Definition of mop in English:



  • 1An implement consisting of a sponge or a bundle of thick loose strings attached to a handle, used for wiping floors or other surfaces.

    • ‘The woman went into the kitchen and got a mop and bucket out of a cabinet.’
    • ‘Mop the floor with cleaner, squeeze the mop as dry as possible, then use the clear rinse water’
    • ‘Wash with clear water, a mild detergent, and a clean mop.’
    • ‘I jump back into reality, dipping my mop again and swirling the water around on the dirty floor.’
    • ‘I simply took the mop and bucket and started to clean up the mess without a word.’
    • ‘Vacuum after each sanding, and then go over the floor with a damp mop to remove all the dust.’
    • ‘And surfaces dry much quicker than when they are swabbed down with wet mops, reducing the risk of slips and falls.’
    • ‘I stopped in the kitchen and spread some water in the center of the floor, pushing it around with my mop.’
    • ‘Use a mop or sponge with warm water and a general all-purpose cleaner.’
    • ‘Sara got a mop out of the hall closet and began to clean up the water.’
    • ‘Use a second cloth or a dry mop to wipe the floor dry.’
    • ‘When you wash your floors, use two sponge mops - one to clean the first time, the other to rinse.’
    • ‘One way of removing built up floor wax manually, is to mix detergent and ammonia with water and apply to the floor with a mop or sponge.’
    • ‘She quickly mopped the floor, went downstairs to put the mop back in the kitchen, and head upstairs to her room.’
    • ‘For a full minute, the only sound was the swish of the mop against the tiled floor.’
    • ‘She grabbed the mop and bucket and swabbed down the deck in record time, determined to be the best pirate of all time.’
    • ‘Rinse again with a clean mop and just plain cool water.’
    • ‘She'd left armed with two powdered cleansers, three different liquids, a spray, and assorted brushes, sponges, buckets, and mops.’
    • ‘First use the duster, then use a wet mop to wipe the floor.’
    • ‘I stomp into the house in my muddy boots without considering that my mother will have to fetch a mop and bucket and clean up after me.’
    sponge, swab, squeegee
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    1. 1.1 A thick mass of disordered hair.
      ‘her tousled mop of blonde hair’
      • ‘Then I saw the mop of frizzy blonde hair, and a flash of red lipstick as she took a glance out of the window.’
      • ‘A tall woman with a mop of curly blonde hair and huge owl glasses poked her head out.’
      • ‘He was standing with his back to me, but from this angle, he appeared to have a very nice tan, as well as a shaggy mop of golden blonde hair.’
      • ‘He was young and tanned with a floppy mop of hair under his helmet.’
      • ‘Her pale face expressed utter exhaustion beneath the tangled mop of brown hair.’
      • ‘Duff stopped and turned, stared at it, then ran his fingers through an unruly mop of hair.’
      • ‘I sat down on the chair and wondered if there was any point in trying to make my unruly mop of hair behave.’
      • ‘He had light blue eyes, a freckled face and a mop of bright blonde hair atop his head.’
      • ‘Her blonde hair was a mop of curls framing her round childish face dominated by large brown eyes.’
      • ‘Upon entry into this world the delivery nurse was apparently so taken with the copious mop of curly locks attached to the puny infant that she got the name wrong on the birth certificate.’
      • ‘A mop of golden blonde hair covering a young male face greeted her curious eyes.’
      • ‘She was a tall, slender woman with an artfully tousled mop of shiny blonde hair.’
      • ‘His eyes were a deep emerald green and his hair was a mop of thick black curls.’
      • ‘He had a mop of messy blonde hair and strong green eyes.’
      • ‘She tried to brush my matted mop in the morning before she sent me to pre-school.’
      • ‘She tossed her small mop of blonde hair, and then yawned widely and leaned onto Aaron's chest.’
      • ‘Rusty ran a hand through his tangled mop of hair and grimaced.’
      • ‘I am also intelligent, witty and have a large mop of thick blonde hair that controls itself.’
      • ‘Her hair was a mop of red curls, streaked through with dark blonde.’
      • ‘He has a mop of brown hair and a lightly freckled face, and is still very much a boy in body, if not mind.’
      shock, mane, thatch, tangle, mass, mat
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    2. 1.2[in singular] An act of wiping something clean, especially a floor.
      ‘the kitchen needed a quick mop’
      • ‘Give them clear instructions and make sure that they stay around after guests have gone to help remove rubbish and to give the floor a mop.’
      • ‘There is a broom, dust pan, mop at the camp for your use - please sweep the floor and give it a mop.’


  • 1 Clean or soak up (something) by wiping.

    ‘he was mopping his plate with a piece of bread’
    • ‘They seem to do little all day other than to mop the changing room floors, pin yet more bits of paper to the notice board and sit by the pool side toying with the red ribbons tied to their whistles.’
    • ‘She simply walked up and down the floor silently, then picked up a cloth and mopped the blood from the floor.’
    • ‘Laundry is done, windows are washed, refrigerator clean, pantry stocked, linens washed, floors mopped, shower scrubbed, and fresh flowers on the table.’
    • ‘Robyn took a deep breath and then slowly continued on her present mission in retrieving the rouge mop which she immediately returned to the janitor who politely thanked her and began mopping the place he had just been scrubbing.’
    • ‘Startled, Andrew looked up at the clock and realized he had spent forty minutes sweeping and mopping, and he had been mopping the same spot for the past ten minutes.’
    • ‘After filling the drinking water, I had to wash utensils, wash two buckets of clothes, sweep and mop the entire house.’
    • ‘Two men busily scrubbed dingy, white plastic chairs, while another mopped soapy water off the tiled floor.’
    • ‘So I spent the next half hour mopping the kitchen floor.’
    • ‘You can use all that exercise after walking to and from work, emptying the trash, washing the giant picture windows, and mopping the dining room.’
    • ‘I even break off some thick crusty white bread and mop up the excess olive oil.’
    • ‘During his four-month stay in the hospital, he claimed cleaners failed to mop floors and clean basins and furniture.’
    • ‘An elderly man who had been mopping around the counter looked up from his tedious chore and smiled at whoever had walked in.’
    • ‘A cleaner mopped the floor of the place I was staying in Greece.’
    • ‘He mopped himself up and then burst into tears again.’
    • ‘The women at baby group were talking about how they mopped their kitchen floors daily.’
    • ‘She swept and mopped the living room, and then knocked on the bedroom door.’
    • ‘Once I had wrung my clothes out, mopped the walls and soaked up as much as I could from the carpet it didn't look too bad…’
    • ‘I had to mop the marble lobby floors that morning, and got right to work, hoping that I would not have to see Tom.’
    • ‘Contract cleaners offer a very efficient service and will do a lot more than empty the trash cans and sweep and mop the floor.’
    • ‘When cooked, leave to stand for 15 minutes to cool a little, then serve in bowls with boiled or mashed potatoes, for mopping up the juices.’
    wash, clean, wipe, swab, sponge, squeegee
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    1. 1.1 Wipe (something) away from a surface.
      ‘a barmaid rushed forward to mop up the spilled beer’
      • ‘Her face burning, Rena sits back down once the waiter finishes mopping up the tablecloth.’
      • ‘I don't know where the time went, but before long it was 10, and then 11 and the barman was calling time, collecting up glasses and mopping the tables.’
      • ‘Immediately she was on her knees with a rag, mopping up the spilled Cuervo.’
      • ‘Muttering under his breath, he gets a sponge from the kitchen and starts mopping up the wine from the table before it can spill onto the floor.’
      • ‘Joe's children's mess can be swept, hoovered or mopped from its surface.’
      • ‘I ripped a paper towel from the roll, mopping up the mess I had made.’
      • ‘She grabs some hand towels from the changing room, and mops up most of the blood.’
      • ‘Then I noticed Bill mopping at a slight drip from under the rear left wheel arch.’
    2. 1.2 Wipe sweat or tears from (one's face or eyes)
      ‘he pulled a handkerchief from his pocket to mop his brow’
      • ‘Each quiz answer now sounded like part of a comedy sketch as we answered the previous question, by the end I was mopping my eyes, weeping with helpless laughter.’
      • ‘Dave pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and mopped at his face.’
      • ‘The groom is seen mopping his brow with a handkerchief.’
      • ‘‘Splendid little creature,’ gasped Mr Griffiths, mopping his brow once more.’
      • ‘They would mop his brow and place wine and bread to his parched lips and inform him he was awake.’
      • ‘But it was hard work out there in the heat although Woods was working hard, occasionally mopping his perspiring brow with a towel.’
      • ‘He apologized for the sweat he continually mopped from his forehead.’
      • ‘As it happens, summer mounted a last minute insurrection and the day was unreasonably hot, with everyone dressed for the wrong season and mopping their brows.’
      • ‘‘Thank you mum,’ he says, mopping his brow in mock relief.’
      • ‘He sighed, and used his hand and sleeve to mop his brow, which was now dripping with sweat.’
      • ‘She stopped and mopped sweat from her forehead, looking up at the bright sun above them, wishing a cloud or something would pass over it, for only a second of relief.’
      • ‘In addition to wiping down gym equipment, use a separate towel to mop the sweat from your brow to minimize the chance of picking up a respiratory infection.’
      • ‘Satisfied, she backed away and mopped tears and mascara from her cheeks, still pouting.’
      • ‘He gave a weary, embarrassed chuckle and mopped at his face.’
      • ‘Lifting an arm, Hoss mopped sweat from his brow.’
      • ‘Then he started to sweat profusely, mopping at his face and neck with a large red handkerchief.’
      • ‘As we ascended, the whole oval pan of the Mamund Valley spread out behind us, and pausing to mop my brow, I sat on a rock and surveyed it.’
      • ‘As you mop your brow and apply your sunscreen, think snow, think plunging temperatures, think ice sculptures.’
      wipe up, clean up, soak up, absorb, sop up, sponge up
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Phrasal Verbs

  • mop something up (also mop up)

    • Complete the military conquest of an area by capturing or killing remaining enemy troops.

      ‘troops mopped up the last pockets of resistance’
      • ‘People think that we can mop up the problem if we throw more money at it.’
      • ‘Keating led that journey with the vision, lost touch with those he wished to serve, and Howard was there to mop it up.’
      • ‘It would appear as though the military is prepared to mop up the trouble makers and those that lead them.’
      finish off, deal with, make an end of, dispose of, account for, take care of, clear up, eliminate, dispatch
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Late 15th century: perhaps ultimately related to Latin mappa napkin.