Definition of chops in English:


plural noun

  • 1A person's or animal's mouth or jaws.

    ‘a smack in the chops’
    • ‘Realizing now was time for action, he rolled from the snapping ivory teeth, the chops nipping at his feet as he narrowly escaped.’
    • ‘For toddlers, there are special little ones for hands and faces, just in case you contemplate wiping a sibling's jam-smeared chops with a wipe designed for their baby brother's bottom.’
    • ‘The beast sneered at the cut on the man's shoulder and licked its chops.’
    • ‘His chops curled back to reveal the fangs, laid-back yet potentially lethal.’
    • ‘Old or not, he replied testily, that little shark was about to sink his chops into my leg.’
    • ‘One can almost imagine Davis, under the window, telephoto lens extended, chops licked, ready for the fashion pounce.’
    • ‘More recently the same liberals have, of course, been publicly licking their unseemly chops at his widely publicized personal setbacks.’
    1. 1.1A person's cheeks.
      ‘his wobbling chops’
      • ‘Much as I'm a fan of Victoriana, I draw the line at Dickensian chops.’
      • ‘He trots his portly frame around the house, running up every day to say good morning to Mia and every day getting his chops slapped for his trouble.’
      • ‘And every morning she slaps him right across the chops.’
      • ‘Ever since Salome strutted her stuff for a plateful of chops (those would be the rather bristly chops of John the Baptist), women have recognised their power.’
      • ‘If I could actually prove that he was a bigot I would be minded to slap him one round the chops.’
      • ‘Griffiths said words were unnecessary as he had administered a swift hand to the chops of the new world number one.’
  • 2The technical skill of a jazz or rock musician.

    ‘when I'm on tour my chops go down’
    • ‘What the band lacks in originality (not to mention coherence and subtlety), it more than makes up for with committed chops and indefatigable energy.’
    • ‘Nat was another person who combined great jazz chops with popularity.’
    • ‘These guys are demanding attention and they can get away with being arrogant because this album has the chops to prove it.’
    • ‘There's no doubting the chops of Holland and his big band, but the songs and vocal efforts are a mixed bag of goods.’
    • ‘More than that, he made a decent record, one that might betray his lack of metal songwriting chops, but also his utter sincerity about playing this music for anyone within earshot.’
    • ‘Also, the trio has not completely figured out how to use its dazzling chops effectively without interfering with the main objective: to communicate with the listener.’
    • ‘No flash in the pan, no gimmick needed, they back up their chops with integrity and experience.’
    • ‘Earlier albums such as ‘Images and Words’ showed they had the chops, even though some of the songs turned into poorly-structured jams.’
    • ‘They are a talented rock band, a post-rock group cut loose from the Chicago school, their chops honed to indie perfection.’
    • ‘His blues are powerful without being mawkish, his jazz adept and tasteful, his funk chops always an example to others.’
    • ‘The album's real strengths lay in the exploratory solo songs, which blended old soul vocals, horns, guitars and super-tight drum chops into seamless concoctions that often had the feel of a real band.’
    • ‘The version of ‘Sombrero Sam’, however, really allows Emerson's funky keyboard chops to come to the fore.’
    • ‘On record, O'Callaghan is a delight, setting her classically-trained chops loose on a dizzying blend of cabaret, jazz and sophisticated pop.’
    • ‘Some of my favorite albums consist of campfire singalongs by bands with modest acoustic guitar chops, cute names and even cuter accents.’
    • ‘His youth becomes a complete non-issue literally from the get-go, as he displays incredible chops on both acoustic and electric guitar and on the piano.’
    • ‘They're not young men anymore, but Jackson and Co. still have solid chops and plenty of stamina, relying on themselves and no outside musicians, just like the old days.’
    • ‘His growth has never been in question, exploding with complicated chops and orchestrations on every album.’
    • ‘Regardless, Nastasia is an artist worth following, possessing the chops and songwriting skills to justify a long and fruitful career.’
    • ‘Once possessing a powerful rebel yell and some melodic chops, this aging punk rocker offers up a bland collection of songs.’
    • ‘The band's jazz chops are quite apparent in Garcia's tasteful playing and Phil Lesh's lead bass licks.’


  • bust one's chops

    • informal Exert oneself.

      ‘you've been busting your chops today’
      • ‘I came into university division coaching with the same mentality, different method, but going in the same direction where I wanted people to have fun, but I also wanted people to bust their chops to swim fast.’
      • ‘If anything, you mainlanders are busting your chops to get here and spend your loot on our cheaper property and housing markets; some in excess of $200,000 cheaper than anything in Melbourne or Sydney.’
      • ‘‘They busted their chops to get their bid together,’ he said of the local government.’
      • ‘Their educational credentials range from Berkeley to New York, and all have busted their chops extensively playing every kind of gig imaginable - from rock bands to jazz troupes, from symphonies to bluegrass bands.’
      • ‘I've been training twice a day all year, busting my chops basically to make this team and now it's happened I'm stoked.’
      make an effort, try hard, strive, endeavour, apply oneself, do one's best, do all one can, do one's utmost, give one's all, make every effort, spare no effort, be at pains, put oneself out
      View synonyms
  • bust someone's chops

    • informal Nag or criticize someone.

      ‘I'm not busting your chops over this’
      • ‘You can't bust my chops for telling him about the place.’
      • ‘Passport control officers entered the train, and immediately started busting the chops of everyone in our cabin.’
      • ‘‘You used to be the one busting my chops,’ Steve told Maria.’
      • ‘On that score, as long as I have him on the line, I feel it's my duty to bust his chops a bit on behalf of crestfallen kids everywhere.’
      • ‘‘If one of us was lagging, the other three would bust his chops about it,’ says Yancey.’
      • ‘That's all I need, having the boss watch my every move so he can bust my chops.’
      • ‘I know I bust your chops a lot, but you're a real good kid.’
      • ‘Larry and Mimi have lots of help and support to offer if and when I need it, and they don't bust my chops when I don't.’
      • ‘Look, I know I've been really hard on you in the past, and I've busted your chops for a lot of things that really weren't your fault.’
      • ‘I'll stop busting your chops about Dante, I swear.’
      • ‘So as part of the customer service team, it will be your job to make prank calls to these companies and to basically ‘bust their chops’.’
      • ‘Not that he shies from making contact - actually, he's quite the opposite of shy - but if he does, it'll be to bust the chops of some poor wide receiver.’
      • ‘And you will bust your kid's chops if he or she screws it up.’


Late Middle English: variant of chap.