noun (1)
\ ˈsläp How to pronounce slop (audio) \

Definition of slop

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a loose smock or overall
2 slops plural : short full breeches worn by men in the 16th century
3 slops plural : articles (such as clothing) sold to sailors


noun (2)

Definition of slop (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : soft mud : slush
2 : thin tasteless drink or liquid food usually used in plural
3 : liquid spilled or splashed
4a : food waste (such as garbage) fed to animals : swill sense 2a
b : excreted body waste usually used in plural
c : a product of little or no value : rubbish watching the usual slop on TV
5 : sentimental effusiveness in speech or writing : gush


slopped; slopping

Definition of slop (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to spill from a container
b : to splash or spill liquid on
c : to cause (a liquid) to splash
2 : to dish out messily
3 : to eat or drink greedily or noisily
4 : to feed slop to slop the hogs

intransitive verb

1 : to tramp in mud or slush
2 : to become spilled or splashed
3 : to be effusive : gush
4 : to pass beyond or exceed a boundary or limit

Synonyms for slop

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of slop in a Sentence

Verb She slopped coffee on her sweater. Huge waves slopped water into the boat.

First Known Use of slop

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1557, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for slop

Noun (1)

Middle English slop, sloppe "loose outer garment," going back to Old English -slop, in oferslop "loose outer garment, surplice," going back to Germanic *slupa- (whence also Middle Dutch slop "upper garment [as a priest's surplice]," overslop "upper garment, foreskin," Middle High German slopf, slupf "loop, noose," Old Icelandic sloppr "loose garment, vestment"), probably going back to an ablauting n-stem paradigm *slaubōn- (nominative), *sluppas (genitive), going back to Indo-European *slou̯bh-ōn-, *slubh-n-ós, derivative of the verbal base *sleu̯bh- "move easily, slip" — more at sleeve

Noun (2)

of uncertain origin

Note: This word has traditionally been traced back to Middle English sloppes, attested once, in the alliterative Morte Arthure (ca. 1440), and then further traced to Old English -sloppe in cusloppe, a variant of cūslyppe cowslip, in which -sloppe is taken to mean "dung, excrement." The passage in the Morte Arthure in which sloppes occurs describes Arthur and his knights disembarking from boats and wading ashore: "Londis als a lyon with lordliche knyghtes, / Slippes in the sloppes o slante to þe girdyll" (lines 3922-23). The Middle English Dictionary tentatively defines the word as "muddy waters." Note that it forms an alliterative pair with slippes, from which it differs only by a vowel. No further attestations of slop appear before the seventeenth century, and then again often paired with slip. The sense "medicine in the form of a tasteless drink or liquid food" occurs in 1658 as slops, in 1668 as slip-slops. Though slip-slop has been taken as a compound based on slop, the possibility that the compound is actually based on slip suggests itself—in which case slop would be an affective coinage that may have been made more than once and is not datable to Old English. Compare slop entry 3.


probably derivative of slop entry 2

Note: The sense "to lap up," attested since the sixteenth century, may be of independent origin. The Oxford English Dictionary's citation from Thomas Tusser's A Hundreth Good Pointes of Husbandrie, printed in 1557 ("Their milke slapt in corners, their creame al to sost"), placed under the sense "to spill or splash (liquid)," is 250 years earlier than the next citation and probably an instance of a different word (slab?).

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The first known use of slop was in the 14th century

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slop around/about

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Cite this Entry

“Slop.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for slop


\ ˈsläp How to pronounce slop (audio) \

Kids Definition of slop

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : thin tasteless drink or liquid food
2 : food waste or gruel fed to animals
3 : body waste
4 : soft mud


slopped; slopping

Kids Definition of slop (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to spill or spill something on or over The toddler slopped gravy on the table.
2 : to feed slop to The farmer slopped the pigs.

More from Merriam-Webster on slop

Nglish: Translation of slop for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slop for Arabic Speakers


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