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late 14c., "come to blows with," from Old French couper, earlier colper "hit, punch," from colp "a blow" (see coup). Meaning evolved 17c. into "handle successfully," perhaps influenced by obsolete cope "to traffic" (15c.-17c.), a word in North Sea trade, from the Flemish version of the Germanic source of English cheap. Related: Coped; coping.
cope 1 (kōp)
v. coped, cop·ing, copes
To contend with difficulties with the intent to overcome them.
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.