Main definitions of copper in US English:

: copper1copper2

copper1

noun

  • 1A red-brown metal, the chemical element of atomic number 29.

    Copper was the earliest metal to be used by humans, first by itself and then later alloyed with tin to form bronze. A ductile, easily worked metal, it is a very good conductor of heat and electricity and is used especially for electrical wiring

    • ‘These were supplanted by blocks into which metal (usually copper or brass) was inlaid.’
    • ‘Some of the material is pure, but much of it contained a little copper.’
    • ‘Over the centuries the techniques of making all forms of metal ware: pewter, copper, brass and bronze, iron and steel, have varied.’
    • ‘Sweating flushes toxic metals, such as copper, lead and mercury, and removes excess salt, a benefit for those with mild hypertension.’
    • ‘In modern times, bronze is an alloy of copper and any metal except zinc.’
    • ‘Jason Mernick is a California-based artist who works with metals such as copper and stainless steel.’
    • ‘Laboratories in larger wineries may also be equipped to test for mineral elements such as iron, copper, sodium, and potassium.’
    • ‘Radiation, lead, and other heavy metals, such as copper and mercury, could hurt the baby.’
    • ‘And don't install dissimilar metals such as copper and steel in the same wall.’
    • ‘In addition, fruit juices are rich in essential minerals like iron, copper, potassium, sodium, iodine and magnesium.’
    • ‘Creep is the slow flow of a non-ferric metal like copper, brass and lead under force.’
    • ‘During the Bronze Age Ireland had a significant metal industry, and exported artefacts in bronze, copper, and gold to Britain and the Continent.’
    • ‘For example, tobacco plants can absorb heavy metals, mercury, copper, and lead.’
    • ‘Coins are made using various alloys of metals like nickel, copper and zinc.’
    • ‘Unlike aluminum, copper metal is fairly easy to obtain chemically from its ores.’
    • ‘As my predicted recovery of the American economy gets speed, the world will buy more of our diamonds, gold, copper and uranium again.’
    • ‘Silver fillings are actually made of a combination of metals including silver, tin, copper and mercury.’
    • ‘It is high in vitamin A and the B group vitamins as well as copper, magnesium, potassium and phosphate.’
    • ‘How much did they allocate to the people whose land contained the copper?’
    • ‘Men usually work with metals such as copper, brass, and aluminum to craft decorative plates, wall hangings, and utensils.’
  • 2British A copper coin, especially a penny.

    ‘you could hire a raft for a few coppers’
    • ‘Taking the price off the clothes you're wearing there, now that should come up to about two silvers and five coppers.’
    • ‘She stopped by a fruit stand and got two apples for three copper pieces.’
    • ‘Amazingly, people started to put money in the box - just coppers and five pence pieces, but still more than we'd expected.’
    • ‘Fifty some coppers met her questing fingers, seven more added once her count was complete.’
    • ‘Bess is paid ten coppers a week, and is provided with room and board.’
    • ‘Coniston folk are busily mining their pockets for coppers in a bid to save one million pennies to install disabled facilities at the village's public toilet.’
    • ‘Myra had taken in lodgers as a means of increasing her income and had started taking in laundry to make a few more coppers to help feed her growing family.’
    • ‘Alexa gave her half of the coppers and one silver and stored the pouch into the lower side pocket of her khakis.’
    • ‘I am about to try and persuade mum to take me to Sainsburys to change up all my billions of coppers for actual usable cash.’
    • ‘She had fifteen coppers, twelve silvers, and fifty gold pieces.’
    • ‘Crystal stared miserable at her polystyrene cup, which contained only a few coppers and one ten pence piece.’
    • ‘If you have jars or bottles which contain coppers or foreign coins at home you could donate them to the project.’
    • ‘The manager of the shop arrived to find the lock smashed, and the money, all silver and coppers, all gone.’
    • ‘Villagers will also be searching for their loose coppers to make up a mile of coins.’
    • ‘The entrance fee was one shilling, and we had to borrow several pails to hold the coppers and other coins that were paid in.’
    • ‘You find a space and trip along to the ticket machine, only to discover that you have come out with only a ten pound note and 26p in coppers.’
    • ‘The boy replies, ‘I never handed money into a man's hand in my life, nor I'm not going to do it now,’ and he flings his purse of coppers over a hedge into the woods.’
    • ‘They also took £120 in coppers his family had been saving to spend on holiday.’
    • ‘Abbey skipped up to the house, a silver bit and four coppers jingling in her apron pocket.’
    • ‘He produced three shillings and a few coppers for the purchase of spirits saying that was all he had in the world.’
  • 3A reddish-brown color like that of copper.

    • ‘There was quite a pile of copper coloured hair in a ring around the chair when she finished.’
    • ‘The camera switches across to the other side of my mouth and focuses on a huge filling that gleams two distinct colours, copper and silver.’
    • ‘Those orange copper eyes were penetrating his mind, telling him to stop where he was and face the creature.’
    • ‘Leaves are changing color to intense reds and pinks, vivid oranges and yellows, and more subdued browns and coppers as they fall.’
    • ‘There weren't many people in my school with copper coloured hair.’
    • ‘The popular colours are beige, cream, brown and copper which are ideal for showing off the intricate work.’
    • ‘Under the large hood two copper eyes studied what was currently becoming clear to their vision.’
    • ‘At this stage tie in a length of copper or fine red coloured wire.’
    • ‘In other colourful news, I've just had some reddish / copper lowlights put in my hair.’
    • ‘It then rises to show an identical backdrop, now stained with the colors of archaic art: coppers and golds, turquoises and deep blues, flashes of vermilion.’
    • ‘Striking copper coloured bark on the stems and trunk peels off in large pieces to reveal lighter new bark below making it irresistible to stop and touch.’
    • ‘Her hair was curling and glossy and copper coloured.’
    • ‘Two rules to remember: Keep lighter shades on top, and choose complementary colors like warm golds and coppers.’
    • ‘As to the colour, fine copper slices are placed in diagonal sections through the back and sides.’
    • ‘Looking closely, there's a hint of copper colouring in the larger scratch.’
    • ‘You will see copper complexions and the lighter shades of pale.’
    • ‘All of the trees were gradually becoming painted with the familiar crimsons, coppers, golds, and bronzes.’
    • ‘Ellis says the copper colour is typical of an English style ale.’
    • ‘We stopped a few times to photograph some of these views, especially the valley oases overshadowed by the colourful mountains, streaked with amber, brown, copper and deep purple.’
    • ‘McKinnon has an explosion of curly, deep copper coloured hair around features that can only be called elfin.’
  • 4with modifier A small butterfly of North America and Eurasia. The upper surface of its wings is typically bright reddish-orange or purple.

    Genus Lycaena, family Lycaenidae: numerous species, including the American copper (L. phlaeas) of the eastern US and arctic North America

verb

[with object]
  • Cover or coat (something) with copper.

    • ‘Everything was made of gold, coppered from age.’
    • ‘Drake watched it from atop the watchman's truck, against the pole that held the beat-up and coppered bell.’

Origin

Old English copor, coper (related to Dutch koper and German Kupfer), based on late Latin cuprum, from Latin cyprium aes ‘Cyprus metal’ (so named because Cyprus was the chief source).

Pronunciation

copper

/ˈkɑpər//ˈkäpər/

Main definitions of copper in US English:

: copper1copper2

copper2

noun

British
informal
  • A police officer.

    • ‘Since Monday I have been counting the number of coppers, cop cars, dog handling units, malicious arrests and good-humoured stop-and-searches I've spotted in Hackney.’
    • ‘‘So that's what he's calling himself now,’ said the junior copper, a mere Detective Sergeant.’
    • ‘And even against the increasing daylight we could make out that they were uniformed coppers, and that each of them was holding a push bike!’
    • ‘It sounds too much like a cop-out from the coppers, because the problem is so large that it takes up valuable police resources.’
    • ‘Search warrants in hand, the coppers nicked some computers, video game manuals, Blockbuster movie rental cards, DVDs, a microphone and a power cord.’
    • ‘It was just my luck that at that moment a police van with nine or 10 coppers in it drove by.’
    • ‘Amazingly, the police had not bothered to place a copper outside the scene of an attempted murder.’
    • ‘Here are the latest thoughts from Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Bob Hastings, who presides over the coppers manning the checkpoints.’
    • ‘He's 43, been a copper for 25 years and has a pedigree of detective work, having covered ganglands, drug trafficking and extortion.’
    • ‘It's the police force, the good coppers working for us.’
    • ‘He must have been visiting someone there, a copper probably.’
    • ‘North Yorkshire's top copper joined the police in 1975.’
    • ‘How do you know the coppers won't know you weren't there?’
    • ‘Unless perhaps you were a copper going undercover.’
    • ‘This is a proper copper who has busted cocaine rings in the past.’
    • ‘He knew the house belonged to a copper because there was a uniform hanging up.’
    • ‘He added: ‘He arrived in an ambulance, was taken in by two coppers and left later in a police van.’’
    • ‘I told him if he tried to contact me I'd get an intervention order and he ranted and raved a bit but with the two coppers - sorry the two police officers - there he didn't dare do anything.’
    • ‘Another police car pulled up and another couple of coppers ambled out.’
    • ‘Local communities want to see regular patrols - even though it is estimated that only once in every eight years will a copper actually pass a crime in commission.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: from cop + -er.

Pronunciation

copper

/ˈkɑpər//ˈkäpər/