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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 mopes
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The servants have told him she mopes around and is getting thin and pale.

    The Little Colonel Annie Fellows Johnston
  • And willful too—he just mopes around because he wants to show me I'm wrong.

  • She won't have but one candle lighted, and she sits and mopes in the dark.

    The Little Gray Lady F. Hopkinson Smith
  • Come on, Nell, don't let us sit here and get the mopes, and think of our consciences.

    The Marriage of Elinor Margaret Oliphant
  • He mopes there all free times, and has about fifty marks already for doing it.

    Deering of Deal Latta Griswold
  • She isn't the same that she was at all; but mopes about more than half of her time.

    The Allen House T. S. Arthur
  • Why mopes she, looking so haggard, with features expressionless and inane?

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

    Tessa Wadsworth's Discipline Jennie M. Drinkwater
  • He's worried nearly to death in town, and he comes out here and mopes about.

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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