noun (1)
\ ˈtäp How to pronounce top (audio) \

Definition of top

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1a(1) : the highest point, level, or part of something : summit, crown
(2) : a garment worn on the upper body
(3) : the head of a plant especially : the aboveground part of a plant having edible roots beet tops
(4) : the head or top of the head used especially in the phrase top to toe
b(1) : the highest or uppermost region or part
(2) : the upper end, edge, or surface
2 : a fitted, integral, or attached part or unit serving as an upper piece, lid, or covering
3a(1) : the highest position (as in rank or achievement)
(2) : a person or thing at the top
b tops plural : aces and kings in a hand or the three highest honors in a suit
4a : the part that is nearest in space or time to the source or beginning
b : the first half of an inning in baseball
5a : the highest degree or pitch conceivable or attained : acme, pinnacle
b : the loudest or highest range of a sound
6 : the choicest part : cream, pick
7a : a platform surrounding the head of a lower mast that serves to spread the topmast rigging, strengthen the mast, and furnish a standing place for men aloft
b : a comparable part of the superstructure especially : such a part on a warship used as a fire-control station or antiaircraft gun platform
8 : a forward spin given to a ball (as in golf or billiards) by striking it on or near the top or above the center also : the stroke so given
9 : a fundamental quark that has an electric charge of + 2/3 and a measured energy of approximately 175 GeV also : the flavor characterizing this particle
off the top of one's head
: in an impromptu manner sat down and wrote the … story off the top of his head— Jerome Beatty, Jr.
on top of
1a : in control of acted like a man on top of his jobNewsweek
b : informed about tried to keep on top of new developments
2 : in sudden and unexpected proximity to the deadline was on top of them
3 : in addition to
on top of the world
: in a position of eminent success, happiness, or fame
over the top
: beyond the bounds of what is expected, usual, normal, or appropriate



Definition of top (Entry 2 of 5)

1 : of, relating to, or being at the top : uppermost
2 : chief, leading one of the world's top journalists
3 : of the highest quality, amount, or degree top value top form


topped; topping

Definition of top (Entry 3 of 5)

transitive verb

1a : to be or become higher than : overtop tops the previous record
b : to be superior to : excel, surpass
c : to gain ascendancy over : dominate
2a : to cover with a top or on the top : provide, form, or serve as a top for
b : to supply with a decorative or protective finish or final touch
c : to resupply or refill to capacity usually used with off topped off the tank
d : to complete the basic structure of (something, such as a high-rise building) by putting on a cap or uppermost section usually used with out or off
e : to bring to an end or climax usually used with off the event was topped off with a relay race— Paula Rodenas
3 : to remove or cut the top of especially : to shorten or remove the top of (a plant) : pinch sense 1b
4a : to rise to, reach, or be at the top of
b : to go over the top of : clear, surmount
5 : to strike (a ball) above the center thereby imparting topspin

intransitive verb

1 : to make an end, finish, or conclusion
2 : to reach a summit or crest usually used with off or out


noun (2)

Definition of top (Entry 4 of 5)

: a commonly cylindrical or conoidal device that has a tapering point on which it is made to spin and that is used especially as a toy
variants: or topo-

Definition of top- (Entry 5 of 5)

1 : place : locality topology toponymy
2 : topology topoisomerase

Other Words from top

Noun (1)

topped \ ˈtäpt How to pronounce top- (audio) \ adjective

Examples of top in a Sentence

Adjective They live on the top floor of the building. the top news story of the day the country's top three car manufacturers He is among the top pitchers of the league. Safety is our top concern. The winner showed top form. Houses are selling at top prices. What is the car's top speed? Verb Donations are expected to top $1,000,000 by the end of the month. The song has topped the charts for seven weeks. They topped the other company's offer. She tops everyone else on the team. I've seen some pretty weird things in my life—but that tops everything! See More

First Known Use of top

Noun (1)

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


1556, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1509, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for top

Noun (1)

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German zopf tip, tuft of hair

Noun (2)

Middle English, from Old English

Combining form

Greek, from topos

Learn More About top

Time Traveler for top

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Top.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for top


\ ˈtäp How to pronounce top (audio) \

Kids Definition of top

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : the highest point, level, or part of something the top of the hill
2 : the upper end, edge, or surface The glass was filled to the top.
3 : an upper piece, lid, or covering Put the top on the jar.
4 : the highest position She ranks at the top of her class.
5 : a garment worn on the upper part of the body
6 : the stalk and leaves of a plant and especially of one with roots that are used for food beet tops


topped; topping

Kids Definition of top (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : to cover with or be covered with ice cream topped with chocolate sauce
2 : to go over the top of After topping the hill we needed a rest.
3 : to be better than or exceed Some odd things have happened, but this tops all.
4 : to remove or cut the top of Workers topped the tree.



Kids Definition of top (Entry 3 of 4)

: relating to or being at the top top students



Kids Definition of top (Entry 4 of 4)

: a child's toy with a tapering point on which it can be made to spin

More from Merriam-Webster on top

Nglish: Translation of top for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of top for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about top


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