Main definitions of top in English

: top1top2

top1

noun

  • 1[usually in singular] The highest or uppermost point, part, or surface of something:

    ‘Doreen stood at the top of the stairs’
    ‘fill the cup almost to the top’
    [in combination] ‘the springy turf of the clifftop’
    • ‘Only a few healthy leaves will remain at the top of the plant until it eventually dies.’
    • ‘Cut a cross in the top of each fig and press its shoulders with your fingers and thumbs so that it opens out like a flower.’
    • ‘The redhead was more composed, sitting cross-legged in a way that only just allowed the kilt to cover the tops of her thighs, hands in her lap to prevent me getting a better view.’
    • ‘His eyes shot up to the tops of the trees and widened.’
    • ‘One day he carried my little trike to the top of the stairs and told me it would be great fun if I rode it to the bottom.’
    • ‘I feel a few gentle taps on the top of my head, and look up to see a man looking down at me.’
    • ‘Leave the stock in a fridge or cool place, ideally overnight, so the stock turns to jelly and the fat sets hard on the top.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, Sabrina was nearing the top of the stairs.’
    • ‘He kissed the top of her head and put his other arm around her.’
    • ‘It was Ellen, standing at the top of the stairs with her arms crossed in front of her.’
    • ‘By the time I reached the top of the hill the object had disappeared.’
    • ‘Fill the moulds to just under the top, and bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until puffed up and springy to the touch.’
    • ‘He kissed the top of my head and ran his hand over my hair.’
    • ‘Grill the bread on both sides and spread the top thickly with mustard.’
    • ‘No one spoke for a while until they reached the top of a hill.’
    • ‘He tugged his hat down, covering the tops of his ears and his eyebrows.’
    • ‘Although, it's getting noticeably warmer, the mountain tops are still covered in snow.’
    • ‘She made it to the top of the stairs and turned into a corridor and tapped on his door.’
    • ‘He had been shot in the top of the right thigh and the bullet was still in his leg.’
    • ‘The two policemen positioned themselves at the top of an escalator, drew their batons and shouted at the fans to get back.’
    summit, peak, pinnacle, crest, crown, brow, brink, ridge, head, highest part, highest point, mountaintop, tip, apex, vertex, acme, apogee
    upper part, upper surface, upper layer
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1usually tops The leaves, stems, and shoots of a plant, especially those of a vegetable grown for its root:
      ‘some growers snip off the carrot's green tops in the field’
      • ‘Add mulch to control soil temperatures and insulate roots in winter; the tops may freeze.’
      • ‘All of the above aquatic plants grow with roots submerged and tops floating on the water, but some aquatics actually float, roots and all, like little boats.’
      • ‘Cut back perennials to within 8 to 10 inches of the ground after the tops die back or leave them uncut for protection against the cold.’
      • ‘Remove the tops of the beets and set aside to use in another dish.’
      • ‘When the tops of the carrots grow thicker, thin them to about two to three inches apart.’
      • ‘Clematis prefer a neutral to slightly alkaline soil, so add lime if your soil is on the acidic side. Keep the roots shaded and the tops in sun.’
      • ‘The tops were planted where the sailors landed and by the late 1500s, pineapple was widespread in the tropics.’
      • ‘Marijuana or marihuana is a drug obtained from the flowering tops, stems, and leaves of the hemp plant (cannabis sativa).’
      • ‘To prepare radishes for serving, wash them to remove any lingering dirt, and pinch or slice off the tops and any hairy roots.’
      • ‘To frill the ends, cut off the roots and all but about three inches of the green tops.’
      • ‘Roots are harvested in the fall when the tops have gone to seed and the plants have experienced a couple of hard frosts.’
      • ‘The light should always be kept two to three inches from the tops of the seedlings and they should be exposed for approximately 15 or more hours a day.’
      • ‘It is made from the leaves and flowering tops of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa, which contains psychoactive substances called cannabinoids.’
      • ‘Be sure to pinch back the flowering tops of basil plants to keep them from going to seed too early in the season.’
      • ‘Harvest the bulbs when the tops fall over, and dry them off in the sun or a shed for at least a week before removing the tops.’
      leaves, shoots, stem, stalk
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2British The uppermost creamy layer of milk.
      • ‘Use a large spoon or dipper to take the cream from the top of the milk.’
      • ‘I think homogenisation was invented for people like me who hated the blob of cream on the top of the milk.’
      • ‘For my brother and me there was no greater treat than the top of the milk on our breakfast porridge.’
      • ‘Not only did I detest the smell, the skin that formed on the top of the milk almost made me physically sick.’
  • 2A thing or part placed on, fitted to, or covering the upper part of something, in particular:

    1. 2.1 A garment covering the upper part of the body and worn with a skirt, trousers, or shorts:
      ‘he was wearing a hooded top’
      ‘she bought a couple of new tops’
      • ‘All three men were wearing white jogging trousers and hooded tops.’
      • ‘Wear insect repellent on your skin and clothes and cover your skin as much as possible by wearing trousers and tops with long sleeves.’
      • ‘What stood out here were the beautifully cut swimsuits and the form-fitting tops and skirts.’
      • ‘It's a new line of dresses, skirts, and tops that can be worn in many different ways.’
      • ‘There were a few sets of tiny shorts, but mostly the wardrobe consisted of short skirts, skimpy tops and a few dresses.’
      • ‘Police are keen to speak to, or receive information on, a man in a red-hooded top who was standing near to the incident.’
      • ‘Candy-coloured stripes will be appearing on tops, shirts, skirts and trousers in time for the warmer weather, offering a fun twist for casual wear this summer.’
      • ‘Then there were normal T-shirts and miniskirts and shorts and jeans and tops and strapless things, and a lot of jewellery.’
      • ‘I'd put on a pair of tracksuit trousers and a hooded top, but my hair was still bundled up in a towel.’
      • ‘They taught us to match our eye shadow to our tops.’
      • ‘Every body shape imaginable was squeezed into super short skirts and super tight tops with plunging necklines.’
      • ‘They were both wearing short skirts and halter tops.’
      • ‘You can split up the suit and wear the jacket and skirt separately with other tops and bottoms to stretch your wardrobe.’
      • ‘For fall, there will be jeans, tops, sweaters and cords.’
      • ‘She wears short skirts and tight tops, has a tattoo, likes to ride a motorbike and call herself by a Swedish name, Sara.’
      • ‘Maggie had just finished tying her pink bikini top when the knocking began at her door.’
      • ‘The two teenagers are described as being slight, about 5ft 9ins and wearing light hooded tops with dark trousers and trainers.’
      • ‘They were all wearing hooded tracksuit tops and aged between seven and 13.’
      • ‘Jersey makes a big comeback this season in tops, skirts and trousers.’
      • ‘I became the reluctant owner of another pair of trousers, a new top, and a couple of T-shirts.’
      • ‘Dark gray and black leather sneakers are ideal since they'll match most combinations of trousers and tops.’
      • ‘For dresses, blouses, tops, vests, jackets and coats choose the pattern size by the bust or upper-bust measurement.’
    2. 2.2 A lid, cover, or cap:
      ‘beer-bottle tops’
      • ‘This is the ‘fizz’ that you hear when you take the top off the bottle.’
      • ‘Stopper corks with plastic tops are used for some wines, particularly fortified wines and some sweet wines, a single bottle of which may be consumed over an extended period.’
      • ‘Put the top back on and let the kids open it up to see what is inside.’
      • ‘For his finale, Mark used lightning speed to remove the bottle tops.’
      • ‘He visited a number of sites in Kearsley, including the subway around Kearsley roundabout, and left small corks and bottle tops lying on the ground.’
      • ‘Put the top back on, and turn on the kettle.’
      • ‘Please ensure that all tops and labels are removed and that containers are washed out.’
      • ‘He opened his own can with a hiss of escaping gas as Crystal removed the top of her water bottle.’
      • ‘Beer bottle tops will do nicely, if you can't bring yourself to use your Royal College cuff links or the earrings you bought on your most recent trip to Monte Carlo.’
      lid, cap, cover, stopper, cork, bung, plug
      View synonyms
    3. 2.3 (in a sailing ship) a platform around the head of each of the lower masts, serving to extend the topmast rigging.
      • ‘Above is another fifty feet of climbing, as the shrouds (ropes) which are attached to the top narrow down to the point where there is no longer room for your foot unless you turn it sideways.’
  • 3the topThe highest or most important rank, level, or position:

    ‘her talent will take her right to the top’
    ‘the people at the top must be competent’
    • ‘Robert is a talented golfer and will likely figure at the top of the ranks next season.’
    • ‘It's a school in an area of boarded-up houses and it doesn't rank at the top of national league tables.’
    • ‘Brechin stretched their lead at the top of the division with the narrowest of victories over a gallant Elgin City.’
    • ‘Excessive workload is seen as being one of the key factors behind the teacher shortage and has risen to the top of the education agenda.’
    • ‘One of the main reasons is the rapid ascent of Vietnam from the bottom to the top of the world coffee production league in the last decade.’
    • ‘So for how much longer can Australia maintain its position at the top of world cricket?’
    • ‘Level at the top of their group with Ajax and Valencia, there will be huge pressure on them in Amsterdam.’
    • ‘The aura surrounding consultants was not simply a function of their position at the top of the hierarchy.’
    • ‘It is tight at the top with fourth-placed Standish just three points behind the leaders.’
    • ‘Leaders York head to Barnsley, who are having a moderate season, with a chance of increasing their lead at the top.’
    • ‘It has given us our position at the very top of the pecking order and we have been taking advantage of it ever since.’
    • ‘Youngsters' needs in a deprived seaside resort are being put to the top of the agenda.’
    • ‘He is recently married, his golf has never been better and he is back where he belongs, at the top of the rankings.’
    • ‘In roominess and driving position, it is right up at the top of the class.’
    • ‘Easingwold appeared to be heading for a victory at home to Thirsk, which would have cemented their lead at the top of the division.’
    • ‘Copmanthorpe defeated their closest rivals North Duffield to retain their lead at the top of Division Three.’
    • ‘This triumph leaves them in a comfortable position at the top of the table.’
    • ‘With a six point lead at the top of the table, however, they won't be complaining.’
    • ‘He's ranked 13, but for six consecutive years he was untouchable at the top of the rankings.’
    • ‘Drax picked up a couple of bowling points at Westow before the rains came and they now enjoy a healthy lead at the top of Division Two.’
    • ‘There is a lack of that burning desire to rise to the top and occupy the CEO's chair.’
    • ‘The prospect of mass tourism ranks at the top of her list of nightmares.’
    • ‘The additional five points from this result means that Hawks extend their lead at the top of the BT Premiership.’
    high point, height, peak, pinnacle, zenith, acme, culmination, climax, crowning point, prime, meridian
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 The utmost degree or the highest level:
      ‘she shouted at the top of her voice’
      • ‘The Officer shouted at the top of his voice: ‘One.Two.Three.’’
      • ‘I surf every day and need to be at the top of my fitness to face the challenge of big waves.’
      highest level, utmost extent
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2topsinformal A person or thing regarded as particularly good:
      ‘professionally you're the tops’
      • ‘Cork Harlequins are rated tops in the country for they have a sweet balance of skill and power in their team.’
      • ‘Results from Vodafone's mobile phone recycling scheme show that Sligo and Cork are tops when it comes to mobile phone recycling.’
    3. 3.3British The highest gear of a motor vehicle:
      ‘long gradients can be surmounted in top’
      • ‘Be brave and you'll be able to come to a stop in top, dipping the clutch just before stopping.’
      • ‘You're already in top, on the highway doing 70, and the engine sounds as if it needs another gear, so you try to change up but you're already in top!’
    4. 3.4[mass noun] The high-frequency component of reproduced sound.
      • ‘It shows you how to use the bass, mid and top when mixing.’
  • 4British The end of something that is furthest from the speaker or a point of reference:

    ‘the bus shelter at the top of the road’
    • ‘Apparently someone out there beyond the top of Morningside Road wants to demutualise the whole thing.’
    • ‘He drove to the top of Savannah Road, where he came upon a van and jeep.’
    • ‘We walked up to the top of our road and eventually turned the corner onto the next street.’
    • ‘Even worse, because it is a wide pavement they will use this and drive straight up to the top of the road irrespective of pedestrians.’
    • ‘I looked up towards the top of the road and saw a silver Mercedes haring down.’
  • 5

    short for topspin
    • ‘For some players that can manage a fast swing speed, put top on the ball, and have it land in, they may not be overhitting.’
    • ‘Flat returns were a little harder for me with all the power, but if I put a little extra ‘top’ on the ball it felt fine.’
  • 6usually topsA bundle of long wool fibres prepared for spinning.

    • ‘Dyed merino tops are perfect for hand spinning and felting projects.’
    • ‘Wensleydale top is the ultimate in luxurious spinning fibres.’
    • ‘She started off with wool tops in sliver form.’
  • 7Physics
    [mass noun] One of six flavours of quark.

    • ‘Physicists had known that the top must exist since 1977, when its partner, the bottom, was discovered. But the top proved exasperatingly hard to find.’
  • 8vulgar slang A man who takes the active role in anal intercourse with another man.

adjective

  • 1Highest in position, rank, or degree:

    ‘the top button of his shirt’
    ‘a top executive’
    • ‘The elevator came to a stop at the top floor and Anna turned to face the doors as they creaked open.’
    • ‘Why do my friends criticise me for doing up the top button of my shirt when I'm not wearing a tie?’
    • ‘An artist who received a first-class degree from a top London art school is showing her work in a joint exhibition in York.’
    • ‘Those in top positions tend to fear that statements made on television on the spur of the moment may land them in the dock.’
    • ‘Early release is being re-examined by the Executive as a top priority.’
    • ‘Those in top positions in the workplace in the survey were classified as senior managers and professionals.’
    • ‘She has come a long way since winning her first British title at the age of 11 and is now ranked among the top eight in the country.’
    • ‘A senior official of a top company said IT firms were ready to face any situation.’
    • ‘They objected to the practice of government nominees obtaining top positions in industry and the professions.’
    • ‘The county's ambulance service has been ranked among the top performers in the speed of its response to patients.’
    • ‘It is the first in a string of references that he makes to male icons, from top athletes to racing drivers, suggesting his ego has a lot to live up to.’
    • ‘The top floor, which formed part of the upper flat, has three bedrooms.’
    • ‘Overall, she was ranked in the top five in the country for goals and points per game.’
    • ‘Independent Manchester Grammar School is used to ranking among the top schools in the country.’
    • ‘He had a toothy smile, missing a top front tooth and a bottom tooth two from center.’
    • ‘Moorby, understandably given his team's position, wanted the top team to win straight promotion.’
    • ‘The size of a country does not matter, given that five of the top companies ranked were from Switzerland.’
    • ‘Also the people in top jobs tended to be male, senior doctors, politicians etc.’
    • ‘By 1911, many of the top positions in the government were filled with his appointees and followers.’
    • ‘I wouldn't go as far as to say I was appalled but I was glad we had one of the world's top referees in charge.’
    • ‘Liam Kenney has his sights set firmly on the top step of the podium this weekend.’
    highest, topmost, uppermost, upmost, upper, furthest up, loftiest
    foremost, leading, top-tier, principal, pre-eminent, greatest, finest, worthiest, highest, elite, a-list
    maximum, maximal, greatest, topmost, utmost
    prime, excellent, superb, superior, choice, select, elite, quality, top-quality, top-grade, first-rate, first-class, top-class, high-grade, grade a, best, finest, premier, choicest, superlative, unsurpassed, unexcelled, unparalleled, peerless, second to none
    chief, principal, main, leading, highest, high, high-ranking, ruling, commanding
    View synonyms
  • 2British Furthest away from the speaker or a point of reference:

    ‘the top end of Fulham Road’
    • ‘At the top end of the car park you will find our designated parking area.’
    • ‘Although the map shows that a bomb also fell towards the top end of Stapley Road, the map indicates that it was not near a corner or junction.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Exceed (an amount, level, or number); be more than:

    ‘losses are expected to top £100 m this year’
    • ‘That amount topped the total of all venture investments in Missouri for 1999, also a record year.’
    • ‘But that figure is expected to have been topped.’
    • ‘With the way the economy is going now, we hope to top those numbers but that remains to be seen.’
    • ‘In the third quarter, the number of unemployed topped the record level of 1991, when huge numbers of immigrants from the former Soviet Union came to Israel.’
    • ‘Still, even if reforms grind to a halt, the likelihood of unemployment topping its record level of 5.5% is growing.’
    • ‘At some points, the pursuit reached speeds topping 90 miles an hour.’
    • ‘On the New York Stock Exchange, advancers topped decliners as 573 million shares changed hands.’
    • ‘Quarterly figures, published yesterday, show that for the first time, discrimination claims on race grounds topped the number of gender discrimination claims.’
    • ‘This will be the third such tournament promoted by Dixon, who has quit the circuit to concentrate on promoting and the previous years have attracted crowds topping 2,000.’
    • ‘Western European production rose rapidly, and by 1950 it had topped the prewar level by 25 percent.’
    • ‘And technology imports as a whole have inched up over the past three months, topping the year-ago level.’
    • ‘SMS messaging is the fastest-growing means of communication globally - with monthly volumes topping a billion.’
    • ‘The result topped Smith Barney Citigroup Research's forecast of US $240 million.’
    • ‘Their findings, announced in several cities worldwide, highlight the planet's problems as the population tops six billion.’
    • ‘According to market research the European smartcard market is forecast to top one billion by 2004.’
    • ‘Global sales have now topped the two million mark and annual sales exceed 250,000 units, of which 40,000 are in Europe.’
    • ‘The chancellor launched the 14-member commission last spring, after Germany's unemployment figure once again topped the four million mark.’
    exceed, surpass, go beyond, transcend, better, best, beat, defeat, excel, outstrip, outdo, outshine, eclipse, surmount, improve on, go one better than, cap, trump, trounce
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Be at the highest place or rank in (a list, poll, or league):
      ‘her debut album topped the charts for five weeks’
      • ‘He topped the list in a recent opinion poll in which respondents were asked who was the least trusted political figure in the country.’
      • ‘Among those with more than 7000 test runs, he tops the averages along with Wally Hammond.’
      • ‘The Rock of Cashel tops the list of the most popular historical landmarks in the country with more than 100,000 visitors annually.’
      • ‘It tops the list of the most beautiful and most dangerous places to live.’
      • ‘Mortgage repayments continue to top the list of financial worries for a third of the population.’
      • ‘A new Daily Echo survey, which canvassed opinion across a wide cross-section of residents, reveals housing tops the list of local wishes by a mile.’
      • ‘Cliff Berry was the leading jockey with 80 wins and Donnie Von Hemel topped the trainers' leader board with 40 victories.’
      • ‘The company topped the smoked cheese class at Nantwich, the largest cheese show in the UK, with extra mature cheese smoked by the Kirkwall firm of William Jolly.’
      • ‘He topped the recent list of Holyrood politicians for taxi bills, with a claim amounting to more than £11,000.’
      • ‘As students heading off to university, education tops their list of concerns, but they agree many election issues don't appeal to people their age.’
      • ‘Quitting smoking tops the wish list for New Year resolutions and Swindon Primary Care Trust is working hard to help people turn their smoke-free dreams into a reality.’
      • ‘As an independent candidate she topped the poll in the 1999 local elections.’
      • ‘According to the newly formed coalition, topping the list of issues that we need to focus on is the protection of marriage.’
      • ‘He was elected an alderman of Limerick City Council in the 1999 local elections when he topped the poll with over 900 votes in Ward 3.’
      • ‘Company chief executives topped the table in both years, reflecting their undiminished earning power under New Labour.’
      • ‘Right now, America's jobs crisis tops the list.’
      • ‘The musician and businessman famed for his fundraising efforts topped a list of personalities in a poll commissioned to mark the coming Year of the Volunteer.’
      • ‘Dogs that bark for lengthy periods topped the list, followed by people who play their music or television too loud, particularly at night.’
      • ‘Germany would still have won the championship trophy with 234 points and topped the medal count with a comfortable 22.’
      • ‘Recent mainstream media polls show issues such as health and rural matters topping the list of public concerns about the performance of the government.’
      • ‘Seafood tops the list in the must-be-eaten category.’
      • ‘The veteran spinner topped the bowling averages with 47 wickets.’
      • ‘At the last European elections, he topped the poll, getting more than 130,000 votes.’
      lead, head, be first in, be at the top of
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Be taller than:
      ‘he topped her by several inches’
      • ‘Cyril was a tall man, easily topping Johen's height by a head or more, and he had passed that height on to his son Martin.’
    3. 1.3 Surpass (a person or previous achievement); outdo:
      ‘he was baffled as to how he could top his past work’
      • ‘And yet it's also just a part of a pleasurable little scene between two performers intent on topping one another with their jokes and gags.’
      • ‘I never wish to hear it sung again, as that performance can never be topped.’
      • ‘Jim of Automotive News narrowly topped Anthony Rowley of the Singapore Business Times in a close race.’
      • ‘That was the manner in which Emma Duggleby topped her own ladies' course record during Jean Mackenzie's lady captain's day at Malton and Norton.’
      • ‘The landlord, Mick, is always coming up with wacky ideas so we thought we would top him for a change.’
      • ‘In this case it's difficult to see how he can top today's performance.’
      • ‘The question of how Rafa Benitez can ever top this achievement can be left for another day.’
      • ‘Lisa could only manage a total of 216 kilograms, a lift that topped her silver medal performance at Athens last year.’
      • ‘He is by far the most sublime player in the world today, despite his semi-final loss in the Australian Open, but topping Pete Sampras's silver collection is a long way off.’
      • ‘There are some examples of child actors who manage to stay in movies as adults, sometimes even topping their early achievements.’
      • ‘And in consumer goods, the Chinese have topped Americans in purchases of refrigerators, televisions and cell phones.’
      • ‘Nothing will top the show I saw in Santiago!’
      • ‘And now, again in election mode, he has topped even this performance.’
      • ‘There's no worse place on earth for quicksand and nobody can top my men for sand rescue.’
      • ‘British officials are no doubt wondering how they can possibly top the spectacle of Beijing when London hosts the Summer Games in 2012.’
      • ‘Dale Hodges topped his colleagues by squirrelling away $54,721 for a future campaign.’
      • ‘The vegetables topped even that, bursting with flavour, having been chargrilled and marinated in olive oil.’
    4. 1.4 Appear as the chief performer or attraction at:
      ‘Hopper topped a great night of boxing’
      • ‘A breathtaking laser show with golden, yellow, green, and blue beams in various formations and a burst of fireworks topped the show as four acrobats glided down to the pitch from the top of the stadium carrying the banners of the eight teams that will clash in the inaugural twenty20 league.’
      • ‘While Ignatov topped the show, perhaps Airjazz stole it.’
      • ‘Veteran rockers Queen, along with Razorlight and Simple Minds, will top the entertainment line-up.’
      • ‘Sting, who is to receive an honour for his outstanding contribution to music, will top the show, which is to be presented by a male-female double-act for the first time since 1990.’
  • 2Provide with a top or topping:

    ‘toast topped with baked beans’
    • ‘The houses were large, and could just about be seen behind tall featureless walls topped by broken glass.’
    • ‘Use the remaining fruit to top salads and sorbets or to whip up blended ice drinks.’
    • ‘The kitchen is stylishly fitted with Shaker cherrywood units topped by a black granite worktop.’
    • ‘There will also be a new dry-stone parapet wall topped with a metal handrail in the form of a twisted rope, an echo of the days when barges were pulled along by ropes and horses.’
    • ‘Add the sprouts in a single layer and top with the rest of the sauce and grated cheese.’
    • ‘A church in Isleworth may soon be powered by the sun's rays with the opening of a new community hall topped by a space-age roof, it was revealed this week.’
    • ‘Add the berries, and some of their juices, and top with a final layer of bread, cutting to fit.’
    • ‘The simplest way of growing plants under glass is to use a cold frame, a modest construction of low walls topped with a wooden frame and glazed with glass or polythene.’
    • ‘Compost mixes topped with a layer of mulch can help to retain moisture, as can water-retaining crystals laced through the mix.’
    • ‘Here hills are topped with copses and rough-hewn fields roll towards the horizon.’
    • ‘Those hoping to visit it are stopped by a granite wall topped with barbed wire.’
    • ‘In the kitchen area, pale wood fittings are topped with unusual white tiled worktops.’
    • ‘These are topped with black polished granite worktops, with additional preparation and storage space provided by a central island unit.’
    • ‘Down the driveway, high electronic gates protect the building and the pale grey walls are topped with rolled razor wire.’
    • ‘The custard is topped with a layer of sugar (usually brown), which is then caramelized under a grill.’
    • ‘On the side streets are two-story houses faced in white stone and topped by red tile roofs.’
    • ‘Each burger is topped with cheese before serving - just be sure to shred the cheese finely.’
    • ‘An original Louis XVI commode is topped by the fine white Carrara marble which was so popular in this period.’
    • ‘I was surprised to find, in the northwest, a land of rolling green hills carpeted with flowers, olive groves and distant hills topped by a solitary farmhouse ringed with poplar trees.’
    • ‘Some changes are small: in some schools, pizza is now topped with low-fat cheese and French fries are baked, not fried.’
    • ‘Tomorrow, that brick wall might be topped with razor wire, and those privacy screens might all be made illegal in the name of National Security.’
    • ‘Overshadowing the square was a tall hill topped by a crumbling castle.’
    cover, cap, crown, coat, overspread, finish, garnish
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Complete (an outfit) with an upper garment, hat, or item of jewellery:
      ‘a white dress topped by a dark cardigan’
      • ‘Croatian men wear white shirts topped with a colored vest or jacket.’
      • ‘In contrast to Zara, Sophie chose a multi-coloured outfit in orange, lime green, pink and turquoise, complete with fringes, and topped by a cream hat.’
      • ‘Loose silky trousers whispered against her legs, topped by a sleeveless tunic of the same material - all in a virulent yellow.’
      • ‘Elegantly styled trousers are topped by a sporty leather jacket.’
      • ‘He's holding a bundle of smouldering incense and chanting, dressed in a baggy white shirt and trousers, topped with a gold cap.’
      • ‘His snowy white shirt was topped by a burgundy waistcoat which, amazingly enough, matched her gown almost perfectly, and he wore a black cravat around his neck.’
      • ‘Khaki green dominates the trouser line, topped by classic military shirts with contrasting pockets.’
    2. 2.2 Remove the top of (a vegetable or fruit) in preparation for cooking:
      ‘I use the sharp edge of an old butcher's knife for topping and the back of the blade for cleaning the roots’
      • ‘I had my first jobs when I was in kindergarten picking apples, topping onions and catching cabbage butterflies.’
      • ‘Wash and top the strawberries, then blend until smooth.’
      • ‘Wash and top the radishes.’
  • 3Reach the top of (a hill or other elevation):

    ‘they topped a rise and began a slow descent’
    • ‘I was still winning as we topped the hill and headed down.’
    • ‘The big truck topped the final hill before the turn-off to Michael's place.’
    • ‘We topped the last rise and started to coast down the gentle slope on the far side.’
    • ‘We topped a hill, and another, until we were on a steep north-facing slope that dropped off to the Yellowstone River.’
    • ‘I was in the highest gear, pedalling as fast as my legs could unwind, when I topped a small knoll.’
    • ‘As we topped the rise we saw where the lightning had struck.’
    • ‘At about nine o'clock, the first vehicle topped a ridge, hit a patch of soft sand and stuck fast.’
    • ‘He topped the new rise and raced down the rolling hillside in the heat of the late autumn's sun.’
    • ‘Then she remembered, just as the cop car topped the hill, she was in the wrong lane.’
    • ‘As he topped a small ridge, he saw a small village spread out before him.’
    • ‘An hour later, topping another ridge, we came out into a vast, open stretch of ground.’
    • ‘We topped the ridge at last and ambled down the slope to Timberline Lake.’
    • ‘Nicole's breath caught in her throat when she topped the last hill.’
    • ‘We were doing about 45 miles per hour when we topped that hill and saw a 2-ton truck 30 feet in front of us.’
    • ‘When they topped a hill, she got her first look at the palace.’
    • ‘He topped the grassy knoll and stared out at New York City's lights.’
    • ‘She topped the hill and stopped a moment, looking around at the surrounding plain.’
    • ‘When I've topped the rise I've been climbing, I have a long view to the south, a straight, long road ahead of me to the next ridge three miles distant.’
    • ‘When he topped the rise, he swerved to avoid the tree and collided with the stone wall behind.’
    • ‘He topped a rise and looked back, shading his eyes.’
    reach the top of, crest, climb, scale, ascend, mount, conquer
    View synonyms
  • 4British informal Kill:

    ‘I wasn't sorry when he topped himself’
    • ‘The killer gets away and Dormer lets the assumption stand that the brutal murderer also topped his partner.’
    • ‘A guy I know tried to top himself a while ago.’
    • ‘Al will play a detective who accidentally tops his partner during a murder investigation and is then blackmailed by the killer.’
    • ‘‘I don't know how to say this, other than I think she topped him,’ says a doctor.’
  • 5Golf
    Mishit (the ball or a stroke) by hitting above the centre of the ball:

    ‘he topped his drive on the fifth hole’
    ‘sliced and topped shots’
    • ‘I topped the drive, and the ball hopped frantically down the fairway, at least in play.’
    • ‘If he tops a shot in the fairway, he takes two or three angry swings into the turf.’
    • ‘The first thing I noted about Chris was his tendency to top the ball.’
    • ‘If you're topping or slicing the ball, the problem could be your knees.’
    • ‘Once you eliminate the topped shots from your game, you will reduce your score giving you more confidence, which will take you game to the next level.’
    • ‘But when I play even a friendly match with someone else, I end up topping the ball and slicing terribly.’
    • ‘It seems that Bob could not get his ball off the ground as he kept topping his shots.’

adverb

tops
informal
  • At the most:

    ‘some civil servant earning twenty-eight thousand a year, tops’
    • ‘I slept for maybe three hours tops.’
    • ‘These are simple enough to prepare in 25 minutes tops, giving busy cooks a welcome break from the kitchen.’

Phrases

  • be at the top of one's game

    • informal Be performing as well as one can:

      ‘this film is the work of a director at the top of his game’
      • ‘Murder By Death is a prime example of Simon at the top of his game.’
      • ‘Barnes has created a collection of acute observations which shows him to be at the top of his game.’
      • ‘Now aged 57, Sir Alan is still at the top of his game with a global empire worth £ 700m.’
      • ‘He's still at the top of his game.’
      • ‘Strive to be at the top of your game, despite the hurdles.’
      • ‘On the acting front, we have three top actors working at the top of their game.’
      • ‘You both were at the top of your game.’
      • ‘Coming into the second season, everyone is really at the top of their game.’
      • ‘Each work represents its composer at the top of his game.’
      • ‘All in all a very satisfying live recording of a band at the top of their game.’
  • from top to bottom

    • Completely; thoroughly:

      ‘we searched the place from top to bottom’
      • ‘He now says he wants to review the Department from top to bottom and propose a complete overhaul.’
      • ‘The police cordoned off the area, declared a curfew, and searched the place from top to bottom.’
      • ‘She cooks the family meal, cleans the house from top to bottom and completes her homework the day she receives it.’
      • ‘According to some of the conspiracy theorists, the whole sport will soon be exposed as corrupt from top to bottom.’
      • ‘The report says that the fire service needs to be changed from top to bottom and every aspect of its work needs to be reformed.’
      • ‘If I do end up getting it, before I move in I'm hiring people to go in and scrub the place top to bottom.’
      • ‘The Government boldly decided to reform the system from top to bottom.’
      • ‘When visitors were expected, she aired the beds and cleaned the house from top to bottom, and she wrote lists.’
      • ‘One worker said that staff have been cleaning the department from top to bottom.’
      • ‘Cronyism is rampant from top to bottom in British public life.’
      • ‘It needs an overhaul from top to bottom and it won't be a quick fix.’
      thoroughly, fully, to the fullest extent, extensively, completely, comprehensively, rigorously, exhaustively, scrupulously, meticulously, conscientiously, minutely, in close detail
      View synonyms
  • from top to toe

    • All over:

      ‘she seemed to glow from top to toe’
      • ‘So, kitted out from top to toe in newly acquired and neatly pressed blue linen, I listened to her praise western civilization and the red-brick building that housed its published works.’
      • ‘Three days later, Thorn was bruised from top to toe.’
      • ‘Dressed in black from top to toe, he felt his age in the end, though, and literally ran out of puff.’
      • ‘Michael's gaze seemed desperate as he stood trembling from top to toe.’
      • ‘We were absolutely filthy and covered from top to toe with red dust.’
      • ‘You leave feeling as if every part of your body has been pampered - you're invigorated from top to toe.’
      • ‘Having chosen your oil, you are laid out over a series of hot stones, massaged from top to toe, and back again.’
      • ‘The Russian doctors really put me through the mill, examining me from top to toe.’
      • ‘This involved sitting in a heated seawater bath while jets massaged her body from top to toe.’
      • ‘In fact, feet are just one of the problem areas we'll be looking at in detail, providing help and advice with a health and beauty regime that will work for you, from top to toe.’
  • from the top

    • informal From the beginning:

      ‘they rehearsed Act One from the top’
      • ‘Let's take it again from the top.’
      • ‘The audience was right with us from the top.’
      • ‘Would you like to start again from the top?’
  • get on top of

    • Be too much for (someone) to bear or cope with:

      ‘things had got on top of me’
      • ‘When life gets on top of you, there is always someone, somewhere, worse off than you.’
      • ‘She got over it but during the last three years since then she had other physical illnesses and that seems to have got on top of her and affected her mentally.’
      • ‘Running your own business is hard and sometimes it all gets on top of you.’
      • ‘At the end, frustration with my game was getting on top of me.’
      • ‘It would be surprising if any young mother had not felt ‘sad or miserable’ in the previous week, or worried that things were getting on top of her.’
      • ‘Things have been getting on top of me and I just needed some time away from the blog to sort my head out a little.’
      • ‘She said she thought what had happened was getting on top of her sister and she was not talking about it.’
      • ‘It said that life was getting on top of him and he could not take it any more.’
      • ‘For almost nine years Jim lashed out at his wife, Sally, whenever things got on top of him.’
      • ‘There is so much coursework; it really gets on top of you.’
  • off the top of one's head

    • Without careful thought or investigation:

      ‘I can't tell you off the top of my head’
      • ‘How many words for marijuana, or for smoking it, can you think of on the spot, right off the top of your head?’
      • ‘One little girl, only seven years of age, stood at the top of the classroom one day and told a story off the top of her head, capturing the attention of the entire class for twenty minutes.’
      • ‘I thought you just remembered it off the top of your head.’
      • ‘He gives a very polished, professional performance with excellent comic timing to make the jokes appear impromptu and off the top of his head.’
      • ‘And can you really divide $15.03 by two off the top of your head?’
      • ‘Someone's gathered a whole list of rain songs, but before you look, which ones can you think off the top of your head?’
      • ‘We will receive a sheet of paper with one of a number of topical issues printed on it and then have to speak for two minutes off the top of our head.’
      • ‘I'd like to see you come up with something better, right there off the top of your head.’
      • ‘And that's just off the top of my head; I may have the dates wrong.’
      • ‘There are differences in the economic and social policies advocated by the two parties, but I bet you can't mention a major one off the top of your head.’
      impromptu, spontaneous, unscripted, ad lib
      View synonyms
  • on top

    • 1On the highest point or uppermost surface:

      ‘a woollen hat with a bobble on top’
      • ‘In the middle there was a tall and slender rock with something black on top.’
      • ‘At one stage the girls jumped back into the water and actually dragged the boat for 50 yards to rocks with me on top.’
      • ‘Sprinkle the chopped rosemary over the surface of the caramel, then slice the bananas on top.’
      • ‘I sighed and lay flat on my stomach on top or my bed.’
      • ‘Towards the back was a mahogany desk with a flat panel computer on top.’
      • ‘Cover the pastry discs with baking parchment and place another flat heavy baking sheet on top.’
      • ‘There are fewer and fewer trees up here, none on top, nothing but rock, and that makes it more attractive to lightning.’
      • ‘The bank is splendid, open, flat on top and with ace views from each slope.’
      • ‘The hill is fairly flat on top; in fact a Lancaster bomber once famously landed here during the Second World War.’
      • ‘The small hall will have a flat roof with plants on top to add colour and vitality to the view of the building from the road.’
      1. 1.1On the upper part of the head:
        ‘Graeme's going a bit thin on top’
        • ‘He was unshaven and had short brown hair, gelled on top, brown eyes and wore a black jacket.’
        • ‘He is 6ft 2in tall, of average build and has dark blond to ginger-coloured hair, worn long on top and brushed back.’
        • ‘Female-pattern baldness usually becomes noticeable after the menopause; the hair on top tends to thin first.’
        • ‘He has dark hair which is short on top but with long sideburns.’
        • ‘He was a tall man, with light brown hair that was thinning on top.’
        • ‘What's more, it's not just presidents, but presidential candidates who seem to retain a bit of thatch on top.’
        • ‘She had short, mid-brown hair, spiky on top, and was wearing a smart black skirt suit and carrying a black soft zip-top briefcase.’
        • ‘The man has short dark hair which is thinning on top and wore a dark jacket which is possibly imitation leather.’
        • ‘Shane was a serious sort of young man with close-set eyes and a curly pageboy cut that was already thinning on top.’
        • ‘Men who may be thinning on top should definitely wear a hat; after all not many of us (men or women) suncream our heads.’
      2. 1.2So as to cover; over:
        ‘she put on a grey raincoat on top’
        • ‘All those fabulous summer tank tops you own are good through November with a simple cardigan on top.’
        • ‘I had a thin thermal underneath with this jacket on top.’
    • 2In a leading or the dominant position:

      ‘United were on top for most of the first half’
      • ‘He can't decide where he stands on the war because he's not really sure which position will put him on top.’
      • ‘But even if that had happened, the polls suggest that it is unlikely that the anti-war position would have come out on top.’
      • ‘It was another low scoring game with defences on both sides dominating but it was Longford who got on top in the second quarter.’
      • ‘The Barrowsiders began to get on top with Willie Power and Keith Hession dominating midfield.’
      • ‘The next 20 minutes saw Athy begin to dominate the scrums but Ross were well on top in the line-out.’
      • ‘However, as one would expect from a team with ambitions of promotion, Athy were on top in all aspects of play and dominated Stillorgan throughout.’
      • ‘It is the time to make concessions when you are on top, and we are on top.’
      • ‘White men still come out on top, with London dominating the awards.’
      • ‘This was the wake-up call for the Castledermot side and they began to dominate with Brendan Kelly and Brian Byrne coming out on top in mid-field.’
      • ‘The results have made little impact on the top of the table with Peter Flynn still on top with 55 pts closely followed by Paul Walsh on 51.’
    • 3In addition:

      ‘the price was £75, with VAT on top’
      • ‘However, this is rarely as comprehensive as that supplied by the NHS, so involves extra costs on top.’
      • ‘Charities cannot afford these extra costs on top.’
      • ‘We estimated that an extension with a new kitchen and two extra bedrooms could be built for the stamp duty money with a little extra on top.’
      • ‘This means that the sessions are much cheaper, without the added accommodation costs on top, and are now open to children from families who might have been unable to spare the cash for a full visit.’
      • ‘As an extra sweetener, investors who plump for the cash in March will get an extra 5p per share on top.’
      • ‘The Law Society is currently dealing with a raft of complaints about solicitors who charged miners an additional fee on top.’
      • ‘But adept insurance salespeople will try and sell you all kinds of extra insurance on top.’
      • ‘If you are in a company pension scheme you can supplement this by making AVCs (Additional Voluntary Contributions) on top.’
  • on top of

    • 1On the highest point or uppermost surface of:

      ‘a town perched on top of a hill’
      • ‘They advise matches in the kitchen not to be left on top of kitchen surfaces, but to be kept in a cupboard and for parents to regularly check their child's bedroom for matches.’
      • ‘Controversial plans to set up a mobile phone mast on top of a church tower are expected to be approved by councillors tomorrow despite fierce opposition.’
      • ‘A young girl was perched on top of the mahogany wardrobe.’
      • ‘Everything else had to be balanced precariously on top of surfaces.’
      • ‘Finally on the way home we saw a shopping trolley perched on top of a stop sign.’
      • ‘I was at the theatre recently, and at the interval I counted up to five women with sunglasses perched on top of their heads.’
      • ‘The photographers perched on top of these trucks get great shots.’
      • ‘He spread his papers out on top of his briefcase, perched on his knees.’
      • ‘Do not use a grill on top of or underneath any surface that will burn, such as a porch or carport.’
      • ‘It can be laid on top of most surfaces, and is available in a range of colours and decorative finishes.’
      • ‘Normally, asphalt road surfaces are built on top of a bed of concrete, which is itself built atop a bed of gravel.’
      1. 1.1So as to cover; over:
        ‘his habit of wearing one V-neck jumper on top of another’
        • ‘I went to put a fleece on, on top of my sweatshirt, and thought that perhaps the weather had got chilly again despite having been sunny for most of the day.’
        • ‘I'm wearing Rebecca's cardigan again, and on top of that one of my red favorites.’
    • 2In command or control of:

      ‘he couldn't get on top of his work’
      • ‘Things get crazy at times and it becomes hard to stay on top of everything but I have a great team; they are very open and transparent.’
      • ‘Once I'd got on top of this job, the other priorities all seemed to slot into place.’
      • ‘You really have to be on top of everything, and you can't slack on anything.’
      • ‘Labour insists it has got on top of these problems.’
      • ‘Work's going well, I'm getting on top of things, selling adverts on my site and keeping up to date with the paperwork, etc.’
      • ‘It's a new challenge, and it's something you can never really get on top of.’
    • 3In addition to:

      ‘on top of everything else he's a brilliant linguist’
      • ‘In other words, they lost the election because they were caught lying to the public about a very, very sensitive issue, on top of everything else.’
      • ‘Now he has become an inventor on top of everything else.’
      • ‘So, on top of everything else, there seems to be a case of political hypocrisy here.’
      • ‘On top of this benefit, recent evidence suggests that eating rye bread can lower cholesterol levels too.’
      • ‘He advised that this was an additional charge on top of the normal council rates.’
      • ‘Those additional wage costs are on top of higher prices for oil, steel, copper, plastics, etc.’
      • ‘Oh and my left wrist is really hurting so I'm probably developing RSI on top of everything else.’
      • ‘And you may be charged an additional fee on top of the room rates.’
      • ‘It specifies a minimum level of coverage, such as medical and life cover, and offers employees optional additional benefits on top of this.’
      • ‘I think the total cost will come to something like £20,000 because the whole bathroom and kitchen has to be replaced on top of everything else.’
      • ‘It could vary from anything between £80 to £500 plus an annual fee on top of that.’
      as well, in addition, too, also, besides, into the bargain, to boot
      therewithal
      View synonyms
    • 4In close proximity to:

      ‘we all lived on top of each other’
      • ‘Well, I've never felt less connected to my neighbors than when I lived on top of them.’
      • ‘So how would you expect people to suddenly get on so well when they're living on top of each other when people in towns and villages can't get on particularly well.’
      • ‘It's inevitable when you're living on top of each other for long periods at a time.’
      • ‘People here literally live and work on top of each other.’
      • ‘We city dwellers basically live on top of each other, so interactions sometimes get tense, especially when our kids may be threatened.’
      • ‘Since we all practically live on top of each other, I reached Glen's house in under five minutes.’
      • ‘But invite anybody else to stay over, and you will be living on top of each other.’
      • ‘When you live on top of a football ground, you constantly get football fans throwing chip wrappers and cans all over the place.’
      • ‘Like most families, they wanted enough space so they wouldn't feel they were living on top of each other.’
      • ‘In an increasingly overcrowded world, we have the wonderful luxury of being able to spread ourselves, of not living on top of one another.’
  • on top of the world

    • informal Happy and elated:

      ‘he was interested in her and she felt on top of the world’
      • ‘For a short time, he felt on top of the world.’
      • ‘He said he was on top of the world after clinching the World Superbike Championship days after the birth of his first child.’
      • ‘If your child gets through in the test, of course you feel on top of the world.’
      • ‘Maybe it was because of the setting, but I really felt on top of the world.’
      • ‘We entered the gym in fear and trepidation and left feeling tired but on top of the world.’
      • ‘But once upon a time, she was on top of the world, until her addictions seemed to get the better of her.’
      • ‘Not that I want to lie and pretend I'm on top of the world, but if I could just wait a little longer perhaps I'll find something positive to write.’
      • ‘Any time you win a tournament at that age, you feel on top of the world.’
      • ‘A Newry girl is on top of the world after being selected for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.’
      • ‘When the day in question finally arrived, I was dressed in a business suit and felt on top of the world.’
      • ‘I felt on top of the world because I felt that I had achieved what I wanted to.’
  • top and tail

    • 1Remove the top and bottom of (a fruit or vegetable) while preparing it as food:

      ‘top and tail the beans and pull away any fibrous side threads’
      • ‘As soon as the beetroot is cool enough to handle, top and tail it and remove the skin.’
      • ‘Wipe, top and tail the aubergine and cut it into eight disks.’
      • ‘However, as he explains: a favourite way to cook young ones is to top and tail the pod, trim off the stringy edges and slice the pod very thin with the beans still in it.’
      • ‘We already know that if we want to eat a carrot safely, we need to generously peel, top and tail it first to remove organophosphate pesticides.’
    • 2Wash the face and bottom of (a baby or small child).

      • ‘If your baby doesn't like baths, ‘top and tail’ her on alternate days - use cotton wool and warm water for eyes and face, and a washcloth for hands and bottom.’
      • ‘Before the umbilical cord stump drops off, you can just top and tail your baby, using a bowl of warm water, baby lotion and a soft cloth or cotton wool.’
  • top dollar

    • informal A very high price:

      ‘I pay top dollar for my materials’
      • ‘It's powerful corporations that pay top dollar for receptive ears in Washington.’
      • ‘Local businesses who didn't want to pay top dollar for design firms would hold ‘logo design contests’ for my dad's students.’
      • ‘Was the poor publisher supposed to pay top dollar for a team of world-class typesetters and proofreaders and then sell the thing for next to nothing?’
      • ‘A major stumbling block remains how the council can justify to the taxpayers paying top dollar for its new offices.’
      • ‘Rich foreigners come from around the world and pay top dollar to locate in Manhattan, not because they have to, but because they want to.’
      • ‘But it isn't certain they would pay him top dollar.’
      • ‘But O'Brien believes that companies will gladly pay top dollar for same-day delivery.’
      • ‘And this was a brilliant businesswoman paying top dollar for advice.’
      • ‘More companies are turning to accountants for advice on making their strategic moves, and are willing to pay top dollar to attract them.’
      • ‘If you really want to ski this winter and you don't want to pay top dollar, look for those quiet times.’
      • ‘But be prepared to pay top dollar to be in the number 1 position.’
  • top of the morning

    • Used as a friendly morning greeting:

      ‘top of the morning to you, Inspector’
      • ‘The top of the morning to you.’
      • ‘This guy walked by me and actually said: ‘top of the morning to you’.’
  • the top of the tree

    • The highest level of a profession or career.

      • ‘These days he is not at the top of the tree, but he still enjoys playing and his ambition is to win a tournament in this decade so that he will have won titles in each of four successive decades.’
      • ‘If you do eventually want to get to the top of the tree, then do it the hard way and make sure that you learn all aspects of the business.’
      • ‘She feels that it is the constant encouragement from her parents and their ethos of always doing your best that has seen her rise to the top of the tree, not just in one sport but in three.’
      • ‘They may help a businessman make it to the top of the tree: but there is more to good leadership than ambition and charisma.’
      • ‘I admire anybody who gets to the top of the tree, but the hardest thing is to stay there.’
      • ‘They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who's brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.’
      • ‘His business expertise and his philanthropy should put him at the top of the tree.’
      • ‘I got to the top of the tree as a marketing professional with United Distillers, but I always wanted to broaden my skills.’
      • ‘Town hall bosses say the new target will ensure more women make it to the top of the tree in future.’
      • ‘A second place in Monte Carlo and fifth place in Sweden have put Britain's favourite rally ace on the top of the tree after just two rallies for his new team.’
  • top ten (or twenty etc.)

    • The first ten (or twenty etc.) records in the pop music charts.

      • ‘Christine is one of the few female writers to have charted two hit records in the same top ten.’
      • ‘Is the entire top ten of this year taken up with shallow talentless substandard Beatles imitators?’
      • ‘Any album that has ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ on it has got to make the top ten.’
      • ‘Their single ‘With You’ Is currently riding high in the charts, in the top twenty for the second week and now at no 16 from last week's no 15.’
      • ‘Daniel O'Donnell has enjoyed another hugely successful year which has seen two of his albums make the UK top twenty.’
      • ‘Their debut single, ‘Wired To The Moon’, entered the Irish charts at number 16 and stayed in the top twenty for all of nine weeks.’
      • ‘Pretty much everyone else had a record collection that ran like a current top ten.’
      • ‘Elton John was the only British star to make the top ten, coming in at nine.’
  • to top it all

    • As a culminating, typically unpleasant, event or action in a series:

      ‘her father had a fatal heart attack and to top it all her mother disowned her’
      • ‘And, to top it all, the indifference shown by the government is appalling.’
      • ‘A weak story, tepid characters, a confusion of plots and, to top it all, some terrible editing make this one of the worst reads of the month.’
      • ‘Most are very funny, but some are quite scary - and, to top it all, one night he told us he can't even swim.’
      • ‘And, to top it all, the box says there is a telephone helpline - however, it fails to actually give a number.’
      • ‘And to top it all, a moratorium on debt repayments will only postpone the inevitable into the future.’
      • ‘And, to top it all, they refuse to pay the fine when caught committing an offence.’
      • ‘It is one of the most colorful hula shows in town and, to top it all, it is free!’
      • ‘This year has been a difficult year for my family and me, but to top it all, now I am in quarantine for SARS - I cannot believe it!’
      • ‘And to top it all, you get this terrible sneezing fit that puts you in an even bigger predicament.’
  • up top

    • By way of intelligence:

      ‘a man with nothing much up top’
      • ‘Peg, you've got enough up top for both of us.’
      • ‘To be a good tackler is about what is up top and you have to be prepared to get hurt.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • top something off

    • 1Finish something in a memorable or notable way:

      ‘the festive celebration was topped off with the awarding of prizes’
      • ‘She has recorded three solo albums, is sought-after for other releases, has her own designer brand underway, and to top it all off is engaged to be married.’
      • ‘And finally, to top my day off, I found out that the joyless, universally disliked boss who's been off on maternity leave will be part time when she comes back at the end of April.’
      • ‘The celebrations of the day will be topped off with an open air dance to the music of The Conquerors, from 12-2 a.m.’
      • ‘A black beret she had picked up in Paris topped off the outfit.’
      • ‘It's been a dream year and this just tops it off.’
      • ‘The meal was topped off with platters of fresh fruit.’
      • ‘She straightened her little denim mini-skirt, fixed the straps of her white spaghetti-strap top and then topped off her ensemble with a tan cowboy hat.’
      • ‘And to top the day off, the agency I've been working for over the last two years sent out the paperwork for the contract extension.’
      • ‘And, to top things off, King has another surprise up his sleeve.’
      • ‘One our way back home we took a detour to the city and stopped by Harry's Café for a classic hotdog to top the night off.’
      • ‘We topped the day off by going to see ‘Minority Report’ at Greenwich Cinema.’
      • ‘And to top it all off, you will have a genuine Spanish cultural experience.’
    • 2Fill up a partly full tank with fuel:

      ‘check the fluid reservoir and top it off if necessary’
      • ‘Make sure the station's generator is functioning (hopefully there is one!) and make sure the fuel tank is topped off.’
      • ‘Arriving back at the jet, I checked the fuel slip and noticed that it had been topped off.’
      • ‘I drank a lot of wine, mostly because Phil kept topping my glass off until I wasn't sure how many glasses I had drunk.’
      • ‘Except for topping it off now and then, you'll fill the pool only once.’
      • ‘And when you do decide to go all the way with a full tank of gas, don't bother topping it off because filling past the first ‘click’ will create sloshing and allow the gas you tried to squeeze in to spill over and out.’
      • ‘Prior to the storms, all the generators had been tested at full load and all of their tanks had been topped off.’
  • top out

    • Reach an upper limit:

      ‘collectors whose budgets tend to top out at about $50,000’
      • ‘High-season room rates at these hotels start between $300 and $400, and top out at $3,000 at the Peninsula.’
      • ‘It starts at $20,395, and tops out at $24,590.’
      • ‘But the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has said house price rises have slowed sharply following recent interest rate hikes and that northern price rises have topped out.’
      • ‘It has not experienced negative growth, but its growth has been much slower - something like 1.5 percent - because its investment cycle topped out in 1997.’
      • ‘It tops out at approximately 100 kilometres per hour and a fully charged battery will only take you 80 km.’
      • ‘By night's end, the pot topped out at a mighty fine $100,000-plus for the cause.’
      • ‘The price range starts at just under £18,000 and tops out at not much more than £21,000.’
      • ‘This observer's only question is that given the attendance figures, which topped out at about 2,500 on Saturday, if the event was to sell out in the next year or two, how cramped would it feel inside the compound?’
      • ‘Earlier this month, a chair failed to sell when bidding topped out at $62,000, below a prearranged minimum.’
      • ‘Jeans go for as little as $19.99 and top out at $49.99, but you can tell just by looking that they're the sort you'd buy on a whim ‘because they're so cheap!’’
      • ‘With wingspans topping out at nearly 8 feet, the aggressively territorial species is one of the world's biggest flying birds.’
  • top something out

    • Put the highest structural feature on a building, typically as a ceremony to mark the building's completion:

      ‘most of the staff turned out to watch the reactor being topped out’
      ‘Councillor Smith performed the topping out ceremony’
      • ‘All eyes were on Swindon's flagship hospital for the topping out ceremony of the diagnostic and treatment centre.’
      • ‘Coun. Richard Leese, who conducted the formal topping out ceremony, added: ‘We are very happy to see a name like Harvey Nichols in Manchester.’’
      • ‘The construction firm worker was invited to don dancing shoes to join performers at Newcastle's Dance City for a performance at a topping out ceremony for the theatre space, which he has been helping to build.’
      • ‘Despite price tags that ran into the multimillions of dollars for a penthouse with views of the Santa Monica mountains, the downtown Los Angeles skyline, and the Pacific Ocean, all units were sold before the structure was topped out.’
      • ‘The building's topping out ceremony was carried out on Friday by Noel Ahern TD, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment & Local Government.’
      • ‘A topping out ceremony will be held at 4.00 pm on Thursday 25 March when a time capsule will be buried on the site to mark the building reaching its highest point.’
      • ‘Building work on the New Farleigh hospice site in Broomfield reached new heights this week, with a topping out ceremony to complete the roof.’
      • ‘Congratulations and celebrations were in the air on Wednesday as Sir Cliff Richard came for the topping out ceremony at the Shooting Star Children's Hospice in Hampton.’
      • ‘On July 1, President Chen Shui-bin attended the topping out ceremony to see the last beam put into place.’
  • top someone up

    • Refill a partly full glass or cup for someone:

      ‘can I top you up, Mr Willoughby?’
      • ‘Let me top you up.’
      • ‘Allow me to top you up my dear.’
      • ‘Can I top you up?’
  • top something up

    • 1Add to a number or amount to bring it up to a certain level:

      ‘a 0.5 per cent bonus is offered to top up savings rates’
      • ‘Miss Foster said: ‘We are hoping to break the £10,000 barrier this year and hopefully the company might top it up but we will have to wait and see.’’
      • ‘The maximum contribution each year is £3,600, which means that you pay £2,808 and the Inland Revenue tops it up by the standard tax rate of 22%.’
      • ‘To pay for the scheme the EU would put up £500,000 and Swindon Council would top it up with £350,000.’
      • ‘They raised £460,000 on their own and topped it up with a bank loan from the Bank of Scotland, but were still £40,000 short.’
      • ‘But the government only tops it up to that level if you are on a full state pension.’
      • ‘The government will top it up with 1 per cent of GDP every year between now and 2025.’
      • ‘Scottish and Southern Energy's deputy chairman Ian Grant topped his holding up with a £12,680 buy.’
      • ‘Virgin Money director Gordon Maw says: ‘Child Trust Funds need to become the central focus of our savings for our children, so the key is how we encourage parents to top them up regularly.’’
      • ‘Mr Warren said Carter then proceeded to help herself to the building society money, topping it up from the bank account when it ran low.’
      • ‘Jones, he said, gets disability living allowance of £155 every two weeks with a further £30 to top it up.’
      1. 1.1Fill up a glass or other partly full container:
        ‘he topped up our glasses and filled his own’
        • ‘He used to take nearly empty marmalade jars, top them up with hot water, and put them outside the kitchen window to attract wasps away from the house.’
        • ‘He filled the canteen, drank half of it, and topped it up again.’
        • ‘She gave a chuckle and joined them at the table with a half cup of coffee, topping it up with milk until it was almost full.’
        • ‘With every handshake my glass was topped up with a nip of whisky and by 1am I was feeling rather wobbly.’
        • ‘He swallowed half of it immediately; sighing as it warmed his stomach, before topping the glass back up again and slowly putting the bottle away.’
        • ‘Somewhere between the boiler (at the front door) and the radiator in the bathroom, water leaks out of our supposedly closed system, so we have to top it up regularly.’
        • ‘Neil Hinton, defending, said during the evening her glass had been topped up several times.’
        • ‘They fill their own Thermoses, top them up with coffee.’
        • ‘She drank almost half of it in one swig and then topped it up again and Mr. Hamilton didn't bat an eyelid.’
        • ‘I woke to find Graham out in the garden carrying out some much needed maintenance on the fish pond, topping it up with fresh water and pulling out some weed.’
        fill, refill, refresh, freshen, replenish, recharge, resupply
        supplement, add to, augment
        View synonyms
      2. 1.2Add credit to a pay-as-you-go mobile phone account.

Origin

Late Old English topp (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch top summit, crest.

Pronunciation:

top

/tɒp/

Main definitions of top in English

: top1top2

top2

noun

  • 1A conical, spherical, or pear-shaped toy that with a quick or vigorous twist may be set to spin.

    • ‘Instead he stuck to cars, drawing trees or spinning things, like tops.’
    • ‘Another guest describes a patient who thought he was a spinning top, or teetotum, and liked to spin around, at which the guest prepares to demonstrate before being interrupted by another table guest who whispers into his ear.’
    • ‘Then, after the war, increasing affluence brought more toys for children - tin soldiers, tops, and dolls made of an exciting new material called plastic.’
    • ‘Gabriel tugged and tugged at me until I was running alongside him; he was cackling like a drunken fool, and he grabbed both my hands and spun us around like tops.’
    • ‘The quarks, in essence, spin like tops, as do the neutrons and protons themselves.’
    • ‘Kids are bound to fall in love with the tiny magic tops, which turn around after starting to spin, spinning tops with strings and toothpicks with colourful, painted heads.’
    • ‘He had fallen in love, Mary's beauty and her assent to his affections spinning him like a top.’
    • ‘Boys play marbles, spin tops, fly kites, and play such games as kabaddi (team wrestling).’
    • ‘There are carefree drawings from the early 1950s in which women spin like tops, or lounge like courtesans.’
    • ‘But the tops are useless without a launcher, costing another £3.99, which spins the tops into each other at high speed.’
    • ‘We liked hurling tops and see them spin, jump and hiss.’
    • ‘Bedi spun it like a top, the ball occasionally taking a divot out of the wet mud that passed for a wicket.’
    • ‘They bounced off another outcrop and spun like tops down the scree below.’
    • ‘Louise is also hoping to branch out and offer party bags, ice-cream tubs in the summer and traditional toys, such as yo-yos and spinning tops.’
    • ‘Atoms have spin; replace the tops with atoms and now you're imagining a basic quantum computer!’
    • ‘Then they flew down the circular steps so fast that their little bodies were still spinning like tops as they swirled out the front door and into the yard.’
    • ‘Favourites from Victorian times, including building blocks, spinning tops and toy prams and dolls, are also on view.’
    • ‘Their defensemen were getting spun like tops by the great one-on-one talent at the World Cup.’
    • ‘Another offering is from toy giant Hasbro with spinning tops made of five parts known as ‘Beyblades’.’
    • ‘I was worried and wondered what he had experienced when the angels spun him like a top.’
  • 2Used in names of top shells, e.g. strawberry top.

Origin

Late Old English, of unknown origin.

Pronunciation:

top

/tɒp/

Main definitions of top in English

: top1top2

TOP

  • Tongan pa'anga.

Pronunciation:

TOP

/tɒp/