1 of 2


: an easy natural gait of a horse resembling a canter
: an easy usually bounding gait capable of being sustained for a long time


2 of 2


loped; loping

intransitive verb

: to move or ride at a lope
loper noun

Examples of lope in a Sentence

Verb The horses loped easily across the fields. He went loping up the hill. The outfielder loped after the ball.
Recent Examples on the Web
Recounting this memory at the house in Braddock, Fetterman pauses our conversation and lopes back to the bedroom to retrieve the Post-its. Molly Ball, Time, 20 July 2023 The pop mélange builds to a lope then decelerates for the chorus, all while retaining enormous swagger. Melissa Ruggieri, USA TODAY, 12 May 2023 Reum, a boyish and buoyant Midwesterner in navy sweats, lopes into the room to check on his wife. Alex Morris, Rolling Stone, 14 Mar. 2023 That impression is compounded when a lone wolf lopes into the frame, the blood on its snout indicating a recent kill. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Feb. 2023 Stalking the thrust stage of the Griffin Theater at the Shed with an awkward lope, his mouth fixed in a perpetual grimace, Fiennes applies a hypnotic antiheroic varnish to the man who remade New York’s byways, parklands and beachfronts. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2022 In between construction sites, Riddle turned his head to watch a coyote lope across the road. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, 29 June 2022 The bear passed before him at a lope, 50 yards away. National Geographic, 19 May 2017
In the distance, the Mustang Mountains loped across the horizon. Gina Decaprio Vercesi, Travel + Leisure, 27 Oct. 2023 Some 12,000 years ago, judging from archeological remains, these gray wolves loped into the lives of our hunter-gatherer forebears and then, over the millennia, gave rise to all the fantastic dog shapes and sizes that populate the planet today. Rosie Mestel, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 The band’s twangy guitar sounds, droning vocals and loping rhythms mesh perfectly with the often atonal score composed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and sound designer Ren Klyce’s unsettling soundscape, which features subsonic, insectoid rumbles that may induce Havana Syndrome in some viewers. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2023 Ahead of her a coyote loped across the street with something in its mouth. Hazlitt, 30 Aug. 2023 The car is comfy when loping along and predictable when wrung out. Sam Smith, Car and Driver, 25 Aug. 2023 Distant Relatives builds on that album’s sound, with Nas flowing confidently over loping grooves produced by Damian and his brother Stephen Marley. Al Shipley, Spin, 18 Aug. 2023 Hurtig, a lanky forward with a prow of bright-blond hair, loped toward the ball and sent a low, hard shot. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, 6 Aug. 2023 Matheny will play an opening set, then strap on a bass and contribute to Miller’s relaxed, loping country-rock sound. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 12 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lope.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English loup, lope leap, probably from Old Norse hlaup; akin to Old English hlēapan to leap — more at leap

First Known Use


1809, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1825, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lope was in 1809

Dictionary Entries Near lope

Cite this Entry

“Lope.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lope. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: an easy leaping way of moving
lope verb
loper noun

More from Merriam-Webster on lope

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