noun, often attributive
\ ˈdräp How to pronounce drop (audio) \

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 [drop entry 2]
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 [drop entry 2] : 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 outdrop 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 downWe 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 offdrop 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from drop


droppable \ ˈdrä-​pə-​bəl How to pronounce droppable (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for drop

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of drop in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Nikon W300 Underwater Camera for $297 ($56 off): Nikon's rugged W300 is waterproof to 30 meters, shockproof on drops from up to 8 feet, and will generally take a beating and not complain. Wired, "Our Favorite Weekend Deals on Cameras, Laptops, and More," 9 Nov. 2019 The third quarter results translated into a loss per share of 18 cents, a drop from the loss per share of 15 cents during the same time period last year. Sergio Chapa, Houston Chronicle, "Tellurian grows revenue from Haynesville Shale wells," 7 Nov. 2019 That often causes our temperature to spike just before a big temperature drop. Chris Bianchi, The Denver Post, "Colorado weather: What’s with these sudden temperature drops?," 7 Nov. 2019 Opium is the 19th-century weed and everyone in the party takes a couple — okay a few drops. Kristin Vartan, EW.com, "The Dickinson recap binge guide: Episodes 1-5," 6 Nov. 2019 According to an Amnesty International global report on death sentences and executions, Iran executed 256 people in 2018, which was actually a significant drop from the 507 people sentenced to death in 2017. Fox News, "How Iran imposes strict adherence to Islamic law with severe, inhuman punishment," 2 Nov. 2019 Only the four-bedroom-and-up market fell further, with a 17 percent drop. New York Times, "It’s a Buyers’ Market for Two-Bedrooms," 1 Nov. 2019 McCormick was one of many state leaders advocating for a one-year reprieve from consequences for schools and teachers after the ILEARN results — showing a precipitous drop from the previous year's ISTEP test — began circulating. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "Teacher bonuses won't be hurt by poor ILEARN scores," 29 Oct. 2019 The company saw a steep drop at its DirecTV business, losing more than 1.1 million customers. BostonGlobe.com, "AT&T CEO to stay on for another year after challenge from activist fund - The Boston Globe," 29 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Shurmur, on the other hand, dropped to 7-19 (.269) in two and a half seasons with the Giants. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, "Week 10 winners, losers: Saints implode in stunning loss; Eagles win without playing," 12 Nov. 2019 South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.6% to 2,124.09 while the Sensex in India lost 0.4% to 40,169.81. Washington Post, "Asian shares decline on renewed China-US trade worries," 11 Nov. 2019 As a result, the average daily jail population dropped from 1,175 to 864. Author: Sydney Brownstone, Anchorage Daily News, "Outside of Seattle, homelessness drives change at the ballot box," 10 Nov. 2019 According to the National Weather Service, Boston was only 28 degrees just after 4 a.m. In Worcester, the temperature dropped to 15 degrees Saturday morning, tying with the record low set for Nov. 9 in 1971. BostonGlobe.com, "Early Saturday morning, temperatures dipped into the mid- to upper teens across Western Massachusetts and the lower to mid-20s elsewhere — some of the lowest temperatures in the state since last March.," 9 Nov. 2019 But because so many pupils had relocated, Paradise High School dropped to a lower classification and cobbled together an independent schedule, unable to join a conference. NBC News, "Paradise regained: A year after the Camp Fire, a resilient town rebuilds," 8 Nov. 2019 Bike deaths dropped from 5 deaths last year to 3 so far this year, including the one last week. Mary Wisniewski, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago traffic fatalities are down so far this year. Is it luck, or is the city’s ‘Vision Zero’ policy making a difference?," 8 Nov. 2019 The man, who was still holding the gun, dropped to the ground motionless as officers fired three more gunshots, the video shows. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "East Cleveland police fatally shoot man during rape investigation, police say," 5 Nov. 2019 The loss dropped the Wings to 4-11-1 and inflated their NHL-worst goal differential to minus-29. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings destroyed, Jimmy Howard pulled in soft 2nd period of 6-1 loss," 5 Nov. 2019

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.

See More

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

Noun and Verb

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about drop

Statistics for drop

Last Updated

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for drop

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for drop


How to pronounce drop (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of drop

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a very small amount of liquid that falls in a rounded shape
informal : 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 How to pronounce drop (audio) \

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 How to pronounce drop (audio) \

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)

transitive verb

1 of an animal : to give birth to lambs dropped in June
2 : to take (a drug) orally drop acid

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on drop

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for drop

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with drop

Spanish Central: Translation of drop

Nglish: Translation of drop for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of drop for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about drop

Comments on drop

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


to engage in dissolute behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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