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cop-out

[kop-out] /ˈkɒpˌaʊt/
noun, Informal.
1.
an act or instance of copping out; reneging; evasion:
The governor's platform was a cop-out.
2.
a person who cops out:
Everyone helped as they had promised, except for one cop-out.
Origin
1940-1945
1940-45; noun use of verb phrase cop out

cop1

[kop] /kɒp/
verb (used with object), copped, copping. Informal.
1.
to catch; nab.
2.
to steal; filch.
3.
to buy (narcotics).
Verb phrases
4.
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.
Idioms
5.
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.
Origin
1695-1705; compare cap (obsolete) to arrest, Scots cap to seize ≪ dialectal Old French caper to take, ultimately < Latin capere
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for cop out
  • Privatizing it is a cop out and will not yield meaningful results.
  • The first is a cop out so you don't have to bother to think.
  • Using any performance enhancing substances is a cop out and should be dealt with harshly.
  • It is a cop out and covers to profit from sad situation under the guise of engagement to have some control over relation.
  • If they took that cop out and put a crook in they'd probably do it right.
British Dictionary definitions for cop out

cop out

verb
1.
(intransitive, adverb) to fail to assume responsibility or to commit oneself
noun
2.
an instance of avoiding responsibility or commitment
3.
a person who acts in this way
Word Origin
C20: probably from cop1

cop1

/kɒp/
noun
1.
another name for policeman
2.
(Brit) an arrest (esp in the phrase a fair cop)
3.
an instance of plagiarism
verb (transitive) cops, copping, copped
4.
to seize or catch
5.
to steal
6.
to buy, steal, or otherwise obtain (illegal drugs) Compare score (sense 26)
7.
Also cop it. to suffer (a punishment) you'll cop a clout if you do that!
8.
(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

cop2

/kɒp/
noun
1.
a conical roll of thread wound on a spindle
2.
(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

cop3

/kɒp/
noun
1.
(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)

COP

abbreviation (in New Zealand)
1.
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 out
cop
1704, northern British dialect, "to seize, to catch," perhaps from M.Fr. caper "seize, to take," from L. capere "to take" (see capable); or from Du. kapen "to take," from O.Fris. capia "to buy."
cop
"policeman," 1859, abbreviation of earlier copper (1846), from cop (v.).
cop out
by 1942, n. and v., "sneak off, escape," Amer.Eng. slang, probably from cop a plea (c.1925) "plead guilty to lesser charges," probably from northern British slang cop "to catch" (a scolding, etc.); cf. cop a feel "grope someone" (1930s); see cop (v.). Sense of "evade an issue or problem" is from 1960s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for cop out

cop out

verb phrase
  1. To be arrested (1940s+ Underworld)
  2. To confess; plead guilty; cop a plea: I copped out (1940s+)
  3. To avoid trouble and responsibility; evade an issue or problem; disengage oneself: When his friends really needed help he copped out (1960s+ Counterculture)

cop

noun
  1. A police officer (1850s+)
  2. A theft
  3. An arrest
verb
  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]


cop-out

noun

An evasion; an excuse for inaction: Arguing about standards is a ''cop-out'' (1960s+ Counterculture)


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 out

COP

  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 out
Back out of a responsibility or commitment; also, take the easy way out. For example, Don't count on him; he's been known to fake illness and cop out, or She'll cop out and let her assistant do all the work. These meanings are derived from the underworld slang use of cop out for backing down or surrendering. [ Late 1950s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word of The Day

Difficulty index for cop-out

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for cop

7
9
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Quotes with cop out