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[dohp] /doʊp/
any thick liquid or pasty preparation, as a lubricant, used in preparing a surface.
an absorbent material used to absorb and hold a liquid, as in the manufacture of dynamite.
  1. any of various varnishlike products for coating a fabric, as of airplane wings, in order to make it waterproof, stronger, etc.
  2. a similar product used to coat the fabric of a balloon to reduce gas leakage.
  1. any narcotic or narcoticlike drug taken to induce euphoria or satisfy addiction.
  2. any illicit drug.
Slang. a narcotic, usually a steroid, given to an athlete to unfairly boost performance in a competition.
Slang. a narcotic preparation given surreptitiously to a horse to improve or retard its performance in a race.
Slang. information, data, or news:
What's the latest dope on the strike?
Informal. a stupid or unresponsive person.
Southern U.S. (chiefly South Atlantic States) . soda pop, especially cola-flavored.
North Central U.S. (chiefly Ohio) . syrup used as a topping for ice cream.
verb (used with object), doped, doping.
Slang. to affect with dope or drugs.
Slang. to give a narcotic to (an athlete) to unfairly boost performance in a competition.
to apply or treat with dope.
Electronics. to add or treat (a pure semiconductor) with a dopant.
verb (used without object), doped, doping.
Slang. to take drugs.
Verb phrases
dope out, Slang.
  1. to figure out; calculate; devise:
    to dope out a plan.
  2. to deduce or infer from available information:
    to dope out a solution to a problem.
Origin of dope
1840-50; 1885-90 for def 4; 1900-05 for def 7; < Dutch doop (dial.) sauce, derivative of dopen to dip1
Related forms
undoped, adjective
Regional variation note
9. See soda pop. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dope
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But how did a chauffeur know so much about poison and dope as to be able to mix a dose that would fool the chemists?

    The Golf Course Mystery Chester K. Steele
  • She was a lady all right, but she got the dope habit and threw the lamp at me.

    'Me-Smith' Caroline Lockhart
  • He just comes and goes handing out his dope to the boys, and—You know the forest-jacks.

    The Man in the Twilight Ridgwell Cullum
  • Say, how much did you slip that reporter to pull off that dope about you?

  • No, but I can guess enough to dope it out pretty well, and—don't do it!

    In And Out Edgar Franklin
British Dictionary definitions for dope


any of a number of preparations made by dissolving cellulose derivatives in a volatile solvent, applied to fabric in order to improve strength, tautness, etc
an additive used to improve the properties of something, such as an antiknock compound added to petrol
a thick liquid, such as a lubricant, applied to a surface
a combustible absorbent material, such as sawdust or wood pulp, used to hold the nitroglycerine in dynamite
  1. any illegal drug, usually cannabis
  2. (as modifier): a dope fiend
a drug administered to a racehorse or greyhound to affect its performance
(informal) a person considered to be stupid or slow-witted
(informal) news or facts, esp confidential information
(US & Canadian, informal) a photographic developing solution
verb (transitive)
(electronics) to add impurities to (a semiconductor) in order to produce or modify its properties
to apply or add a dopant to
to administer a drug to (oneself or another)
(intransitive) to take dope
(slang, mainly US) excellent
Word Origin
C19: from Dutch doop sauce, from doopen to dip
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 dope

1807, American English, "sauce, gravy, thick liquid," from Dutch doop "thick dipping sauce," from doopen "to dip" (cf. dip (v.)). Extension to "drug" is 1889, from practice of smoking semi-liquid opium preparation. Meaning "foolish, stupid person" is older (1851) and may have a sense of "thick-headed." Sense of "inside information" (1901) may come from knowing before the race which horse had been drugged to influence performance. Dope-fiend is attested from 1896.


1889, from dope (n.). Related: Doped; doping.


1889, from dope (n.). Related: Doped; doping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dope in Medicine

dope (dōp)

  1. A narcotic, especially an addictive narcotic.

  2. An illicit drug, especially marijuana.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for dope



  1. : a dope fiend/ dope stash
  2. onderful; excellent; cool, rad, super: It's a dope day, dude!/ Redman was one of the people Andre said was dope/ have, in the parlance of the street, become ''dope'' and ''phat,'' i.e. cool, greatest (1980s+ Teenagers)


  1. Any narcotic drug, legal or illegal •First applied to opium, by 1889: They searched him for dope/ The doctors kept him full of dope (1895+)
  2. Coca-Cola2: Jim Bob sat down and ordered a large dope (1915+)
  3. Any liquid, esp a viscous one, used for a special purpose: massaged his lamps with fragrant drug store dope (1872+)
  4. doper (1909+)
  5. A stupid person; idiot; turkey: Only a dope would refuse that chance (1851+ British dialect)
  6. Information; data; the LOWDOWN: Get me all the dope you can on her colleagues/ What's the latest dope about Ruth? (1901+)
  7. A prediction, esp about a race or a game, based on analysis of past performance; form: The dope says Dream Diddle in a romp (1901+)


  1. : The nurse doped him so that he could sleep (1889+)
  2. To use narcotics: I like to dope (1909+)
  3. To give drugs, vitamins, etc, to horses or athletes to improve their competitive prowess: He couldn't run that fast if he wasn't doped (1875+)
  4. : I dope it like this, Ali all the way (1920s+)

Related Terms

hit the dope

[fr Dutch doop, ''sauce for dipping,'' with elaborate semantic shifts]

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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