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tops

[tops] /tɒps/
adjective
1.
ranked among the highest, as in ability, performance, comprehensiveness, or quality:
His work is tops. That car is tops.
adverb
2.
at a maximum; at most:
It'll take an hour, tops. I'll give you $25 for that, tops.
noun
3.
the tops, top1 (def 22).
Origin
1930-1935
1930-35; plural of top1

top1

[top] /tɒp/
noun
1.
the highest or loftiest point or part of anything; apex; summit.
Synonyms: zenith, acme, peak, pinnacle, vertex.
2.
the uppermost or upper part, surface, etc., of anything.
3.
the higher end of anything on a slope.
4.
British.
  1. a part considered as higher:
    the top of the street.
  2. high gear of an automobile.
5.
tops.
  1. the part of a plant that grows above ground, especially of an edible root.
  2. one of the tender tips of the branches or shoots of plants.
6.
the part of anything that is first or foremost; beginning:
Let's go over it from the top again.
7.
the highest or leading place, position, rank, etc.:
at the top of the class.
8.
the highest point, pitch, or degree:
to talk at the top of one's voice.
9.
a person or thing that occupies the highest or leading position.
10.
the best or choicest part:
the top of all creation.
11.
a covering or lid, as of a container or vehicle.
12.
the head.
13.
any of various outer garments for the upper body, as a blouse, shirt, or sweater:
a sale on cotton tops and shorts.
14.
Nautical. a platform surrounding the head of a lower mast on a ship, and serving as a foothold, a means of extending the upper rigging, etc.
15.
Chemistry. the part of a mixture under distillation that volatilizes first.
16.
Bridge.
  1. the best card of a suit in a player's hand.
  2. (in duplicate bridge) the best score on a hand.
17.
Sports.
  1. a stroke that hits the ball above its center.
  2. the forward spin given to the ball by such a stroke.
18.
Baseball.
  1. the first half of an inning.
  2. the first three batters in the batting order.
19.
Slang. the dominant partner in a sexual relationship or encounter, especially the penetrator in anal intercourse (opposed to bottom).
20.
Textiles.
  1. a cluster of textile fibers, especially tow, put on a distaff.
  2. a strand of the long wool fibers in sliver form, separated from noil by combing and wound into a large ball.
  3. a similar strand of rayon.
21.
Jewelry. crown (def 27).
22.
the tops, Informal. the most outstanding person or thing in ability, favor, etc.:
As a friend, she's the tops.
adjective
23.
pertaining to, situated at, or forming the top; highest; uppermost; upper:
the top shelf.
24.
highest in degree; greatest:
to pay top prices.
25.
foremost, chief, or principal:
to win top honors in a competition.
verb (used with object), topped, topping.
26.
to furnish with a top; put a top on.
27.
to be at or constitute the top of.
28.
to reach the top of.
29.
to rise above:
The sun had topped the horizon.
30.
to exceed in height, amount, number, etc.
31.
to surpass, excel, or outdo:
That tops everything.
32.
Theater. (in spoken dialogue) to reply in a voice of greater volume or higher pitch:
King Henry must top the crowd noises in his St. Crispin's Day speech.
33.
to surmount with something specified:
to top a sundae with whipped cream.
34.
to remove the top of; crop; prune:
to top a tall tree.
Synonyms: lop, shear.
35.
to get or leap over the top of (a fence, barrier, etc.).
36.
Chemistry. to distill off only the most volatile part of (a mixture).
37.
Sports.
  1. to strike (the ball) above its center, giving it a forward spin.
  2. to make (a stroke) by hitting the ball in this manner.
38.
to top-dress (land).
39.
Obsolete. to have coitus with (a woman).
verb (used without object), topped, topping.
40.
to rise aloft.
Verb phrases
41.
top off,
  1. to climax or complete, especially in an exceptional manner; finish:
    They topped off the evening with a ferryboat ride at midnight.
  2. to fill (a partly full container) completely:
    to top off a gas tank.
42.
top out,
  1. to finish the top of (a structure).
  2. to reach the highest level.
Idioms
43.
blow one's top, Informal.
  1. to become enraged; lose one's temper.
  2. to go mad; become insane:
    He must have blown his top to make such a fool of himself.
44.
off the top of one's head, Informal. head (def 77).
45.
on top, successful; victorious; dominant:
to stay on top.
46.
on top of,
  1. over or upon.
  2. in addition to; over and above.
  3. close upon; following upon:
    Gale winds came on top of the floods.
  4. in complete control:
    on top of the problem.
47.
on top of the world,
  1. successful.
  2. elated:
    The success made her feel on top of the world.
48.
over the top,
  1. Military. over the top of the parapet before a trench, as in issuing to charge against the enemy.
  2. surpassing a goal, quota, or limit.
49.
top oneself, Chiefly British. to kill oneself.
Origin
before 1000; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Dutch top, German Zopf, Old Norse toppr top
Related forms
untopped, adjective

top2

[top] /tɒp/
noun
1.
a toy, often inversely conical, with a point on which it is made to spin.
Idioms
2.
sleep like a top, to sleep soundly:
After a day of hiking and swimming we slept like tops.
Origin
before 1100; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Frisian, dialectal Dutch top
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for tops
  • Towers could be square or round, with either crenellated tops or conical roofs.
  • As one put it, there was altogether too much display of the tops of heads as speakers bent over to read their prepared talks.
  • They've survived for millennia in desert, in the permafrost, at the tops of mountains and at the bottom of the ocean.
  • Foods from trees may have been less vital, as was sleeping in the tree tops.
  • In those few weeks before they flower, ramps can be harvested for their green tops and bulbs.
  • From the turnoff, both can be seen on the tops of nearby peaks.
  • Stop cutting off their tops to get to the coal and minerals underneath.
  • Although colleges often provide computer labs now, many students have their own lap tops or desktops.
  • The goats gave us permission to scratch the tops of their heads.
  • tops on its wish list: a loosening of restrictions on students' use of federally subsidized student loans.
British Dictionary definitions for tops

tops

/tɒps/
noun
1.
a person or thing of top quality
adjective
2.
(postpositive) excellent; superb

top1

/tɒp/
noun
1.
the highest or uppermost part of anything the top of a hill
2.
the most important or successful position to be at the top of the class, the top of the table
3.
the part of a plant that is above ground carrot tops
4.
a thing that forms or covers the uppermost part of anything, esp a lid or cap put the top on the saucepan
5.
the highest degree or point at the top of his career
6.
the most important person he's the top of this organization
7.
the best or finest part of anything we've got the top of this year's graduates
8.
the loudest or highest pitch (esp in the phrase top of one's voice)
9.
the beginning the top of the hour, at the top of the programme
10.
short for top gear
11.
(cards) the highest card of a suit in a player's hand
12.
(sport)
  1. a stroke that hits the ball above its centre
  2. short for topspin
13.
a platform around the head of a lower mast of a sailing vessel, the edges of which serve to extend the topmast shrouds
14.
(chem) the part of a volatile liquid mixture that distils first
15.
a garment, esp for a woman, that extends from the shoulders to the waist or hips
16.
  1. the high-frequency content of an audio signal
  2. (as modifier) this amplifier has a good top response
17.
(informal) blow one's top, to lose one's temper
18.
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)
19.
off the top of one's head, with no previous preparation; extempore
20.
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
21.
the top of the morning, a morning greeting regarded as characteristic of Irishmen
adjective
22.
of, relating to, serving as, or situated on the top the top book in a pile
23.
(Brit, informal) excellent a top night out
verb (mainly transitive) tops, topping, topped
24.
to form a top on (something) to top a cake with whipped cream
25.
to remove the top of or from to top carrots
26.
to reach or pass the top of we topped the mountain
27.
to be at the top of he tops the team
28.
to exceed or surpass
29.
(slang) to kill
30.
(also intransitive) (sport)
  1. to hit (a ball) above the centre
  2. to make (a stroke) by hitting the ball in this way
31.
(chem) to distil off (the most volatile part) from a liquid mixture
32.
to add other colorants to (a dye) in order to modify the shade produced
33.
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

top2

/tɒp/
noun
1.
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
2.
anything that spins or whirls around
3.
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
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Word Origin and History for tops
top
"highest point," O.E. top "summit, crest, tuft," from P.Gmc. *tuppaz (cf. O.N. toppr "tuft of hair," O.Fris. top "tuft," O.Du. topp, Du. top, O.H.G. zopf "end, tip, tuft of hair," Ger. Zopf "tuft of hair"); no certain connections outside Gmc. except a few Romanic words probably borrowed from Gmc. Few IE languages have a word so generic, which can be used of the upper part or surface of just about anything. More typical is Ger., which has Spitze for sharp peaks (mountains), oberfläche for the upper surface of flat things (such as a table). The verb meaning "put a top on" is from 1581; the meaning "be higher or greater than" is first recorded 1582. To top off "finish" is colloquial from 1836; top-hat is from 1881; topper "the best (of anything)" first recorded in slang, 1709; topping "top layer" is first attested 1839. Top-heavy is first attested 1533. Top dog first attested 1900; top-drawer (1920) is from Brit. expression out of the top drawer "upper-class." Topless "bare-breasted" first recorded 1966 (earlier it was used of men's bathing suits, 1937); tops "the best" is from 1935.
top
"toy that spins on a point," late O.E. top, probably a special use of top (1), but the modern word is perhaps via O.Fr. topet, which is from a Gmc. source akin to the root of Eng. top (1). As a type of seashell, first recorded 1682.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for tops

tops

adjective

Best; most superior; absolutely first-rate; the TOPS: I wish you could print Mencken every month; he's tops/ Sanitation Service Is Tops (1935+)


top

modifier

: He got the top recommendation (1714+)

noun
  1. top sergeant (WWI Army)
  2. The best; most superior: You're the top, you're the Louvre Museum (1593+)
verb
  1. To hang someone: A colleague sent to the gallows has been topped (1718+)
  2. To kill; BUMP someone OFF, hit (1930s+)
  3. To surpass; better; cap: I'll top that story with one of my own (1586+)
  4. To be executed for a capital crime (1960s+ Black)
Related Terms

blow one's top, chopped top, come out ahead, from the top, go something or someone one better, muttonhead, off the top, on top of, pop-top, ragtop, tip-top


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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Related Abbreviations for tops

TOPS

  1. Take Off Pounds Sensibly
  2. transparent operating system

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.
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Idioms and Phrases with tops
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for tops

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 Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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6
7
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