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coo·​per ˈkü-pər How to pronounce cooper (audio) ˈku̇- How to pronounce cooper (audio)
: one that makes or repairs wooden casks or tubs


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coopered; coopering ˈkü-p(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce cooper (audio)

transitive verb

: to work as a cooper on

intransitive verb

: to work at or do coopering

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Whiskey is next with barrels from a local cooper. Marc Bona, cleveland, 7 Mar. 2022 In 2016, Julien asked the local cooper, Tonnellerie Artisanale de Champagne, to make some oak barrels from staves that had been left to dry for four years, which is a year longer than for typical high-quality oak barrels (the longer the better some think). Per And Britt Karlsson, Forbes, 27 Dec. 2021 The company auctioned off many of items used at the office and event space, including a collection of cooper pots and Le Creuset cookware. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2022 Blacksmith, bakery, cooper, print and other shops will add to the project’s colonial ambiance. Mark Eddington, The Salt Lake Tribune, 18 July 2022 But this humble shop functions as a small cooperage, the place where master cooper Ramiro Herrera painstakingly builds, toasts and repairs fine oak wine barrels. Jess Lander, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 June 2022 Pinkerton, who’d immigrated to America from Scotland in 1842, was a cooper (maker of wooden casks and barrels) and abolitionist known for his populist views. Kellie B. Gormly, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Mar. 2022 The highlight for the group was a cooper's hawk perched on a branch and superbly camouflaged in the browns and tans of the marsh. Lindsey Botts, The Arizona Republic, 11 Feb. 2022 During the tour, visitors will learn about the past, present, and future of Bulleit's whiskeys with stops at the active barrel house, cooper shop and micro still-house. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, 11 Aug. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cooper.' 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 couper, cowper, from Middle Dutch cūper (from cūpe cask) or Middle Low German kūper, from kūpe cask; Middle Dutch cūpe & Middle Low German kūpe, from Latin cupa; akin to Greek kypellon cup — more at hive

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1720, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of cooper was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near cooper

Cite this Entry

“Cooper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a worker who makes or repairs wooden casks, tubs, or barrels

Biographical Definition

Cooper 1 of 4

biographical name (1)

Anthony Ashley see shaftesbury


2 of 4

biographical name (2)

Coo·​per ˈkü-pər How to pronounce Cooper (audio)
James Fen*i*more ˈfen-ə-ˌmȯr How to pronounce Cooper (audio) 1789–1851 American novelist


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biographical name (3)

Leon Neil 1930–     American physicist


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biographical name (4)

Peter 1791–1883 American manufacturer and philanthropist
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