Is it farther or further?


[top] /tɒp/
a toy, often inversely conical, with a point on which it is made to spin.
sleep like a top, to sleep soundly:
After a day of hiking and swimming we slept like tops.
before 1100; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Frisian, dialectal Dutch top Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for sleep like a top


the highest or uppermost part of anything: the top of a hill
the most important or successful position: to be at the top of the class, the top of the table
the part of a plant that is above ground: carrot tops
a thing that forms or covers the uppermost part of anything, esp a lid or cap: put the top on the saucepan
the highest degree or point: at the top of his career
the most important person: he's the top of this organization
the best or finest part of anything: we've got the top of this year's graduates
the loudest or highest pitch (esp in the phrase top of one's voice)
the beginning: the top of the hour, at the top of the programme
short for top gear
(cards) the highest card of a suit in a player's hand
  1. a stroke that hits the ball above its centre
  2. short for topspin
a platform around the head of a lower mast of a sailing vessel, the edges of which serve to extend the topmast shrouds
(chem) the part of a volatile liquid mixture that distils first
a garment, esp for a woman, that extends from the shoulders to the waist or hips
  1. the high-frequency content of an audio signal
  2. (as modifier): this amplifier has a good top response
(informal) blow one's top, to lose one's temper
on top of
  1. in addition to: on top of his accident, he caught pneumonia
  2. (informal) in complete control of (a difficult situation, job, etc)
off the top of one's head, with no previous preparation; extempore
over the top
  1. over the parapet or leading edge of a trench
  2. over the limit; excessive(ly); lacking restraint or a sense of proportion
the top of the morning, a morning greeting regarded as characteristic of Irishmen
of, relating to, serving as, or situated on the top: the top book in a pile
(Brit, informal) excellent: a top night out
verb (mainly transitive) tops, topping, topped
to form a top on (something): to top a cake with whipped cream
to remove the top of or from: to top carrots
to reach or pass the top of: we topped the mountain
to be at the top of: he tops the team
to exceed or surpass
(slang) to kill
(also intransitive) (sport)
  1. to hit (a ball) above the centre
  2. to make (a stroke) by hitting the ball in this way
(chem) to distil off (the most volatile part) from a liquid mixture
to add other colorants to (a dye) in order to modify the shade produced
top and tail
  1. to trim off the ends of (fruit or vegetables) before cooking them
  2. to wash a baby's face and bottom without immersion in a bath
See also top off, top out, tops, top up
Word Origin
Old English topp; related to Old High German zopf plait, Old Norse toppr tuft


a toy that is spun on its pointed base by a flick of the fingers, by pushing a handle at the top up and down, etc
anything that spins or whirls around
sleep like a top, to sleep very soundly
Word Origin
Old English, of unknown origin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sleep like a top



"highest point," Old English top "summit, crest, tuft," from Proto-Germanic *tuppaz (cf. Old Norse toppr "tuft of hair," Old Frisian top "tuft," Old Dutch topp, Dutch top, Old High German zopf "end, tip, tuft of hair," German Zopf "tuft of hair"); no certain connections outside Germanic except a few Romanic words probably borrowed from Germanic.

Few Indo-European languages have a word so generic, which can be used of the upper part or surface of just about anything. More typical is German, which has Spitze for sharp peaks (mountains), oberfläche for the upper surface of flat things (such as a table). Top dog first attested 1900; top-drawer (1920) is from British expression out of the top drawer "upper-class."

"toy that spins on a point," late Old English top, probably a special use of top (n.1), but the modern word is perhaps via Old French topet, which is from a Germanic source akin to the root of English top (n.1). As a type of seashell, first recorded 1680s.


"put a top on," 1580s, from top (n.1). The meaning "be higher or greater than" also is first recorded 1580s. Related: Topped; topping. To top off "finish" is colloquial from 1836;

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for sleep like a top



: a sleeper play

  1. Anything, esp a low-budget movie, a show, or a book, which achieves or probably will achieve success after a time of obscurity; dark horse: My Name is Julia Ross is the first ''sleeper'' to come to Philadelphia in months/ whose Return of the Secaucus Seven ranked among the more astute sleepers of 1980 (1892+)
  2. A player who unexpectedly and cunningly gets the ball and runs (1953+ Football)
  3. A sleeping pill or a sedative (1960s+ Narcotics)

[the first noun sense may be fr gambling term sleeper, found by 1856 and meaning both ''an unexpected winning card'' and ''a pot whose owner has ignored it, and hence is free to anyone who takes it'']



(also tootsie or tootsy or tootsiewootsie or tootsy-wootsy) A woman; doll • Often used in address, often disparagingly, and as a nickname: Not any more, toots, not any more, my precious darling angel/ How about one of those tootsiewootsies?/ He was also paying for a penthouse apartment on Park Avenue for his tootsie

[entry form 1936+, tootsie-wootsie 1895+; perhaps fr tootsie]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Related Abbreviations for sleep like a top


  1. temporarily out of print
  2. Tonga-pa'anga (currency)
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with sleep like a top
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for sleep like a top


a toy having a body of conical, circular, or oval shape, often hollow, with a point or peg on which it turns or is made to whirl. If given a knock, a spinning top will go around in a circle at a slant; if spun with a slant at the start, it will quickly stand upright until halted by friction. Its physical properties are similar to those of the gyroscope. Some tops, as the common peg top, are spun by means of a cord. Whipping tops are kept spinning by whips with a lash. Other tops are spun by a twist of the hand or the action of a spring or a plunger. Some hollow tops, such as the thunder tops of Japan, have holes cut in them to produce a hum or roar.

Learn more about top with a free trial on
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for top

All English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for sleep

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for sleep like a top