cope

1
[ kohp ]
/ koʊp /

verb (used without object), coped, cop·ing.

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).

verb (used with object), coped, cop·ing.

British Informal. to cope with.
Obsolete. to come into contact with; encounter.

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Origin of cope

1
First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English coupen, from Anglo-French, Old French couper “to strike,” derivative of coup “a blow”; see origin at coup1

historical usage of cope

The verb cope comes from Middle English coupen (also copen, coppen, caupen ) “to clash, deliver blows, engage in combat,” from Old French colper (also coper, couper ) “to strike.” The Old French verb is a derivative of the noun colp (also cop, coup ) “a blow,” from Latin colaphus “a blow with the fist, a smack on the ear.”
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.

OTHER WORDS FROM cope

copeless, adjectivecope·less·ness, noun

Definition for cope (2 of 4)

cope2
[ kohp ]
/ koʊp /

noun

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.
the sky.
a coping on a wall.
Metallurgy. the upper half of a flask.Compare drag (def. 32).

verb (used with object), coped, cop·ing.

to furnish with or as if with a cope or coping.

Origin of cope

2
First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English, from Medieval Latin cāpa, variant of cappa “hooded cloak”; see cap1

Definition for cope (3 of 4)

cope3
[ kohp ]
/ koʊp /

verb (used with object), coped, cop·ing.

Building Trades.
  1. 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).
  2. to form (a joint between such members) in this way.
  3. to undercut the end of (a molded wooden member) in order to form a coped joint.
  4. 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).

Origin of cope

3
First recorded in 1565–75; from French couper “to cut”; see cope1

Definition for cope (4 of 4)

cope4
[ kohp ]
/ koʊp /

verb (used with object), coped, cop·ing.British.

to barter; trade; exchange.

Origin of cope

4
First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English copen, from Low German; compare Middle Dutch côpen “to buy”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for cope

British Dictionary definitions for cope (1 of 4)

cope1
/ (kəʊp) /

verb

(intr foll by with) to contend (against)
(intr) to deal successfully with or handle a situation; manageshe coped well with the problem
(tr) archaic
  1. to deal with
  2. to meet in battle

Word Origin for cope

C14: from Old French coper to strike, cut, from coup blow; see coup 1

British Dictionary definitions for cope (2 of 4)

cope2
/ (kəʊp) /

noun

a large ceremonial cloak worn at solemn liturgical functions by priests of certain Christian sects
any covering shaped like a cope

verb

(tr) to dress (someone) in a cope

Word Origin for cope

Old English cāp, from Medieval Latin cāpa, from Late Latin cappa hooded cloak; see cap

British Dictionary definitions for cope (3 of 4)

cope3
/ (kəʊp) /

verb (tr)

to provide (a wall) with a coping
to join (two moulded timber members)

noun

another name for coping

Word Origin for cope

C17: probably from French couper to cut; see cope 1

British Dictionary definitions for cope (4 of 4)

COPE
/ (kəʊp) /

n acronym for (in South Africa)

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

Medical definitions for cope

cope
[ kōp ]

v.

To contend with difficulties with the intent to overcome them.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.