Why is the ninth month called September?


[kop] /kɒp/
verb (used with object), copped, copping. Informal.
to catch; nab.
to steal; filch.
to buy (narcotics).
Verb phrases
cop out,
  1. to avoid one's responsibility, the fulfillment of a promise, etc.; renege; back out (often followed by on or of):
    He never copped out on a friend in need. You agreed to go, and you can't cop out now.
  2. cop a plea.
cop a plea,
  1. to plead guilty or confess in return for receiving a lighter sentence.
  2. to plead guilty to a lesser charge as a means of bargaining one's way out of standing trial for a more serious charge; plea-bargain.
dialectal Old French
1695-1705; compare cap (obsolete) to arrest, Scots cap to seize ≪ dialectal Old French caper to take, ultimately < Latin capere Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for cop a plea


another name for policeman
(Brit) an arrest (esp in the phrase a fair cop)
an instance of plagiarism
verb (transitive) cops, copping, copped
to seize or catch
to steal
to buy, steal, or otherwise obtain (illegal drugs) Compare score (sense 26)
Also cop it. to suffer (a punishment) you'll cop a clout if you do that!
(Austral, slang) cop it sweet
  1. to accept a penalty without complaint
  2. to have good fortune
See also cop off, cop out
Word Origin
C18: (vb) perhaps from obsolete cap to arrest, from Old French caper to seize; sense 1, back formation from copper²


a conical roll of thread wound on a spindle
(mainly dialect) the top or crest, as of a hill
Word Origin
Old English cop, copp top, summit, of uncertain origin; perhaps related to Old English coppcup


(Brit, slang) (usually used with a negative) worth or value that work is not much cop
Word Origin
C19: n use of cop1 (in the sense: to catch, hence something caught, something of value)


abbreviation (in New Zealand)
Certificate of Proficiency: a pass in a university subject
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cop a plea



1704, northern British dialect, "to seize, to catch," perhaps ultimately from Middle French caper "seize, to take," from Latin capere "to take" (see capable); or from Dutch kapen "to take," from Old Frisian capia "to buy," which is related to Old English ceapian (see cheap). Related: Copped; copping.


"policeman," 1859, abbreviation of earlier copper (n.2), 1846, from cop (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cop a plea

cop a plea

verb phrase

To plead guilty to a lesser charge than one might otherwise be tried for; escape a worse punishment by accepting a lesser one (1920s+ Police & underworld)


  1. A police officer (1850s+)
  2. A theft
  3. An arrest
  1. To arrest (1850s+)
  2. To steal: He copped six PCs from the shop (1900+)
  3. To win; be awarded: to cop second place (1914+)
  4. To comprehend; grasp: I don't quite cop your sense, pal (1940s+)
  5. To buy or get narcotics: The pusher has appeared, and they will make their round-about way to him to ''cop'' (1960s+ Narcotics)
Related Terms

good cop bad cop

[origin uncertain; perhaps ultimately fr Latin capere ''seize,'' by way of French; police officer sense a shortening of copper; second sense ''seize, catch'' attested by 1704]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for cop a plea


  1. coefficient of performance
  2. Colombia-peso
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with cop a plea
Plead guilty or confess to a crime in exchange for a lighter sentence; also, plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for not being tried for a more serious charge. For example, Arnold decided he was better off copping a plea than facing a jury. [ ; 1920s ]
Plead for mercy; make excuses. For example, He copped a plea about not knowing his way around. [ ; c. 1940 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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