in one's cups


a small, open container made of china, glass, metal, etc., usually having a handle and used chiefly as a receptable from which to drink tea, soup, etc.
the bowllike part of a goblet or the like.
a cup with its contents.
the quantity contained in a cup.
a unit of capacity, equal to 8 fluid ounces (237 milliliters) or 16 tablespoons; half-pint.
an ornamental bowl, vase, etc., especially of precious metal, offered as a prize for a contest.
any of various beverages, as a mixture of wine and various ingredients: claret cup.
the chalice used in the Eucharist.
the wine of the Eucharist.
something to be partaken of or endured; one's portion, as of joy or suffering.
cups, the drinking of intoxicating liquors.
any cuplike utensil, organ, part, cavity, etc.
either of the two forms that cover and usually support the breasts in a brassiere or other garment, as a bathing suit.
an athletic supporter reinforced with rigid plastic or metal for added protection.
the metal receptacle within the hole.
the hole itself.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy. the constellation Crater.
Metalworking. a cylindrical shell closed at one end, especially one produced in the first stages of a deep-drawing operation.
Mathematics. the cuplike symbol ∪, used to indicate the union of two sets. Compare union ( def 10a ).
verb (used with object), cupped, cupping.
to take or place in, or as in, a cup: He cupped his ear with the palm of his hand.
to form into a cuplike shape: He cupped his hands.
to use a cupping glass on.
Metalworking. to form (tubing, containers, etc.) by punching hot strip or sheet metal and drawing it through a die. Compare deep-draw.
in one's cups, intoxicated; drunk.

before 1000; Middle English, Old English cuppe < Latin cuppa, variant of cūpa tub, cask

cuplike, adjective
undercup, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cup (kʌp)
1.  a small open container, usually having one handle, used for drinking from
2.  the contents of such a container: that cup was too sweet
3.  teacup, Also called: cupful a unit of capacity used in cooking equal to approximately half a pint, 8 fluid ounces, or about one quarter of a litre
4.  something resembling a cup in shape or function, such as the flower base of some plants of the rose family or a cuplike bodily organ
5.  either of two cup-shaped parts of a brassiere, designed to support the breasts
6.  a cup-shaped trophy awarded as a prize
7.  (Brit)
 a.  a sporting contest in which a cup is awarded to the winner
 b.  (as modifier): a cup competition
8.  a mixed drink with one ingredient as a base, usually served from a bowl: claret cup
9.  golf the hole or metal container in the hole on a green
10.  the chalice or the consecrated wine used in the Eucharist
11.  one's lot in life
12.  in one's cups drunk
13.  informal one's cup of tea one's chosen or preferred thing, task, company, etc: she's not my cup of tea
vb , cups, cupping, cupped
14.  to form (something, such as the hands) into the shape of a cup
15.  to put into or as if into a cup
16.  archaic to draw blood to the surface of the body of (a person) by using a cupping glass
[Old English cuppe, from Late Latin cuppa cup, alteration of Latin cūpa cask]

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

O.E. cuppe, from L.L. cuppa, from L. cupa "tub," from PIE *keup- "a hollow." The Ger. cognate Kopf now means exclusively "head" (cf. Fr. tête, from L. testa "potsherd"). Meaning "part of a bra that holds a breast" is from 1938. [One's] cup of tea "what interests one" (1932), earlier used of persons
(1908), the sense being "what is invigorating."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

cup (kŭp)

  1. A cup-shaped structure or organ.

  2. See cupping glass.

  3. A unit of capacity or volume equal to 16 tablespoons or 8 fluid ounces.

v. cupped, cup·ping, cups
To subject a person or body part to the therapeutic procedure of cupping.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. Cambridge University Press

  2. cancer of unknown primary

  3. Cuba—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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Bible Dictionary

Cup definition

a wine-cup (Gen. 40:11, 21), various forms of which are found on Assyrian and Egyptian monuments. All Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold (1 Kings 10: 21). The cups mentioned in the New Testament were made after Roman and Greek models, and were sometimes of gold (Rev. 17:4). The art of divining by means of a cup was practiced in Egypt (Gen. 44:2-17), and in the East generally. The "cup of salvation" (Ps. 116:13) is the cup of thanksgiving for the great salvation. The "cup of consolation" (Jer. 16:7) refers to the custom of friends sending viands and wine to console relatives in mourning (Prov. 31:6). In 1 Cor. 10:16, the "cup of blessing" is contrasted with the "cup of devils" (1 Cor. 10:21). The sacramental cup is the "cup of blessing," because of blessing pronounced over it (Matt. 26:27; Luke 22:17). The "portion of the cup" (Ps. 11:6; 16:5) denotes one's condition of life, prosperous or adverse. A "cup" is also a type of sensual allurement (Jer. 51:7; Prov. 23:31; Rev. 17:4). We read also of the "cup of astonishment," the "cup of trembling," and the "cup of God's wrath" (Ps. 75:8; Isa. 51:17; Jer. 25:15; Lam. 4:21; Ezek. 23:32; Rev. 16:19; comp. Matt. 26:39, 42; John 18:11). The cup is also the symbol of death (Matt. 16:28; Mark 9:1; Heb. 2:9).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

in one's cups

Drunk, as in You can't believe anything he says when he's in his cups. [Early 1600s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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