Definition of dropper in English:



  • 1A short glass tube with a rubber bulb at one end and a tiny hole at the other, for measuring out drops of medicine or other liquids.

    ‘oils sold in bottles with a rubber-tipped dropper’
    ‘an eye dropper’
    • ‘When using liquid medication, use a calibrated dropper, medicine syringe or measuring spoon to insure that you are giving your child an accurate amount of medication.’
    • ‘I prefer syringes, but droppers (from chemists) are another method, albeit more troublesome.’
    • ‘With a medicine dropper, drop 20 drops of water inside the circle.’
    • ‘Small doses may need to be measured by a special dropper instead of a teaspoon.’
    • ‘Have the child lie on one side, and using a medicine dropper, put one to three drops into the ear.’
    • ‘He extracted a few drops of the green contents with the dropper and squeezed the drug into his coffee-Scotch mixture.’
    • ‘Rinse the dropper with hot water and dry with a clean tissue.’
    • ‘You would get less mercury in the dropper than you would water if you squeezed the bulb equally in both cases.’
    • ‘Using a medicine dropper, tongs, and tweezers, how long does it take to remove 30 grains of rice from the bark of a tree?’
    • ‘So (turning this into a marketing tool,) they sold the stuff as a kit, with empty capsules and a dropper to make your own dose.’
    • ‘This medicine is to be taken by mouth even if it comes in a dropper bottle.’
    • ‘She bit her lip and stuck a medicine dropper into the bottle, filling it with a quick squeeze.’
    • ‘Using a shoestring, a medicine dropper, and a sponge strip, how long does it take to get 10 ml of water from the graduated cylinder to the cup?’
    • ‘Don't buy essential oils with rubber glass dropper tops.’
    • ‘These medications are usually applied to the infected areas with a dropper or with your finger after a feeding.’
    • ‘When purchasing oils, be skeptical of oils that are bottled in clear glass or have a rubber dropper incorporated into its screw-top cap.’
    • ‘It's easy enough to put a piece of brass on the scale and use a medicine dropper to fill the case.’
    • ‘Great care must be taken when patients need ocular treatments in addition to other treatments contained in dropper bottles.’
    • ‘When doses of liquid iron supplement are applied with a dropper, the dose should be placed well back on the tongue, and followed with water or juice.’
    • ‘Get the kind with the little test tubes and droppers.’
  • 2Australian NZ South African A light vertical stave in a fence, especially a lath used to separate the wires of a wire fence.

    • ‘The galvanised steel fence dropper is the most convenient and easy to use fence dropper.’
    • ‘Do you require non-electric droppers, barbed wire, iowa pattern, soft wire or high tensile?’
  • 3Fishing
    A subsidiary line or loop of filament attached to a main line or leader.

    as modifier ‘a dropper line’
    • ‘My point fly is a heavy leaded nymph with a pheasant tail nymph on a dropper or tied in line some 12 inches above the heavy point fly.’
    • ‘Put the bulk shot or an olivette about 18 inches from the hook and a dropper about 8 inches from the hook.’
    • ‘I generally use this fly as a top dropper on a three fly cast, and I have found that it is a good one to use on a sinking line.’
    • ‘On weedy or messy bottoms, I often fish with a small nymph on a dropper about 18 inches from the booby.’
    • ‘One or two flies is normally quite sufficient for May loch style fishing and make sure droppers are well spaced so as to look unrelated.’


Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘a person who lets something drop’); dropper (sense 1) is first recorded in the late 19th century.