cop

1
[kop]

verb (used with object), copped, cop·ping. Informal.

to catch; nab.
to steal; filch.
to buy (narcotics).

Verb Phrases

cop out,
  1. to avoid one's responsibility, the fulfillment of a promise, etc.; renege; back out (often followed by on or of): He never copped out on a friend in need. You agreed to go, and you can't cop out now.
  2. cop a plea.

Idioms

    cop a plea,
    1. to plead guilty or confess in return for receiving a lighter sentence.
    2. to plead guilty to a lesser charge as a means of bargaining one's way out of standing trial for a more serious charge; plea-bargain.

Origin of cop

1
1695–1705; compare cap (obsolete) to arrest, Scots cap to seize ≪ dialectal Old French caper to take, ultimately < Latin capere
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for cop a plea

plea-bargain

British Dictionary definitions for cop a plea

cop

1

noun

another name for policeman
British an arrest (esp in the phrase a fair cop)
an instance of plagiarism

verb cops, copping or copped (tr)

to seize or catch
to steal
to buy, steal, or otherwise obtain (illegal drugs)Compare score (def. 26)
Also: cop it to suffer (a punishment)you'll cop a clout if you do that!
cop it sweet Australian slang
  1. to accept a penalty without complaint
  2. to have good fortune
See also cop off, cop out

Word Origin for cop

C18: (vb) perhaps from obsolete cap to arrest, from Old French caper to seize; sense 1, back formation from copper ²

cop

2

noun

a conical roll of thread wound on a spindle
mainly dialect the top or crest, as of a hill

Word Origin for cop

Old English cop, copp top, summit, of uncertain origin; perhaps related to Old English copp cup

cop

3

noun

British slang (usually used with a negative) worth or valuethat work is not much cop

Word Origin for cop

C19: n use of cop 1 (in the sense: to catch, hence something caught, something of value)

COP

abbreviation for (in New Zealand)

Certificate of Proficiency: a pass in a university subject
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

Word Origin and History for cop a plea

cop

v.

1704, northern British dialect, "to seize, to catch," perhaps ultimately from Middle French caper "seize, to take," from Latin capere "to take" (see capable); or from Dutch kapen "to take," from Old Frisian capia "to buy," which is related to Old English ceapian (see cheap). Related: Copped; copping.

cop

n.

"policeman," 1859, abbreviation of earlier copper (n.2), 1846, from cop (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with cop a plea

cop a plea

1

Plead guilty or confess to a crime in exchange for a lighter sentence; also, plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for not being tried for a more serious charge. For example, Arnold decided he was better off copping a plea than facing a jury. [Colloquial; 1920s]

2

Plead for mercy; make excuses. For example, He copped a plea about not knowing his way around. [Slang; c. 1940]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.