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[drop-er] /ˈdrɒp ər/
a person or thing that drops.
a glass tube with a hollow rubber bulb at one end and a small opening at the other, for drawing in a liquid and expelling it in drops; medicine dropper.
a short-haired dog that is a cross between a pointer and a setter.
Origin of dropper
First recorded in 1690-1700; drop + -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dropper
Historical Examples
  • Be sure to procure a dropper that has the point turned at right angles to the body.

  • I saw its head as it rose for my dropper, struck, and hooked the fish.

    Fishing With The Fly Charles F. Orvis and Others
  • Put on a dropper of some kind, say a caperer, as a second chance.

    Prose Idylls Charles Kingsley
  • With a dropper he sucked up a bit of the liquid from the test-tube.

    The Social Gangster Arthur B. Reeve
  • "Take them off and shake 'em," suggested the dropper of the gum.

    Stage Confidences Clara Morris
  • The tear of Sensibility must not be dropped in a manner giving real pain to the dropper.

  • Whether he distinguished himself as a "dropper," or ever beat the record time in the "Crick" run, I do not know.

    The Life and Letters of Lewis Carroll Stuart Dodgson Collingwood
  • The dropper was to be filled with corn, and, thus accoutred, he was ready for doing duty in the newly ploughed field.

    The Boy Settlers

    Noah Brooks
  • This is a good fly throughout a clear day, used as a dropper with the foregoing fly, and wren tail.

  • Who was the indiscreet eave's-dropper or tale-bearer that gave your lordship the hint concerning this business?

    The Mysteries of London, v. 1/4 George W. M. Reynolds
British Dictionary definitions for dropper


a small tube having a rubber bulb at one end for drawing up and dispensing drops of liquid
a person or thing that drops
(angling) a short length of monofilament by which a fly is attached to the main trace or leader above the tail fly
(Austral & NZ) a batten attached to the top wire of a fence to keep the wires apart
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 dropper

1700, "distiller," agent noun from drop (v.). Meaning "small tube from which liquid may be made to fall in drops" is from 1889.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dropper in Medicine

dropper drop·per (drŏp'ər)
A device that produces drops, especially a small tube with a suction bulb at one end for drawing in a liquid and releasing it in drops. Also called instillator.

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 dropper



  1. A paid assassin; criminal who injures or kills his victims; hit man: We got to send East for a couple of droppers (1920s+ Underworld)
  2. A thief who treats his victims violently; cowboy, mugger (1920s+ Underworld)
  3. A confidence man who drops something of value, appears to find it, and offers the dupe a share, for a price (1785+)
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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