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[mop] /mɒp/
a bundle of coarse yarn, a sponge, or other absorbent material, fastened at the end of a stick or handle for washing floors, dishes, etc.
a thick mass of hair.
a polishing wheel having several layers of cloth secured by a boss.
verb (used with object), mopped, mopping.
to rub, wipe, clean, or remove with a mop (often followed by up):
to mop up a spill.
to wipe as if with a mop:
to mop the face with a handkerchief.
verb (used without object), mopped, mopping.
to clean or wipe with or as if with a mop (often followed by up):
First he swept, then he mopped up.
Verb phrases
mop up,
  1. Military. to clear (ground, trenches, towns, etc.) of scattered or remaining enemy combatants after attacking forces have conquered the area.
  2. Informal. to dispose of; complete; finish:
    He mopped up the rest of his business and went on a vacation.
mop the floor with. floor (def 20).
Origin of mop1
late Middle English
1375-1425; earlier map, late Middle English mappe, apocopated variant of mappel < Medieval Latin mappula a cloth, equivalent to Latin mapp(a) napkin + -ula -ule


[mop] /mɒp/
verb (used without object), mopped, mopping.
to make a disappointed or unhappy face; grimace:
an unruly child that mops and mows.
a wry face; grimace.
1560-70; akin to Dutch moppen to pout Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for mopped
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Salvador held out the cash to Raul, and mopped his face with the bandana, puffing loudly.

    When the Owl Cries Paul Bartlett
  • Dr. Clatworthy stared about him and mopped the crown of his head.

    Merry-Garden and Other Stories Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • Daddy Longlegs took off his hat, mopped his narrow forehead with his red bandanna, and then slowly nodded his head three times.

    The Tale of Daddy Longlegs Arthur Scott Bailey
  • He did that himself, and mopped his face with a handkerchief.

    'Firebrand' Trevison Charles Alden Seltzer
  • Thanking them yet once more, he mopped his brow and sat down.

    Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford George Randolph Chester
  • Hill sat up on the pavement and mopped the blood from his cheek.

    Anna the Adventuress E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • Wallbridge looked at me in a little confusion, and mopped his head with comical abandon.

    Blindfolded Earle Ashley Walcott
  • The gentleman took off his silk hat and mopped his forehead.

    A Son of Hagar Sir Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for mopped


an implement with a wooden handle and a head made of twists of cotton or a piece of synthetic sponge, used for polishing or washing floors, or washing dishes
something resembling this, such as a tangle of hair
verb mops, mopping, mopped
(transitive) often foll by up. to clean or soak up with or as if with a mop
See also mop up
Word Origin
C15 mappe, from earlier mappel, from Medieval Latin mappula cloth, from Latin mappa napkin


verb mops, mopping, mopped
(intransitive) to make a grimace or sad expression (esp in the phrase mop and mow)
such a face or expression
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from Dutch moppen to pour; compare Dutch mop pug dog


(in various parts of England) an annual fair at which formerly servants were hired
Word Origin
C17: from the practice of servants carrying a mop, broom, or flail, etc, to signify the job sought
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 mopped



late 15c., mappe "bundle of yarn, etc., fastened to the end of a stick for cleaning or spreading pitch on a ship's decks," from Walloon (French) mappe "napkin," from Latin mappa "napkin" (see map (n.)). Modern spelling by 1660s. Of hair, from 1847.


1709, from mop (n.). Related: Mopped; mopping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for mopped



Thoroughly beaten; clobbered (1990s+ Teenagers)



  1. The last item or act; the final result: And the mop was he got caught
  2. A head of hair; hairdo

[1944+ Black; probably from the notion of mopping or cleaning up, influenced by earlier jazz use ''the last beat at the end of a jazz number'']

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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Related Abbreviations for mopped


Macau-pataca (currency)
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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