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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 moping
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was not moping—only weakly and even when looking a little sad, was quite happy.

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • For one thing, there was plenty of hard work to keep my mind from moping.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • I couldn't help him none, and he went away, moping and miserable.

    Cape Cod Stories Joseph C. Lincoln
  • It has been a glorious day and, if you had come in moping, I should have given you up as hopeless.

  • Edward had no time for moping discontent, for revenge, or anger.

  • Then he came to the library where I was moping, and laid his hand on my head.

  • We can't go on moping always, on the night before the holidays, too!

    The Talking Horse F. Anstey
  • Hate me if you like—but don't betray us, moaning and moping because you can't have the moon.

    The Patrician John Galsworthy
  • It seems so funny not to go to it, instead of moping in these fusty lodgings.

    The Rough Road

    William John Locke
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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