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verb (used with object), lopped, lop·ping.
  1. to cut off (branches, twigs, etc.) from a tree or other plant.
  2. to cut off (a limb, part, or the like) from a person, animal, etc.
  3. to cut off the branches, twigs, etc., of (a tree or other plant).
  4. to eliminate as unnecessary or excessive: We had to lop off whole pages of the report before presenting it to the committee.
  5. Archaic. to cut off the head, limbs, etc., of (a person).
verb (used without object), lopped, lop·ping.
  1. to cut off branches, twigs, etc., as of a tree.
  2. to remove parts by or as by cutting.
  1. parts or a part lopped off.
  2. (of trees) the smaller branches and twigs not useful as timber.

Origin of lop1

1375–1425; late Middle English loppe part or parts cut off; perhaps akin to Old English loppe spider (see lop2, lobster


verb (used without object), lopped, lop·ping.
  1. to hang loosely or limply; droop.
  2. to sway, move, or go in a drooping or heavy, awkward way.
  3. to move in short, quick leaps: a rabbit lopping through the garden.
verb (used with object), lopped, lop·ping.
  1. to let hang or droop: He lopped his arms at his sides in utter exhaustion.
  1. hanging down limply or droopingly: lop ears.

Origin of lop2

1570–80; v. use of obsolete lop spider or lop dangling part of a tree (see lop1); literally, to behave like a lop, i.e., to dangle, hang loosely. See lob1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lopped

Historical Examples

  • Accordingly, Jason took the branch at its word, and lopped it off the tree.

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • Well, Ivan began to fight with him, and lopped off nine of his heads.

    Russian Fairy Tales

    W. R. S. Ralston

  • Accordingly, Jason took the branch at its word and lopped it off the tree.

  • His son followed his example and lopped around a little worse.

  • It's almost as if some part of us had been lopped off, isn't it?

    General Max Shorter

    Kris Ottman Neville

British Dictionary definitions for lopped


verb lops, lopping or lopped (tr usually foll by off)
  1. to sever (parts) from a tree, body, etc, esp with swift strokes
  2. to cut out or eliminate from as excessive
  1. a part or parts lopped off, as from a tree
Derived Formslopper, noun

Word Origin

C15 loppe branches cut off; compare lob 1


verb lops, lopping or lopped
  1. to hang or allow to hang loosely
  2. (intr) to slouch about or move awkwardly
  3. (intr) a less common word for lope

Word Origin

C16: perhaps related to lop 1; compare lob 1


  1. Northern English dialect a flea

Word Origin

probably from Old Norse hloppa (unattested) flea, from hlaupa to leap
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

Word Origin and History for lopped



"cut off," 1510s, from Middle English loppe (n.) "small branches and twigs trimmed from trees" (early 15c.), of unknown origin. Related: Lopped (mid-15c.); lopping. Place name Loppedthorn is attested from 1287.



"droop, hang loosely," 1570s, probably a variant of lob or of lap (v.); cf. lopsided (1711), originally lapsided, first used of ships. Lop-eared attested from 1680s. Related: Lopped; lopping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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