- 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.
- 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).
- 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 9).
Origin of copy
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for copy
He's starting to sound like a schoolboy with a copy of Penthouse.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
But when their first book, SuicideGirls, came out in 2004, she gifted her a copy.Masters of Alt Sex: SuicideGirls Hits Puberty and Wants to Invade Your TV Set
December 9, 2014
So, I was copying it and getting it out, and I kept a copy on myself at all times with really, really strong passwords.Laura Poitras on Snowden's Unrevealed Secrets
December 1, 2014
Anger Is an Energy is a tremendously entertaining read, and I urge everyone to pick up a copy and start dreaming again.The Rancid Ballad of Johnny Rotten: His Memoir Seethes With Anger—And Charm
November 20, 2014
(I obtained a copy of the original through the same FOIA request as the Unabomber file).Was the Unabomber a Eugene O’Neill Fan?
Robert M. Dowling
November 6, 2014
Pray accept this author's copy with his best and hopefullest wishes.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
I will now give you a copy of my letter to my sister; with her answer.
The following is a copy of what I wrote, and what follows that, of the answer sent me.
In fact, George Smith printed a copy of the seal in his book (p. 91).The Babylonian Legends of the Creation
I'll burn my copy before I will let you have a glimpse of it.In the Midst of Alarms
- an imitation or reproduction of an original
- a single specimen of something that occurs in a multiple edition, such as a book, article, etc
- matter to be reproduced in print
- 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 storydisasters are always good copy
- archaic a model to be copied, esp an example of penmanship
- (when tr, often foll by out) to make a copy or reproduction of (an original)
- (tr) to imitate as a model
- (intr) to imitate unfairly
Word Origin and History for copy
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.