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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 moping
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Why ain't you riding in the park with Helen, instead of moping in this dark room?

    Thomas Wingfold, Curate George MacDonald
  • We can't go on moping always, on the night before the holidays, too!

    The Talking Horse F. Anstey
  • And as to behavior, it was not that it was either quarrelsome or moping, but simply unlike the rest.

    Jackanapes Juliana Horatio Ewing
  • At last Joel took to moping, and Ben found him thus in a corner.

  • She knew that the girl was, to use her own expression, "moping quite prodigiously for that Mr. Carr."

    The Black Moth Georgette Heyer
  • We were not the moping, complaining graybeards that many might suppose we must have been.

    Over the Teacups Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • But Winton knew well that she was moping, and cherishing some feeling against himself.

    Beyond John Galsworthy
  • Assuredly—for some better satisfaction than your just moping here without a sign!

    The Outcry Henry James
  • That will be more agreeable than moping in this gloomsome cavern.

    The Death Shot Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for moping


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 moping



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 moping



  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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