to struggle or deal, especially on fairly even terms or with some degree of success (usually followed by with): The new heating and cooling system can cope with extremes of temperature much better than the old one.
to face and deal with responsibilities, problems, or difficulties, especially successfully or in a calm or adequate manner: After his breakdown he couldn't cope any longer.
Archaic. to come into contact; meet (usually followed by with).
British Informal. to cope with.
Obsolete. to come into contact with; encounter.
The spelling colaphus (with a -ph- ) shows that the Latin word is a borrowing from Greek kólaphos, and not a high-class one, either: colaphus occurs mostly in the comedies of Plautus and Terence, and in Greek kólaphos occurs only once, as a nickname for a boy’s gym trainer, in a surviving fragment of a work by the 5th-century b.c. comic playwright Epicharmus. The famed 18th-century English dictionary writer Samuel Johnson would certainly call kólaphos “a low word,” and it is a little amazing that it survived so long in Greek, then was borrowed into Latin and into Romance, and then into English.
By the mid-17th century, cope had acquired the sense “to struggle or deal on fairly even terms or with some degree of success.” The modern sense “to face and deal with responsibilities, problems, or difficulties successfully and calmly; manage” dates from the mid-1930s.
- copeless, adjective
- cope·less·ness, noun
Other definitions for cope (2 of 4)
a long mantle, especially of silk, worn by ecclesiastics over the alb or surplice in processions and on other occasions.
any cloaklike or canopylike covering.
to furnish with or as if with a cope or coping.
Other definitions for cope (3 of 4)
to join (two molded wooden members) by undercutting the end of one of them to the profile of the other so that the joint produced resembles a miter joint (usually followed by in or together).
to form (a joint between such members) in this way.
to undercut the end of (a molded wooden member) in order to form a coped joint.
to cut away (a flange of a metal member) so that it may be joined to another member at an angle.
Falconry. to clip or dull (the beak or talons of a hawk).
Other definitions for cope (4 of 4)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024
How to use cope in a sentence
Plans are already underway to hire another 26 over the coming weeks to cope with the volume of work.‘We’re building the plane while flying’: AB InBev’s in-house team plans structural changes as it takes on more work | Seb Joseph | February 10, 2021 | Digiday
“The Love Proof,” by Madeleine Henry A pair of Yalies fall in love until one of them — physics prodigy Sophie — is forced to cope with the unexpected.The best books to beat this year’s special brand of Valentine’s Day blues | Zibby Owens | February 5, 2021 | Washington Post
You’ve talked about the need to find positives in the frontline experience in order to cope.Kansas City Chiefs Lineman Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Stayed On The COVID-19 Front Lines. Now He's Missing The Super Bowl. | Sean Gregory | February 4, 2021 | Time
To cope, Outside staffers have been alternating between physical activities in the cold and cozying up at home.
He knew what had been going on and really just wanted to find out he we all were coping with that.Friends and colleagues mourn the loss of Mel Antonen, longtime MLB reporter | Scott Allen | February 1, 2021 | Washington Post
Stephanie Giorgio, a classical musician, credits The Class for helping her cope with anxiety, focus, fear, and self-doubt.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze | Lizzie Crocker | January 9, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Fulkerson, the founder of the magazine who has hired March, is someone he can cope with.
Eric told me about a case with which a fellow lobbyist had to cope.
Child workers, even when they are brought back into the classroom, are unable to cope without proper bridge courses.
In an effort to cope with the implications of this question, Americans have subtly but sweepingly shifted their ideals.
And when ordinary fellows like you and me attempt to cope with their idiosyncrasies the result is bungling.The Awakening and Selected Short Stories | Kate Chopin
Constabulary was insufficient to cope with the marauders, and regular troops had to be sent to these provinces.The Philippine Islands | John Foreman
Louis the Lusty fled before an insurrection that he did not think himself equal to cope with.The Pilgrim's Shell or Fergan the Quarryman | Eugne Sue
Chivey was not soft, but he was not competent to cope with such a keen spirit as this Spanish notary.Jack Harkaway's Boy Tinker Among The Turks | Bracebridge Hemyng
Yamba acted as cook and waitress, but after a time the work was more than she could cope with unaided.The Adventures of Louis de Rougemont | Louis de Rougemont
British Dictionary definitions for cope (1 of 4)
(intr foll by with) to contend (against)
(intr) to deal successfully with or handle a situation; manage: she coped well with the problem
to deal with
to meet in battle
British Dictionary definitions for cope (2 of 4)
a large ceremonial cloak worn at solemn liturgical functions by priests of certain Christian sects
any covering shaped like a cope
(tr) to dress (someone) in a cope
British Dictionary definitions for cope (3 of 4)
to provide (a wall) with a coping
to join (two moulded timber members)
another name for coping
British Dictionary definitions for COPE (4 of 4)
Congress of the People: a political party founded in 2008 by dissident members of the ANC
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