Mic Drop

An emphatic gesture signifying the end of a performance
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What does mic drop mean?

A mic drop is an emphatic and declarative gesture signifying the conclusion of a performance of note, often literally (or as if) dropping a microphone.

Where did mic drop come from?

Mic drop comes from the practice, initially (but not exclusively) among hip-hop artists, of finishing a performance or song by dropping the microphone. While the term was once employed in starkly literal fashion, it appears to have taken on sufficiently figurative status that actual microphones need not necessarily hit the floor.

How is mic drop used?

Mortal Man, the 16th and final track, is the ultimate mic drop, featuring an old interview with Tupac Shakur, edited so it sounds like the late rapper and Lamar are having a discussion about rich versus poor, the future of America and personal growth. Captivating. Heartbreaking. Triumphant.
— Sandra Sperounes, Edmonton Journal (Edmonton, Can.), 24 Mar. 2015

Kohli, never a man to underplay a piece of theatre, ran off in celebration, blowing kisses and mimicking Root's celebratory "mic drop" from the Headingley one-day international.
— Mike Atherton, The Times (London, Eng.), 2 Aug. 2018

At a December 2015 Kennedy Center Honors event, Franklin left her seat at the piano during a performance of "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" for Carole King. Then she dramatically dropped her fur coat to the stage floor, achieving a wow factor much greater than a mic drop.
— Julie Hinds, USA Today, 17 Aug. 2018

Could a vegan sushi roll serve as a mic drop?
— Jonathan Gold, The Los Angeles Times, 10 Mar. 2018

Update: This word was added in September 2023.

Words We're Watching talks about words we are increasingly seeing in use but that have not yet met our criteria for entry.