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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mope
Historical Examples
  • For days we were utterly inconsolable, doing nothing but mope morning, noon, and night.

    Animal Ghosts Elliott O'Donnell
  • Neglected and idle, he did not grumble; straitened and poor, he did not mope.

  • You know you are such a girl to mope, and make mountains out of mole-hills.

    The Children of Wilton Chase Mrs. L. T. Meade
  • 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
  • Would any but a jilted woman sit and mope while our wickiups go up in smoke?

    The Arrow-Maker Mary Austin
  • You have done nothing but mope about, and look as miserable as a boiled owl.

    Australia Revenged Boomerang
  • Men in straits cannot afford to sit down to grieve and mope over their sorrows.

    The Coxswain's Bride R.M. Ballantyne
  • She must either submit to it or shut herself up and mope and not go out at all.

    Under Fire Charles King
  • She thought: "Osborn's going out to dinner, and I can mope and starve at home."

    Married Life May Edginton
  • "I'm tired o' doin' nowt but mope i' th' house," Liz fretted.

    That Lass O' Lowrie's Frances Hodgson Burnett
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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