View synonyms for copy


[ kop-ee ]


, plural cop·ies,
  1. an imitation, reproduction, or transcript of an original:

    a copy of a famous painting.

    Synonyms: facsimile, carbon, duplicate

  2. one of the various examples or specimens of the same book, engraving, or the like.
  3. written matter intended to be reproduced in printed form:

    The editor sent the copy for the next issue to the printer.

  4. the text of a news story, advertisement, television commercial, etc., as distinguished from related visual material.
  5. the newsworthiness of a person, thing, or event (often preceded by good or bad ): Compare news ( def 4 ).

    The president is always good copy.

  6. Computers. an exact duplicate of a file, program, etc.:

    Keep a backup copy of the document.

  7. Printing. pictures and artwork prepared for reproduction.
  8. British Informal. (in schools) a composition; a written assignment.
  9. British. a size of drawing or writing paper, 16 × 20 inches (40 × 50 centimeters).
  10. Archaic. something that is to be reproduced; an example or pattern, as of penmanship to be copied by a pupil.

verb (used with object)

, cop·ied, cop·y·ing.
  1. to make a copy of; transcribe; reproduce:

    to copy a set of figures from a book.

  2. to receive and understand (a radio message or its sender).
  3. to follow as a pattern or model; imitate.

    Antonyms: originate

  4. Computers. to make an exact duplicate of (a file, selected text, etc.) and store in another location or in temporary memory: Compare cut ( def 25 ), paste ( def 13 ).

    Can I copy the program to another computer? Copy the selected paragraph to the clipboard.

verb (used without object)

, cop·ied, cop·y·ing.
  1. to make a copy or copies.
  2. to undergo copying:

    It copied poorly.

    I can't install the program—one file won't copy.

  3. to hear or receive a radio message, as over a CB radio:

    Do you copy?

  4. Also Newfoundland. to leap from one ice pan to another across open water.


/ ˈkɒpɪ /


  1. an imitation or reproduction of an original
  2. a single specimen of something that occurs in a multiple edition, such as a book, article, etc
    1. matter to be reproduced in print
    2. written matter or text as distinct from graphic material in books, newspapers, etc
  3. the words used to present a promotional message in an advertisement
  4. informal.
    journalism suitable material for an article or story

    disasters are always good copy

  5. archaic.
    a model to be copied, esp an example of penmanship


  1. whentr, often foll by out to make a copy or reproduction of (an original)
  2. tr to imitate as a model
  3. intr to imitate unfairly
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Other Words From

  • pre·cop·y noun plural precopies verb (used with object) precopied precopying
  • re·cop·y verb (used with object) recopied recopying
  • un·cop·ied adjective
  • well-cop·ied adjective
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Word History and Origins

Origin of copy1

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English copie (from Anglo-French ) from Medieval Latin cōpia “abundance, something copied,” Latin: “wealth, abundance”; copious; copy ( def 18 ) originally a children's game, from the phrase copy the leader
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Word History and Origins

Origin of copy1

C14: from Medieval Latin cōpia an imitation, something copied, from Latin: abundance, riches; see copious
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Idioms and Phrases

  1. copy the mail, Citizens Band Radio Slang. mail 1( def 11 ).
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Synonym Study

See imitate.
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Example Sentences

The person still had some nonfunctional copies of the virus.

The newsrooms learned of Clarkson’s behavior in June and first requested copies of the messages from the Department of Law — which he oversees — on June 4.

Once the virus has made its way into cells, it starts making copies of itself.

Also in April, Jared Whitlock, a freelance journalist who contributes to VOSD, requested copies of county death certificates.

You should use location-based copy on your website if you’re a company that has not multiple goods or services but has different locations.

The Tampa Bay Times got their hands on a full copy of the letter the retired judge sent to Winston.

One African American woman brandished a pocket-sized copy of the Constitution while marching.

He's starting to sound like a schoolboy with a copy of Penthouse.

But when their first book, SuicideGirls, came out in 2004, she gifted her a copy.

So, I was copying it and getting it out, and I kept a copy on myself at all times with really, really strong passwords.

You were obliging enough to ask me to accept a presentation copy of your verses.

Then, child, you've fallen on your head, if you don't know that at least you must have a second copy of the concerto!

So he took my copy and played the orchestra part which is indicated above the piano part, and I played without notes.

These first attempts to copy in line the forms of familiar objects are among the most curious products of the child's mind.

A copy of Tendall's testament sold at Oxford for 20 guineas, supposed to be the only copy of that edition unburned by Tonstall.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




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