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[mohp] /moʊp/
verb (used without object), moped, moping.
to be sunk in dejection or listless apathy; sulk; brood.
verb (used with object), moped, moping.
to make dejected, listless, or apathetic.
a person who mopes or is given to moping.
mopes, depressed spirits; blues.
Origin of mope
First recorded in 1560-70; variant of mop2
Related forms
moper, noun
mopingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mope
Historical Examples
  • You have done nothing but mope about, and look as miserable as a boiled owl.

    Australia Revenged Boomerang
  • She must either submit to it or shut herself up and mope and not go out at all.

    Under Fire Charles King
  • The gardener said I was "off my feed," and his wife feared I should mope to death.

    Cat and Dog

    Julia Charlotte Maitland
  • Neglected and idle, he did not grumble; straitened and poor, he did not mope.

  • I should only mope here and fret, and come to no good, and give you no pride in me at all.

    Marjorie Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • "I'm tired o' doin' nowt but mope i' th' house," Liz fretted.

    That Lass O' Lowrie's Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • He would not mope, and hang down his head, and wear the willow.

    The Belton Estate

    Anthony Trollope
  • She did not mope but she seemed to consider her life now ordered, not completed, but to be as it now was.

    Dominie Dean Ellis Parker Butler
  • "Thank God, Evgenii has ceased to mope," he confided in a whisper to his wife.

    Fathers and Sons Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev
  • To mope, and wail, and lie on the carpet like a dead chicken?

British Dictionary definitions for mope


verb (intransitive)
to be gloomy or apathetic: there's no time to mope
to move or act in an aimless way: he moped around the flat
a gloomy person
See also mopes
Derived Forms
moper, noun
mopy, adjective
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from obsolete mope fool and related to mop²
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 mope

1560s, "to move and act unconsciously;" 1580s, "to be listless and apathetic," the sound of the word perhaps somehow suggestive of low feelings (cf. Low German mopen "to sulk," Dutch moppen "to grumble, to grouse," Danish maabe, dialectal Swedish mopa "to mope"). Related: Moped; moping; mopey; mopish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for mope



  1. A stupid person; fool; boob: They weren't a bunch of mopes/ make it easy for regular mopes to use the Internet (1540+)
  2. A criminal; suspect; perp (1980s+ Police)
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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