pop the question


1 [pop]
verb (used without object), popped, popping.
to make a short, quick, explosive sound: The cork popped.
to burst open with such a sound, as chestnuts or corn in roasting.
to come or go quickly, suddenly, or unexpectedly: She popped into the kitchen to check the stove.
to shoot with a firearm: to pop at a mark.
to protrude from the sockets: The news made her eyes pop.
to hit a pop fly (often followed by up ).
to pop out.
verb (used with object), popped, popping.
to cause to make a sudden, explosive sound.
to cause to burst open with such a sound.
to open suddenly or violently: to pop the hood on a car; to pop the tab on a beer can.
to put or thrust quickly, suddenly, or unexpectedly: He popped the muffins into the oven.
Informal. to cause to fire; discharge: He popped his rifle at the bird.
to shoot (usually followed by at, off, etc.): He popped off bottles with a slingshot.
British Slang. to pawn.
to take or swallow (pills), especially in excess or habitually; take orally in a compulsive or addictive way: Popping all those pills will land him in the hospital.
to eat in a continual or thoughtless manner, as snack foods: popping peanuts at the movies.
a short, quick, explosive sound.
a popping.
a shot with a firearm.
Informal. soda pop.
a drink or portion of an alcoholic beverage, as a drink of whiskey or a glass of beer: We had a couple of pops on the way home.
Baseball. pop fly.
with an explosive sound: The balloon went pop.
quickly, suddenly, or unexpectedly: Pop, the door flew open!
Informal. unexpected; without prior warning or announcement: The teacher gave us a pop quiz.
Verb phrases
pop for, Slang. to pay or buy for oneself or another, especially as a gift or treat; spring for: I'll pop for the first round of drinks.
pop off, Informal.
to die, especially suddenly.
to depart, especially abruptly.
to express oneself volubly or excitedly and sometimes irately or indiscreetly: He popped off about the injustice of the verdict.
pop out, Baseball. to be put out by hitting a pop fly caught on the fly by a player on the opposing team.
pop up, Baseball. to hit a pop fly.
a pop, Slang. each; apiece: five orchids at $30 a pop.
pop in, Informal. to visit briefly and unexpectedly; stop in; drop by: Maybe we'll pop in after the movie.
pop the question, Informal. to propose marriage: They dated for two years before he popped the question.

1375–1425; late Middle English (noun) poppe a blow; (v.) poppen to strike; of expressive orig.

3. appear, burst.

18. See soda pop.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
pop1 (pɒp)
vb , pops, popping, popped
1.  to make or cause to make a light sharp explosive sound
2.  to burst open or cause to burst open with such a sound
3.  informal (intr; often foll by in, out, etc) to come (to) or go (from) rapidly or suddenly; to pay a brief or unexpected visit (to)
4.  (intr) (esp of the eyes) to protrude: her eyes popped with amazement
5.  to shoot or fire at (a target) with a firearm
6.  (tr) to place or put with a sudden movement: she popped some tablets into her mouth
7.  informal (tr) to pawn: he popped his watch yesterday
8.  slang (tr) to take (a drug) in pill form or as an injection: pill popping
9.  pop one's clogs See clog
10.  informal pop the question to propose marriage
11.  a light sharp explosive sound; crack
12.  informal a flavoured nonalcoholic carbonated beverage
13.  informal a try; attempt: have a pop at goal
14.  informal an instance of criticism: Townsend has had a pop at modern bands
15.  informal a pop each: 30 million shares at 7 dollars a pop
16.  with a popping sound
17.  an exclamation denoting a sharp explosive sound
[C14: of imitative origin]

pop2 (pɒp)
1.  a.  music of general appeal, esp among young people, that originated as a distinctive genre in the 1950s. It is generally characterized by a strong rhythmic element and the use of electrical amplification
 b.  (as modifier): pop music; a pop record; a pop group
2.  informal a piece of popular or light classical music
3.  informal short for popular

pop3 (pɒp)
1.  an informal word for father
2.  informal a name used in addressing an old or middle-aged man

abbreviation for
1.  point of presence: a device that enables access to the internet
2.  internet post office protocol: a protocol which brings e-mail to and from a mail server
3.  Post Office Preferred (size of envelopes, etc)
4.  persistent organic pollutant

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

"a hit with an explosive sound," c.1400, of imitative origin. Verb sense of "to cause to make a sudden explosive sound" is attested from 1595; sense of "to appear or put suddenly" (often with up, off, in, etc.) is recorded from 1443, from the noun. Meaning "flavored carbonated beverage" is from 1812.
"A new manufactory of a nectar, between soda-water and ginger-beer, and called pop, because pop goes the cork when it is drawn." [Southey, letter, 1812]
Baseball sense of "to hit a ball high in the air" is from 1867. Sense of "ice cream on a stick" is from 1923 (see popsicle). To pop the question is from 1725, specific sense of "propose marriage" is from 1826. Popcorn is first attested 1819. Pop-eyed "having bulging eyes" is recorded from 1820. Pop-gun as a type of child's toy is from 1622. Pop-over "light cake" is from 1876. Pop goes the weasel, a country dance, was popular 1850s at court balls, etc.

"having popular appeal," 1926, of individual songs from many genres; 1954 as a genre of its own; abbreviation of popular (q.v.), earlier as a shortened form of popular concert (1862), often in the plural form pops. Pop art first recorded 1957, said to have been in use conversationally among Independent
group of artists from late 1954.

"father," 1838, chiefly Amer.Eng., shortened from papa (1681), from Fr. papa, from O.Fr., a children's word, similar to L. pappa. Form poppa is recorded from 1897.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

pop the question definition

To “pop the question” is to propose marriage: “They have been going out for so long; I wonder when he'll pop the question.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
point of presence
  1. Post Office Protocol

  2. proof of purchase

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

pop the question

Propose marriage, as in He picked Valentine's Day to pop the question. [Early 1700s]

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