Then we had to stop up the holes with anything we had, and patch the paper as best we could.
"I thought he meant to stop up at Oxford and take pupils," said Mary.
I'm to stop up half an hour later than Peter, Rona; do you hear that?
The tinker too with mettle, Said he could mend her kettle,And stop up every leak.
Fifteen hundred women are there, sewing the sand sacks that are to stop up the breaches.
It was not difficult then to stop up the orifice with a little fat.
If they could ignore the flower, efface the star, stop up the mouth of the pit, close heaven!
Then he tried to stop up the entrance to their den with his coat, so that he could catch them.
The keeper said that he intended at the next court to ask the commissioners to build the fence higher and stop up the holes.
And what can it be, that can so fill thy mind as to stop up all its entrances?
Old English -stoppian (in forstoppian "to stop up, stifle"), a general West Germanic word (cf. West Frisian stopje, Middle Low German stoppen, Old High German stopfon, German stopfen "to plug, stop up," Old Low Frankish (be)stuppon "to stop (the ears)"), but held by many sources to be a borrowing from Vulgar Latin *stuppare "to stop or stuff with tow or oakum" (cf. Italian stoppare, French étouper "to stop with tow"), from Latin stuppa "coarse part of flax, tow." Plugs made of tow were used from ancient times in Rhine valley. Barnhart, at least, proposes the whole Germanic group rather might be native, from a base *stoppon.
Sense of "bring or come to a halt" (mid-15c.) is from notion of preventing a flow by blocking a hole, and the word's development in this sense is unique to English, though it since has been widely adopted in other languages; perhaps influenced by Latin stupere "be stunned, be stupefied." Stop-and-go (adj.) is from 1926, originally a reference to traffic signals.
late 15c., from stop (v.).