or transmission left the package at the drop also : the act of depositing something at such a place made the drop

4a : the distance from a higher to a lower level or through which something drops It's a twenty-foot drop from the top of the fence. a steep drop

b electrical engineering : a decrease in electric potential (see potential entry 2 sense 2b)

5 : a slot into which something is to be dropped

6 [ 2drop ] : something that drops, hangs, or falls: such as

a : a movable plate that covers the keyhole of a lock

b : an unframed piece of cloth stage scenery also : drop curtain

c : a hinged platform on a gallows

d : a fallen fruit

7 : the advantage of having an opponent covered (see cover entry 1 sense 1b(2)) with a firearm broadly : advantage, superiority usually used in the phrase get the drop on waiting to get the drop on me

8 : a move back from the line of scrimmage (as in preparation for making a forward pass) a quick drop

at the drop of a hat

: as soon as the slightest provocation is given : immediately loses her temper at the drop of a hat

drop in the bucket

: a part so small as to be negligible


dropped; dropping

Definition of drop (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to fall in drops

2a(1) : to fall (see fall entry 1 sense 1a) unexpectedly or suddenly The book dropped from her hand.

(2) : to descend (see descend sense 1) from one line or level to another the land drops to sea level

b : to fall in a state of collapse (see collapse entry 2 sense 1b) or death dropped from exhaustion

c of a playing card : to become played by reason of the obligation to follow suit

d : to fall or roll into a hole or basket

3 : to enter or pass as if without conscious effort of will (see will entry 2 sense 4a) into some state, condition, or activity dropped into sleep

4a : to cease to be of concern : lapse let the matter drop

b : to pass from view or notice : disappear often used with out drop out of sight

c : to become less production dropped often used with off

5 nautical : to move with a favoring wind or current usually used with down We dropped down the harbor.

transitive verb

1 : to let fall : cause to fall dropped the ball dropping bombs on the city

2a : give up sense 2, abandon drop an idea drop the charges

b : discontinue dropped what she was doing

c : to break off an association or connection with : dismiss drop her old friends was dropped by his sponsors students who dropped the class

3a : to utter or mention in a casual way drop a suggestion drop names

b : write drop us a line soon

4a : to lower or cause to descend from one level or position to another drop the hem two inches drop the water level

b : to cause to lessen or decrease : reduce dropped his speed

5 of an animal : to give birth to

6a : lose dropped three games dropped $50 in a poker game

b : spend drop $20 for lunch

c : to get rid of dropped 20 pounds

7a : to bring down with a shot or a blow dropped the buck with one shot dropping the world champion in the ring

b card games : to cause a cardholder to unwillingly play (a high card) dropped her ace

c : to toss or roll into a hole or basket drop a putt

8a : to deposit or deliver during a usually brief stop usually used with off drop the kids off at school

b : air-drop drop the supplies to the medical team

9 : to cause (the voice) to be less loud

10a linguistics : to leave (a letter representing a speech sound) unsounded drop the g in running

b : to leave out in writing : omit accidentally dropped a whole line

11 : to draw from an external point drop a perpendicular to the line

12 : to take (a drug) orally : swallow drop acid

drop a dime

: to inform authorities (such as the police) of another's wrongdoing

drop behind

: to fail to keep up

drop the ball

: to make a mistake especially by failing to take timely, effective, or proper action

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Other Words from drop


droppable \ ˈdrä-​pə-​bəl \ adjective

Examples of drop in a Sentence


He squeezed the bottle until a few drops came out. She doesn't have a single drop of selfishness in her. The poet wrings the last drop of meaning from every word.


Be careful not to drop the chair on your foot. She dropped the apple core into the trash can. They dropped bombs on the city. He dropped the vase and it shattered into pieces. The player dropped the ball. The pen rolled to the edge of the table and dropped to the floor. The book dropped from my hand. The ball dropped between the right and center fielders. She was so tired she felt she would drop. He worked until he dropped.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Part of this is due to the fact that more couples, like the Obamas, are trying to get pregnant at older ages, when the odds of conception drop. Julia Belluz, Vox, "Why Michelle Obama’s revelation that she had a miscarriage and did IVF matters," 9 Nov. 2018 But before the squad’s plane reaches their drop point, it’s strafed with enemy fire. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Overlord is a gloriously entertaining piece of B-movie schlock," 9 Nov. 2018 Our schools were old and in bad condition, with high drop-out — or push-out — rates, and racist administrators and teachers. Araceli Cruz, Teen Vogue, "The Brown Berets, as Explained by Founding Member Dr. David Sanchez," 15 Oct. 2018 Behind such cover, drop teams have to rely on instruments only. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The C-130J Super Hercules Is Ready for the Worst," 9 Oct. 2018 Isabella is drop-dead beautiful and would leave any girl in the shade. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Who Is Isabella Calthorpe? What You Need to Know About Prince William's Rumored Former Crush," 23 Sep. 2018 There, the president fell in love with her drop scones, so much so that the Queen sent him her recipe a few months later. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "A Look Back at All of Queen Elizabeth's Presidential Meetings," 13 July 2018 It's been a tough year for the company, which saw its stock drop from a 52-week high of $81.09 early in the year to Wednesday's low point. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Analysts: Papa John's better off without a key ingredient — the founder," 12 July 2018 Stocks in Asia rose after China’s central bank guided the yuan to its largest one-day drop against the U.S. dollar in a year-and-a-half. Michael Wursthorn, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Regain Ground After Losses," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Fowler also was arrested in 2016, although those charges were eventually dropped. Mark Long, The Seattle Times, "Jaguars trade pass-rusher Fowler to Rams for 2 draft picks," 31 Oct. 2018 Now, remaining charges against him from a separate case could be dropped. Denise Garcia, Teen Vogue, "Pedro Hernandez, Bail-Reform Poster Boy, Will Have His Remaining Charges Dropped If He Completes a Semester of College," 10 Oct. 2018 Since the raid, he's dropped more than 100 pounds (thanks to weight loss surgery) and become engaged. Becky Bracken, Real Estate News and Advice | Realtor.com®, "'Pawn Stars' Star Chumlee Cuts Price on His Las Vegas Party Pad," 2 Oct. 2018 And so these guys just left, dropped the mic and left. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why Snap will get acquired before 2020, probably by Amazon," 28 Sep. 2018 Ecology undergraduate researcher Karen Wang drops her fine-mesh bee net, whips out a small recorder and leans in to observe Yellow 54 climbing into the bluebell’s long tubular blooms. Kristin Ohlson, Discover Magazine, "How Cheaters Prosper," 28 Sep. 2018 Design by Morgan McMullen Please pull out your meditation app and take deep, slow breaths, because a bombshell was just dropped over the beauty world: Urban Decay is discontinuing its Naked palette. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "The Urban Decay Naked Palette Is Officially Being Discontinued," 23 Aug. 2018 And Hayabusa2 will drop three small rovers onto patches of the space rock's northern hemisphere, so a southern site for the 22-lb. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Landing Site on Asteroid Ryugu Chosen for Japan's Hayabusa2 Mission," 23 Aug. 2018 Other cities, like Nashville, Denver, and Minneapolis, stood by helplessly as hundreds of scooters were dropped onto their streets. Shoshana Wodinsky, The Verge, "New York City is the perfect scooter market, but it’s also the most impossible," 11 Aug. 2018

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


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


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

History and Etymology for drop


Middle English, from Old English dropa; akin to Old High German tropfo drop


see drop entry 1

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Statistics for drop

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for drop

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

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More Definitions for drop



English Language Learners Definition of drop

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a very small amount of liquid that falls in a rounded shape

: a small amount of a drink

: a small amount of something (such as a quality)



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

: to let (something) fall

: to fall

: to lie down or fall down suddenly


\ˈdräp \

Kids Definition of drop

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a small amount of liquid that falls in a rounded shape

2 drops plural : liquid medicine measured by drops ear drops

3 : something (as a small round candy) that is shaped like a liquid drop

4 : a small amount I'll have just a drop of tea.

5 : the distance of a fall a 20-foot drop

6 : a decrease in amount or quality a drop in sales

7 : an act of delivering something : a place where something is left to be picked up a mail drop


dropped; dropping

Kids Definition of drop (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to fall or let fall often by accident I dropped my ice cream cone!

2 : to go down suddenly The cliff drops straight down.

3 : to go or make lower The temperature dropped. He dropped his voice.

4 : to become less or make less Business has dropped.

6 : disappear sense 1 They dropped out of sight.

7 : to stop or let end Let the matter drop.

8 : quit Don't drop out of school.

9 : to make a brief visit We dropped in on a friend.

10 : to deliver with a quick stop Mom dropped us off at school.

11 : send sense 1 Drop me a note.

drop off

: to fall asleep


\ˈdräp \

Medical Definition of drop 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the quantity of fluid that falls in one spherical mass

b drops plural : a dose of medicine measured by drops eye drops for dilating the pupil of the eye

2 : the smallest practical unit of liquid measure that varies in size according to the specific gravity and viscosity of the liquid and to the conditions under which it is formed — compare minim


dropped; dropping

Medical Definition of drop (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to fall in drops

transitive verb

1 of an animal : to give birth to lambs dropped in June

2 : to take (a drug) orally drop acid

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