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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 mopes
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Clad in his scanty linen garments he crouches, and mopes, and shivers, and waits for the sun to rise and warm him.

    India and the Indians Edward F. Elwin
  • Come on, Nell, don't let us sit here and get the mopes, and think of our consciences.

    The Marriage of Elinor Margaret Oliphant
  • A day or two ago I thought she was beginning to get over it; but she mopes about and is getting thin.

    Abington Abbey Archibald Marshall
  • Why mopes she, looking so haggard, with features expressionless and inane?

  • And willful too—he just mopes around because he wants to show me I'm wrong.

  • You cant think how thin she has grown, and she mopes like an old woman.

    Tessa Wadsworth's Discipline Jennie M. Drinkwater
  • And now he mopes and frets; and neither me nor Ned nor Fan can get any good of him.

    Cashel Byron's Profession George Bernard Shaw
  • “Mr. mopes is dirty, it cannot be denied,” said the Landlord.

    Tom Tiddler's Ground Charles Dickens
  • This fact is immediately communicated to the stomach, which, in true sisterly fashion, mopes and sulks out of sheer sympathy.

    The Woman Beautiful Helen Follett Stevans
British Dictionary definitions for mopes


plural noun
the mopes, low spirits


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 mopes



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 mopes



  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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