Main definitions of cop in US English:

: cop1cop2

cop1

nounPlural cops

informal
  • A police officer.

    • ‘It reminds me of how on a certain Illinois highway, the cops would park a patrol car in a visible area on the side of the road.’
    • ‘He dodged the cops by monitoring police scanners to spy on the very people who were tracking him.’
    • ‘They had all been pestered by the police before, of course, but what teenage boy hadn't pulled some stupid stunt to get the cops on there backs?’
    • ‘Sam had almost killed the cops for not having patrol cars all around.’
    • ‘The public really do feel reassured when they see cops out on the streets.’
    • ‘So, why not allow cops to take a DNA sample from criminal suspects?’
    • ‘In this photo, the man who always boasted that cops could never infiltrate his gang was actually posing with several undercover agents.’
    • ‘Many residents, say group members, pleaded with the cops to crack down on the drug dealers long before the recent shootings.’
    • ‘I spent most of my career as a prosecutor trying to weed out cops like this.’
    • ‘Three cops sat on the table next to it, watching him.’
    • ‘I felt sorry for the shivering cops out there, it wasn't their idea to shut things down, I guess.’
    • ‘This was roundly contradicted by the top cop responsible for traffic policing.’
    • ‘What was the compelling news value of the news helicopter's pursuit of the car after cops broke off their chase?’
    • ‘There are so many cops on the streets it seems logical that this would've happened eventually.’
    • ‘But there is nothing to say that cops can't monitor people while obscured by alleyway shadows.’
    • ‘Perhaps we need some courtesy cops on the motorways today.’
    • ‘Finally, when he wouldn't be convinced by simple police reports, the cops let him see the evidence.’
    • ‘So what's an ordinary citizen, or cop or government official to do with that in mind?’
    • ‘As of this morning, the area around the Japanese embassy is still heavily policed by regular cops and Armed Police with riot gear.’
    • ‘Jerry Vick I think probably was the most effective vice cop I've ever seen.’
    policeman, policewoman, officer of the law, law enforcement agent, law enforcement officer, officer
    View synonyms

verbcops, copped, copping

[with object]informal
  • 1Catch or arrest (an offender)

    ‘he was copped for speeding’
    • ‘If they get caught and copped, if they get nicked and weighed-off, fair enough.’
    1. 1.1 Incur (something unwelcome)
      ‘the team's captain copped most of the blame’
      • ‘It's a ferocious and demanding sport and it takes a very special sort of bloke to put their body on their line, but it takes an even more courageous and humble man to go into a game knowing his team is about to cop a flogging.’
      • ‘They know that whether or not they turn up to court, the result is probably going to be about the same, they're probably going to be found guilty and they're probably going to cop a fine.’
      • ‘We are going to cop flak from everywhere, but we are used to that.’
      • ‘Your investment can produce top-quality diving no matter what the weather - and we copped the hurricane.’
      • ‘I've copped my fair share of nicks and cuts, but they haven't been serious wounds.’
      • ‘If a person is caught traveling above the average speed they will cop multiple fines and lose several more points.’
      • ‘He copped a lot of criticism, which is not nice for anybody to take.’
      • ‘He cops a boot for his troubles though, and - with his left eye bleeding - is still down getting treatment.’
      • ‘If you haven't yet copped an earful, start here - they are only getting better with age.’
      • ‘We'd been through a really tough week in Dublin so, to be honest, we expected to cop some backlash.’
      • ‘By putting in place inexperienced senior police who had never copped the odd punch in the mouth or broken nose in the line of duty, the police force hung the community and the local police out to dry.’
      • ‘Let the government cop the political flak for spending taxpayers' money on this instead of heart operations.’
      • ‘Then there were the subsequent occasions I was unfortunate enough to cop an earful.’
      • ‘Instead, the research suggests that because of the runaway housing market, many families with modest incomes' one big asset - their house - could end up copping inheritance tax at 40%.’
      • ‘Convict captain Ricky Ponting copped one through the visor of his helmet that laid his cheek open.’
      • ‘The list is culled from the letters received by fixed-penalty units in which motorists attempt to extricate themselves from copping a fine for speeding.’
      • ‘I'm not going to claim it as fact, but there's a widely held belief amongst many that the union movement cops an unjust and unfair hiding in the mainstream press.’
      • ‘I think I must be setting some kind of a record for the number of bans incurred and also the speed at which I cop them.’
      • ‘The English media thinks they're team's copping a raw deal from the Australian media this week.’
      • ‘His leader Don Bash copped a broadside from one respondent who described him as ‘a wimp.’’
  • 2Receive or obtain (something welcome)

    ‘she copped an award for her role in the film’
    • ‘One of its distinguished principals, designer Peter Minshall, copped this country's first Grammy Award, albeit for work done abroad.’
    • ‘Williams also copped the award for Academic Excellence and subject prizes for Biology and French.’
    • ‘New Park's players copped the other awards.’
    • ‘Some of us have been watching television all our lives without copping an England team victory in a global event and without seriously suspecting we ever would.’
    • ‘He copped the award for the Most Outstanding Academic Performance, while Jeremiah Bishop received the Principal's Spirit Award.’
    • ‘He was the top sprinter at the recent National Championships and copped the MVP award.’
    • ‘With the increased risk of being caught, people no longer dared either to cop a free ride or to carry a weapon.’
    • ‘In the States, his choreography copped a Bessie award - given for contemporary dance and dance theater.’
    • ‘Besides, even if you were to cop that kiss, you would not magically get A's or stop daydreaming.’
    • ‘It was her second Juno, following the Best Female Newcomer award she copped in 2001.’
    • ‘He copped several A-level awards, including best all round student.’
    • ‘On February 20, it copped the audience award for best feature film at the Belize Film Festival.’
    1. 2.1US Steal.
      ‘he watched her cop a pair of earrings and then nabbed her at the door’
      • ‘They finally figure a way to cop his coins and they leave LWM to get arrested for digging a hole in the ground.’
    2. 2.2US Obtain (an illegal drug)
      ‘he copped some hash for me’
      • ‘Social Security checks, welfare checks, and food stamp pickups (food stamp trading for drugs and other items) change street activities and copping frequency.’
      • ‘Teresa, a 24-year-old crack user, found copping drugs was the major source of fights.’
      • ‘I went and copped some dope, then got on a methadone program.’
      • ‘After copping, they may then not be able to obtain new syringes because local pharmacies and needle exchange services may be closed or far away.’
      • ‘I really wanted to get high because I was very really stressed out, and something about having the Feds sit outside my apartment kept me from copping any drugs.’
      • ‘Dude is driving around town on his souped-up cycle, copping cannabis and picking up chicks.’
      • ‘I knew about three or four places to cop, all in the immediate area.’
  • 3North American Strike (an attitude or pose)

    ‘I copped an attitude—I acted real tough’
    • ‘But copping an attitude alone won't make you a hacker, any more than it will make you a champion athlete or a rock star.’
    • ‘But if it approves this issue without sending it out to referendum, it's copping an elitist attitude with the snootiest of them.’
    • ‘She was copping this attitude, an annoying attitude, and I shook my head, grabbing the beer from beside her and opening it up, taking a huge gulp.’
    • ‘Alas, I had been copping a generally arrogant attitude since hitting the water despite an almost complete lack of skills and now I was going to pay for it.’
    • ‘They get paid millions to cop an attitude and are allowed to fail to deliver the goods on the field, court, or what have you.’
    • ‘The kid started copping an attitude with me, like I had complained on him or something, going so far as flipping me off a couple times as he and one of his mouth-breather chums pulled away in a car.’
    • ‘Of course, a player tends to cop this type of attitude when he knows his days with his current employer are numbered.’
    • ‘‘It's pretty easy,’ April says, copping an easy-going attitude and ruining any hopes of juicy controversy.’
    • ‘Don't like it when someone else cops the attitude you usually reserve for yourself?’
    • ‘It's just that Valentine's been copping a lot of attitude lately and that's totally unlike him.’
    • ‘Early on, I expect I saw more influences than there really were, just assuming that if anyone was doing anything remotely similar, they musta been copping it from us, but I got over that reasonably fast.’
    • ‘Someone who comes off as arrogant and cops a holier-than-thou attitude should be booed.’

Phrases

  • cop a feel

    • informal Fondle someone sexually, especially in a surreptitious way or without their permission.

      • ‘But I know it was probably him trying to cop a feel.’
      • ‘He's hit on me all night, tried cop a feel, and refused to back off.’
      • ‘You wouldn't believe how many guys try to cop a feel, or jump on stage and try to molest me.’
      • ‘And don't you dare cop a feel in the back seat of my car.’
      • ‘Don't tell me you tried to cop a feel or something.’
      • ‘‘What a get up,’ he added, copping a feel of Lynn's well outlined derrière.’
      • ‘But not even an Italian will cop a feel and then try to get away with a lame: ‘I was just being friendly.’’
      • ‘Then she tried dating, concluding from one adolescent's attempt to cop a feel that all men go about this, no matter what their age.’
      • ‘People in Cornwall will be parading about in horse costumes trying to cop a feel of the local farmer's daughter.’
      • ‘Morris copped a feel again this afternoon, shoved his hand right down my uniform.’
      • ‘I feel like I just shelled out a couple hundred bucks for dinner for two at a nice restaurant, but didn't even get to cop a feel.’
      • ‘The liquor is talking to them and they try to cop a feel.’
      • ‘He thinks it's a good thing that I keep staring at him, but really I'm just afraid he's going to try to cop a feel while I'm not looking.’
      • ‘As I sauntered down the beach on the prowl for a passed out girl that I could cop a feel from, I spied a raggedy looking tent that was selling strange looking wares.’
      • ‘If he tries anything funny, like lifting up her skirt to cop a feel, he gets his hand slapped.’
      • ‘Despite their stuck-in-high-school doofiness, they were loyal friends who tried to do right by the girls, even as they were trying to cop a feel.’
  • cop hold of

    • informal usually in imperativeTake hold of.

      ‘cop hold of the suitcase, I'm off’
      • ‘Don't get me wrong, there's some pretty stirring stuff - much like we'd have from Mars Volta if they ever copped hold of a bunch of Coldplay records - but what the rich, fluid tones gain in consistency, they lose in relief.’
      • ‘Dad sprung from his chair like greased lightning, copped hold of the impudent young whippersnapper and bent him over his knee for a ceremonial thrashing.’
      • ‘I've only time for a short review, so my tip is cop hold of ‘Independently Blue’, lie back and relax.’
      • ‘‘Well, aren't you in for a surprise then, here cop hold of this’, and I handed him a mug of ‘coffee’ liberally laced with what the girl had given me.’
      • ‘During a game of the sophisticated ‘spin the bottle’, she copped hold of Pete.’
  • cop a plea

    • informal Engage in plea bargaining.

      • ‘Anybody else in this industry would have already copped a plea, and that's just what the government wants.’
      • ‘Let's say I walked after copping a plea to obstruction of justice.’
      • ‘Leon had copped a plea of guilty for solicitation and accepted the penalty of time served - a charge for which he had previously done real time.’
      • ‘The nine defendants, advised by their lawyers to cop a plea of guilty in return for ‘lighter’ prison sentences, mounted their own defence and were eventually acquitted of the charges by an all white jury.’
      • ‘I think they were trying to get the defense to cop a plea in that case.’
      • ‘Until today that is, when he copped a plea in U.S. District Court in Concord.’
      • ‘You can defend yourself against an indictment or you can cop a plea.’
      • ‘To encourage the defendant to cop a plea, some reduction in the charge is usually offered.’
      • ‘When common criminals are allowed to cop a plea, they plead guilty first as part of the bargain.’
      • ‘In Germany, meanwhile, an accused MP cops a plea, or plans to anyway.’
  • good cop, bad cop

    • informal Used to refer to a police interrogation technique in which one officer feigns a sympathetic or protective attitude while another adopts an aggressive approach.

      ‘they'll bring you into the station and play good cop, bad cop with you’
      figurative ‘a Jekyll and Hyde CEO is good cop, bad cop rolled into one expensive suit’
      • ‘But to me, his own piece really hangs together with that of the Post in sort of a twisted "good cop, bad cop" kind of thing.’
      • ‘Viewed from Tehran, the west is playing a classic game of good cop, bad cop.’
      • ‘Now, don't play good cop, bad cop with me.’
      • ‘We should play good cop, bad cop with him.’
      • ‘It seems they play good cop, bad cop out on the training pitch.’
      • ‘Before, the administration seemed to want it to do kind of a good cop, bad cop with Arafat.’
      • ‘Mr Mills claimed that two prosecutors, playing " good cop, bad cop ", had put the words into his mouth.’
      • ‘Playing good cop, bad cop, they alternated sweetness and challenge.’
      • ‘The translator should not be used in a "good cop, bad cop" role.’
      • ‘The reaction of England management was interesting, almost on the lines of good cop, bad cop.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • cop out

    • Avoid doing something that one ought to do.

      ‘he copped out at the last moment’
      • ‘And, without giving anything away, Lucas totally cops out of the one truly disturbing moment the movie could have had.’
      • ‘There's always the possibility that whatever enticing visions the Bush team puts forward, the Americans will just find them too hard to implement, and will end up copping out.’
      • ‘Ultimately, the plot cops out and an easy solution is pasted on to avoid confusion.’
      • ‘Despite its weaknesses, it never drags and by the end ties up the plot quite satisfactorily without copping out.’
      • ‘Don't cop out by claiming that you're trying to reach all readers.’
      • ‘Originally, I was going to cop out of this with a joke answer.’
      • ‘Somehow these Globe directors and designers seem to have gotten it into their heads that it is copping out to design costumes that are appropriate for the characters!’
      • ‘So he cops out on charitable donations and still tries to fight in the name of ‘the greater good?’’
      • ‘And yes, I am also copping out of writing an entry to wrap this year up.’
      • ‘Rather than face criticism, Fisk cops out by vilifying his critics as ‘haters’ who indulge in right-wing demagoguery.’
      avoid, shirk, skip, dodge, sidestep, skirt round, bypass, steer clear of, evade, escape, run away from, shrink from, slide out of, back out of, pull out of, turn one's back on
      View synonyms
  • cop to

    • Accept or admit to.

      ‘there are a lot of people who don't cop to their past’
      • ‘They saw magazine executives under oath in a celebrity trial copping to fraudulent circulation figures.’
      • ‘She has the tone of a recovering alcoholic copping to past bad behavior.’
      • ‘But no, Jude Law raised his hands and copped to it.’
      • ‘By now I'm used to admitting error on a fairly regular basis - but I'm not copping to this one.’
      • ‘Williams quickly copped to having had a conflict of interest and apologized for his ‘bad judgment.’’
      • ‘Disrespecting the Bing basically meant copping to an insignificant offense in order to avoid taking responsibility for, or admitting to, a far graver one.’
      • ‘His name as a performer and a producer is synonymous with ‘do it yourself’ and ‘low fidelity’, whether he'll cop to it or not.’
      • ‘Okay, so what he is basically copping to is a complete abdication of his Congressional responsibilities, a failure to uphold his oath, and a seeming lack of knowledge regarding our Constitution.’
      • ‘But she always finds others to castigate for their immorality and selfishness, rarely copping to what she would call a decadent lifestyle if another woman lived it.’
      • ‘This is a case of sloppy staff work in Brown's office and not much more - but it's still a screw-up, which explains why Brown's office immediately copped to the miscue.’

Origin

Early 18th century (as a verb): perhaps from obsolete cap ‘arrest’, from Old French caper ‘seize’, from Latin capere. The noun is from copper.

Pronunciation

cop

/käp//kɑp/

Main definitions of cop in US English:

: cop1cop2

cop2

nounPlural cops

  • A conical or cylindrical roll of thread wound onto a spindle.

Origin

Late 18th century: possibly from Old English cop ‘summit, top’.

Pronunciation

cop

/käp//kɑp/