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[kop-ee] /ˈkɒp i/
noun, plural copies for 1, 2, 7, 9.
an imitation, reproduction, or transcript of an original:
a copy of a famous painting.
one of the various examples or specimens of the same book, engraving, or the like.
written matter intended to be reproduced in printed form:
The editor sent the copy for the next issue to the printer.
the text of a news story, advertisement, television commercial, etc., as distinguished from related visual material.
the newsworthiness of a person, thing, or event (often preceded by good or bad):
The president is always good copy.
Compare news (def 4).
Computers. an exact duplicate of a file, program, etc.:
Keep a backup copy of the document.
Genetics. replication (def 7).
Printing. pictures and artwork prepared for reproduction.
British Informal. (in schools) a composition; a written assignment.
British. a size of drawing or writing paper, 16 × 20 inches (40 × 50 cm).
Archaic. something that is to be reproduced; an example or pattern, as of penmanship to be copied by a pupil.
verb (used with object), copied, copying.
to make a copy of; transcribe; reproduce:
to copy a set of figures from a book.
to receive and understand (a radio message or its sender).
to follow as a pattern or model; imitate.
Computers. to make an exact duplicate of (a file, selected text, etc.) and store in another location or in temporary memory:
Can I copy the program to another computer? Copy the selected paragraph to the clipboard.
Compare cut (def 24), paste (def 13).
verb (used without object), copied, copying.
to make a copy or copies.
to undergo copying: It copied poorly.
I can't install the program—one file won't copy.
to hear or receive a radio message, as over a CB radio:
Do you copy?
Also, cocky. Newfoundland. to leap from one ice pan to another across open water.
copy the mail, Citizens Band Radio Slang. mail1 (def 5).
Origin of copy
1300-50; Middle English copie (< Anglo-French) < Medieval Latin cōpia abundance, something copied, Latin: wealth, abundance; see copious; (def 16) originally a children's game, from the phrase copy the leader
Related forms
precopy, noun, plural precopies, verb (used with object), precopied, precopying.
recopy, verb (used with object), recopied, recopying.
uncopied, adjective
well-copied, adjective
1. duplicate, carbon, facsimile. 14. See imitate.
14. originate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for copied
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Bishop appears to have copied some of them in his own hand, and certainly was acquainted with the authorship.

    The Age of Dryden Richard Garnett
  • Produce the impressions or original sentiments, from which the ideas are copied.

  • Italy affords one catalogue mention, of a Horace copied under Desiderius.

    Horace and His Influence Grant Showerman
  • He took the organ daily, and copied, at home, the cathedral music.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • This is one of the nicest writing-tables I know, and it could be copied for a song.

    The House in Good Taste Elsie de Wolfe
British Dictionary definitions for copied


noun (pl) copies
an imitation or reproduction of an original
a single specimen of something that occurs in a multiple edition, such as a book, article, etc
  1. matter to be reproduced in print
  2. written matter or text as distinct from graphic material in books, newspapers, etc
the words used to present a promotional message in an advertisement
(journalism, informal) suitable material for an article or story: disasters are always good copy
(archaic) a model to be copied, esp an example of penmanship
verb copies, copying, copied
when tr, often foll by out. to make a copy or reproduction of (an original)
(transitive) to imitate as a model
(intransitive) to imitate unfairly
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin cōpia an imitation, something copied, from Latin: abundance, riches; see copious
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 copied



early 14c., "written account or record," from Old French copie (13c.), from Medieval Latin copia "reproduction, transcript," from Latin copia "plenty, means" (see copious). Sense extended 15c. to any specimen of writing (especially MS for a printer) and any reproduction or imitation. Related: Copyist.


late 14c., from Old French copier (14c.), from Medieval Latin copiare "to transcribe," originally "to write in plenty," from Latin copia (see copy (n.)). Hence, "to write an original text many times." Related: Copied; copying. Figurative sense of "to imitate" is attested from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for copied



A subject for an article in a newspaper, magazine, etc: She knew that Miss Gould was good ''copy'' (1880s+)


To send a copy of a message to someone other than the immediate addressee: Copy Tina and tell her the mag is fast turning to compost (1980s+)

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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