1 [kohp]
verb (used without object), coped, coping.
to struggle or deal, especially on fairly even terms or with some degree of success (usually followed by with ): I will try to cope with his rudeness.
to face and deal with responsibilities, problems, or difficulties, especially successfully or in a calm or adequate manner: After his breakdown he couldn't cope any longer.
Archaic. to come into contact; meet (usually followed by with ).
verb (used with object), coped, coping.
British Informal. to cope with.
Obsolete. to come into contact with; encounter.

1300–50; Middle English coupen < Anglo-French, Old French couper to strike, derivative of coup coup1

copeless, adjective
copelessness, noun

1. wrestle, strive, persevere. Unabridged


2 [kohp]
a long mantle, especially of silk, worn by ecclesiastics over the alb or surplice in processions and on other occasions.
any cloaklike or canopylike covering.
the sky.
a coping.
Metallurgy. the upper half of a flask. Compare drag ( def 31 ).
verb (used with object), coped, coping.
to furnish with or as if with a cope or coping.

1175–1225; Middle English < Medieval Latin cāpa, variant of cappa cap1


3 [kohp]
verb (used with object), coped, coping.
Building Trades.
to join (two molded wooden members) by undercutting the end of one of them to the profile of the other so that the joint produced resembles a miter joint (usually followed by in or together ).
to form (a joint between such members) in this way.
to undercut the end of (a molded wooden member) in order to form a coped joint.
to cut away (a flange of a metal member) so that it may be joined to another member at an angle.
Falconry. to clip or dull (the beak or talons of a hawk).

1565–75; < French couper to cut; see cope1


4 [kohp]
verb (used with object), coped, coping. British.
to barter; trade; exchange.

1400–50; late Middle English copen < Low German; compare Middle Dutch côpen to buy Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To cope
World English Dictionary
cope1 (kəʊp)
vb (foll by with)
1.  to contend (against)
2.  (intr) to deal successfully with or handle a situation; manage: she coped well with the problem
3.  archaic (tr)
 a.  to deal with
 b.  to meet in battle
[C14: from Old French coper to strike, cut, from coup blow; see coup1]

cope2 (kəʊp)
1.  a large ceremonial cloak worn at solemn liturgical functions by priests of certain Christian sects
2.  any covering shaped like a cope
3.  (tr) to dress (someone) in a cope
[Old English cāp, from Medieval Latin cāpa, from Late Latin cappa hooded cloak; see cap]

cope3 (kəʊp)
1.  to provide (a wall) with a coping
2.  to join (two moulded timber members)
3.  another name for coping
[C17: probably from French couper to cut; see cope1]

COPE (kəʊp)
n acronym for
Congress of the People: a political party founded in 2008 by dissident members of the ANC

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

c.1350, from O.Fr. couper, earlier colper "hit, punch," from colp "a blow" (see coup). Meaning of "come to blows with" evolved 17c. into "handle successfully," perhaps influenced by obs. cope "to traffic" (15c.-17c.), a word in North Sea trade, from the Flem. version of the
Gmc. source of Eng. cheap (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

cope 1 (kōp)
v. coped, cop·ing, copes
To contend with difficulties with the intent to overcome them.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


liturgical vestment worn by Roman Catholic and some Anglican clergy at non-eucharistic functions. A full-length cloak formed from a semicircular piece of cloth, it is open at the front and is fastened at the breast by hooks or a brooch. It is made of silk or other rich material in various colours. Originally, a hood was attached to the neck, but this was replaced by a shield-shaped piece of material. In the 20th century the hood was restored. The cope was adapted from the cappa choralis ("choir mantle"), a black, hooded vestment worn by clergy in processions and choir services. It is known that the cope was in use by the end of the 8th century as a liturgical vestment, and by the end of the 11th century it was universally adopted.

Learn more about cope with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
He was expected to cope with shortages, yet hold prices down: if he did not do
  both, he would be blamed.
The reason is that the poet never dares courageously to cope with despair.
If the panic were confined to these three, the euro zone could cope.
Governments and insurers the world over are struggling to cope with runaway
  health inflation.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature