Definition of dope in US English:



  • 1informal A drug taken illegally for recreational purposes, especially marijuana or heroin.

    • ‘Let me start by saying I've never in my life smoked dope.’
    • ‘And I'm not gonna be like the little teenager for all my life, sitting around smoking dope.’
    • ‘Informed that a good narcotics agent should have an intimate knowledge of the subject, he is easily bullied into smoking dope laced with angel dust.’
    • ‘I remember seeing two movies, both on television, both after midnight, after smoking dope.’
    • ‘Being the early 1970s, everyone was smoking dope, but not me.’
    • ‘I know people who have happily smoked dope for years and never touched anything else.’
    • ‘On the one hand, he's saying it's OK to smoke dope.’
    • ‘That doesn't make cannabis a gateway - that people who might use heroin start with dope is not the same as saying that people who use dope might use heroin.’
    • ‘These people know nothing more than how to smoke their dope, grow their opium, and buy more weapons.’
    • ‘In the United States, any product containing any THC at all - THC is the main drug in dope - is considered to be a controlled substance.’
    • ‘That's similar to a user going from dope to coke to heroin.’
    • ‘The dope was known to belong to different people.’
    • ‘That was who I started smoking dope with and who I wanted to fit in with.’
    • ‘Here they are reminded that it is an offence in Britain to possess or supply heroin, cocaine, dope etc - and then told in the very next sentence that half of young British adults have done these very things.’
    • ‘Lumping everything from dope to heroin under the category ‘drugs’, and equating drug-taking with potential violence, is an obvious recipe for a media panic.’
    • ‘He gave a confusing explanation for what appears to be the rating system for dope, from 1-10, 10 being pure.’
    • ‘What i would really like to know though is what books or tapes have exercises in them that help alter brain chemistry while on drugs such as dope or lsd or even for ‘sober’ magical work.’
    • ‘If you were using would you sit there with dope in your pocket?’
    • ‘So the rose-tinted spectacles are for those smoking dope.’
    • ‘He smoked some recreational dope and he sniffed a bit of coke in the off-season when he had nothing better to do.’
    drugs, narcotics, addictive drugs, recreational drugs, illegal drugs
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    1. 1.1 A drug given to a racehorse or greyhound to inhibit or enhance its performance.
      • ‘That inquiry followed positive dope tests on two horses beaten at short odds.’
      • ‘The horse was automatically dope tested by stewards at the course and the result of those tests will be revealed later this week.’
    2. 1.2 A drug taken by an athlete to improve performance.
      as modifier ‘he failed a dope test’
      • ‘What is more encouraging is the stance of the IOC President that rather than projecting a negative image, these dope tests and sanctions against cheats would only prove beneficial to sport in the longer run.’
      • ‘Some athletes and coaches think everyone else is using dope, so if we don't, we lose.’
      • ‘For nearly two decades we thought he was the answer to those who believed that international athletics, if not Olympic sport as a whole, survived only because of dope.’
      • ‘If any athlete is found to be positive for dope just prescribe a strong dose of traditional medicine decoction which our grandmothers used to administer for all disorders continuously for a month.’
      • ‘The ultimate consequence is popular opinion believing that every strong ski performance is derived from dope rather than talent and hard work.’
      • ‘But he was in unexpectedly hawkish mood as he said: ‘No dope case can tarnish the Games.’’
      • ‘Athens will see more dope tests than any previous Olympics.’
      • ‘Until testers learnt about the new designer steroid THG, athletes were taking it and still returning negative dope tests.’
      • ‘His previous positive dope tests see him banned from Beijing.’
      • ‘They denied the allegation and said that more Americans were tested for dope than athletes from any other contingent.’
      • ‘South African cricketers had better get used to being dope tested once the United Cricket Board of South Africa introduces its anti-doping policy at its annual meeting in August.’
      • ‘Although the most modern methods of finding the athletes who cheat are being used I don't believe that they will catch all of the athletes who use dope to win.’
      • ‘One hears that perhaps up to two-thirds of elite level cyclists may be taking some sort of dope to give them enhanced performance.’
  • 2informal A stupid person.

    ‘though he wasn't an intellectual giant, he was no dope either’
    • ‘Instead of a few invincible dopes, there would be thousands.’
    • ‘If it's bad, it's bad because it's run by a pair of dopes who still consider fishcakes an exciting dish.’
    • ‘They continue that while these people are not ‘cultural dopes,’ press framing will influence their subsequent analysis of an issue.’
    • ‘But they never leap to the chance, the poor dopes.’
    • ‘It demonstrates that people are not cultural dopes who mindlessly obey the instructions of an exploitative social order, even when these instructions are effective on a subliminal level.’
    • ‘If life were a sandbox, these lawsuit-happy dopes would be the kids who instantly run away to their parents, bawling that another child called them a name or looked at them funny.’
    • ‘Besides, it's already got a built-in audience - the dopes who made it.’
    • ‘The real dopes are his lieutenants who appear incapable of helping out their tired leader.’
    • ‘That is not to imply that those who read about her in the tabloids were ‘cultural dopes,’ passively accepting the narrative.’
    • ‘They have suffered embarrassment and worst from dopes, dubbos and incompetents.’
    • ‘The poor loveable dope probably forgot that his car was still broken down.’
    • ‘‘I like to get different shots and don't like to make the same shots the other dopes do.’’
    • ‘He, for me, has always been funniest playing the straight dope, the poor schmuck who is constantly assailed by ludicrous circumstances.’
    • ‘His bewildered, regular dope is one of his best performances.’
    • ‘I'm sure she could take them, but I'd still feel uneasy if obnoxious dopes with ill-bred intentions were within a twenty foot distance from her.’
    • ‘The dopes must have left it that way by mistake.’
    • ‘Watching him trick the poor dopes into turning the wrong way when he tapped their shoulder or scaring unsuspecting matrons with his grotesque face was amusing.’
    • ‘Some scholars contend that neoinstitutionalist accounts of adoption depict actors as cognitive dopes, and others suggest that actors are cognitive entrepreneurs.’
    • ‘You have to wonder just what other accidents are waiting to happen between now and the end of the Games, and I don't mean the two dopes now out of hospital!’
    • ‘‘And I can have a grown up conversation with you easier than I could those two immature dopes.’’
    fool, idiot, ass, halfwit, nincompoop, blockhead, buffoon, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clod
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  • 3informal Information about a subject, especially if not generally known.

    ‘our reviewer will give you the dope on hot spots around the town’
    • ‘All their inside street dope comes from a flamboyant restaurateur.’
    • ‘The obvious solution was to get the dope on him.’
    • ‘They are the person you turn to for the truth, for the straight dope.’
    • ‘If you really want the straight dope, read these court papers filed by his vice president.’
    • ‘He found out what some of the other cabinet ministers were up to and started collecting the dope on them.’
    • ‘They really will give you the inside dope on where things are going.’
    • ‘Get the inside dope on that and stuff you didn't know enough to wonder about.’
    information, details, particulars, facts, figures, statistics, data
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  • 4A varnish applied to the fabric surface of model aircraft to strengthen them and keep them airtight.

    • ‘Airplanes were made of dope, fabric, and wood - all highly flammable.’
    • ‘He had done a lot of wood repair in the aileron and flap bays so there were patches of silver dope on the fabric and it was not really looking so good.’
    • ‘He sniffed the glue and airplane dope and sawdust, and listened to the hammers and buzz saws.’
    • ‘The fuselage dope and paint is all cracked and weathered making the craft look very authentic.’
    • ‘Carefully tease the loops of the whipping together so that there are no gaps and either give it a coat of quick drying dope used by model aircraft builders or coat it with the specially made rod ring epoxy finish.’
    1. 4.1 A thick liquid used as a lubricant.
      • ‘Pipe dope is applied to the male threads of pipes to be connected to female threads.’
      • ‘The pipe dope provides lubrication and seals the joints.’


[with object]
  • 1Administer drugs to (a racehorse, greyhound, or athlete) in order to inhibit or enhance sporting performance.

    ‘the horse was doped before the race’
    • ‘In later studies one should ask whether doping agents were administered with needles and whether the needles were shared.’
    • ‘They got away with doping its cyclists with their own oxygenated blood.’
    • ‘Olympic athletes doped themselves without fear of being caught.’
    • ‘The prosecution had alleged that the five charged were part of a group that set out to dope racehorses in an attempt to make money off wagering.’
    • ‘His ban from racing for doping horses was extended by 20 years.’
    • ‘Later, faced with the evidence of his own files, he admitted he had doped athletes but only up until 1985, when the practice was banned by the IOC and Italy's ministry of health made it a criminal offence.’
    • ‘The use of doping substances or doping methods that enhance performance is cheating, unfair and contrary to the spirit of fair competition.’
    • ‘A former jockey and trainer, he appeared before the Jockey Club to answer charges that in 1990 he doped horses between August 3 and September 20.’
    • ‘He is a coach more notorious for doping his athletes than for their on-track successes.’
    • ‘Even chemical and drug estimation in the blood, especially in the case of heavy-duty industrial workers and suspected doping footballers, can also be determined in just a few minutes.’
    • ‘He is a former jockey turned trainer, who has admitted to doping horses and trying to fix races.’
    • ‘All athletes have been subject to no-notice doping tests since the opening of the Olympic village on July 30.’
    • ‘Having mastered how to use the equipment, the chemist can find out whether, for instance, a race horse had been doped, if an area is worth mining or if the proper chemical compound has been made.’
    • ‘‘The perception is that we're doping horses, which is certainly not the case,’ he said.’
    • ‘He is said to have helped dope horses and fix races and had a number of jockeys on his pay roll.’
    • ‘I know two horses were doped, but there was never enough evidence.’
    • ‘He admitted to doping riders, and he and a team doctor were charged with drug-law violations and briefly jailed.’
    • ‘Doping horses is nothing new in sport and there are some famous stories of race horses being doped in order to land a big gamble on another horse.’
    • ‘Even when doping athletes are caught, they often beat the rap.’
    drug, administer drugs to, administer narcotics to, administer opiates to
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    1. 1.1be doped upinformal Be heavily under the influence of drugs, typically illegal ones.
      ‘he was so doped up that he can't remember a thing’
      • ‘She sighed and closed her eyes, tired from all the painkillers she'd been doped up on.’
      • ‘Don't you ever get tired of being doped up all the time?’
      • ‘See how quickly time flies when you're doped up for a day or so!’
      • ‘Experts in this field say that even if he was doped up to the gills he wouldn't have won a medal in Athens.’
      • ‘Maybe I could find some sort of herbal thing that makes you feel like you're doped up - like alcohol without the sloppiness.’
      • ‘Can you imagine what the story would be like if I tried to write while I was doped up on Kodine?’
      • ‘I'm so doped up I don't know what I'm doing ", I said to them.’
      • ‘It conjures up an image like that in the novel Brave New World, where everyone is doped up, rather than having their real problems dealt with.’
      • ‘It was alleged that they, much like some of their human counterparts, were doped up.’
      • ‘He was so doped up with all the drugs that he didn't know at times.’
      • ‘Maybe if she knew he was doped up on opiate, she might've felt a bit better.’
      • ‘It didn't matter if they actually cured anything, as long as the patients could be doped up beyond caring.’
      • ‘He spends a lot of time either asleep or doped up on methadone, telling me about how he ‘fell’ out of the window in the attic.’
      • ‘I must also admit that she was doped up to the eyeballs with morphine to ease her pain.’
      • ‘See, she's a heroin addict here, and tries real hard to look all doped up and dramatic.’
    2. 1.2 Treat (food or drink) with drugs.
      ‘maybe they had doped her Perrier’
      • ‘The warning comes after reports of an incident where a woman's drink was doped.’
      add drugs to, tamper with, adulterate, contaminate
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    3. 1.3dated, informal no object Regularly take illegal drugs.
  • 2Smear or cover with varnish or other thick liquid.

    ‘she doped the surface with photographic emulsion’
    • ‘The ailerons have been covered and doped to the silver layer.’
    • ‘However, it is doped as in the olden days, then covered with an impressive paint finish.’
    • ‘The silicon carbide epitaxial layer may have a thickness and a doping level so as to provide a charge in the silicon carbide epitaxial region based on the surface doping of the blocking layer.’
    • ‘Apart from bad weather at the time, it seems that the main culprit was a tear in the airship's doped fabric covering.’
    • ‘The culprit, he believes, was the highly flammable cellulose doping compound used to coat the fabric covering and make it taut.’
    • ‘If you dope it afterward, surface tension takes the particles back to a spherical shape.’
    • ‘Spanning just 21-ft 2-in, the wing structure was created using large pieces of balsa wood which were then covered with three-ply sheeting which was covered with doped linen.’
  • 3Electronics
    Add an impurity to (a semiconductor) to produce a desired electrical characteristic.

    • ‘Hydroxide defect doping is necessary to overcome kinetic barriers to this ordering.’
    • ‘The tank has a highly doped region of opposite conductivity type and a lightly doped region of opposite conductivity type between the highly doped region and the surface of tank.’
    • ‘To conduct electricity, a polymer needs to be doped so that electrons can move freely.’
    • ‘The flash memory device includes a semiconductor substrate and heavily doped impurity regions formed spaced apart from one another by a predetermined distance in the semiconductor substrate in a first direction.’
    • ‘Recent research has discovered that a semiconductor can be made magnetic by doping it with an impurity.’


  • Very good.

    ‘that suit is dope!’
    • ‘I have had some dope sessions in San Fransisco.’
    • ‘There's always dope MCs and there's always bad MCs.’
    • ‘There's no other way to put it - Saturday was dope.’
    • ‘Sunday was dope with the unbelievable Red Sox game in the afternoon and then the show at night.’
    • ‘You've taken skating to the limit it seems and have some dope skills.’
    excellent, wonderful, marvellous, magnificent, superb, splendid, glorious, sublime, lovely, delightful, first-class, first-rate, outstanding
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Phrasal Verbs

  • dope something out

    • Work out something.

      ‘they met to dope out plans for covering the event’


Early 19th century (in the sense ‘thick liquid’): from Dutch doop ‘sauce’, from doopen ‘to dip, mix’.