\ ˈrō-pē How to pronounce ropy (audio) \
variants: or less commonly ropey
ropier; ropiest

Definition of ropy

1a : capable of being drawn into a thread : viscous also : tending to adhere in stringy masses
b : having a gelatinous or slimy quality from bacterial or fungal contamination ropy milk ropy flour
2a : resembling rope
3 slang : poor, lousy

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Other Words from ropy

ropiness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for ropy



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Examples of ropy in a Sentence

The passengers looked a bit ropy after the bumpy flight. because the paint was so old, it was ropy and couldn't be smoothly applied to the wood
Recent Examples on the Web With a rocker’s bleached-out shag, ropy arms vined with tattoos and jangly silver bracelets, and skintight jeans slashed by rips and rivets, Mr. Webb was a proudly resolute bearer of the punk-glam torch, even as the decades moved inexorably along. Penelope Green, New York Times, "Jimmy Webb, Purveyor of Punk Fashion, Is Dead at 62," 16 Apr. 2020 Nearly 2m Ukrainians have arrived since 2014, pushed by a ropy national economy and a war in the country’s east, and pulled by higher wages in Poland. The Economist, "Charlemagne Poland is cocking up migration in a very European way," 22 Feb. 2020 Calamari aren’t the usual thin threads of squid, but thick, ropy rectangles, piping hot and partnered with an Asian-inflected, peanut-tamarind-miso dipping sauce. Rand Richards Cooper,, "Review: Now in its third home, Metro Bis in Simsbury offers five-star harmony of setting, service and food," 18 Sep. 2019 Honda’s updates to the Fit’s suspension and steering for 2018 only slightly button down its ropy behavior. Alexander Stoklosa, Car and Driver, "2018 Honda Fit," 19 Jan. 2018 Pastas are a forceful presence on the tight menu, including ropy rye-flour bucatini coiling among fat fresh clams and chunks of pancetta. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "With Marisol inside the MCA, Jason Hammel paints a new canvas," 13 Dec. 2017

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

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The first known use of ropy was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Ropy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for ropy



English Language Learners Definition of ropy

: similar to rope : like rope in appearance
: in bad condition : of bad quality
: ill or unwell


variants: also ropey \ ˈrō-​pē How to pronounce ropy (audio) \
ropier; ropiest

Medical Definition of ropy

1 : capable of being drawn into a thread : viscous also : tending to adhere in stringy masses
2 : having a gelatinous or slimy quality from bacterial or fungal contamination ropy milk

Other Words from ropy

ropiness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on ropy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ropy

Britannica English: Translation of ropy for Arabic Speakers

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