[kyoo-puh l, kyoo-pel]
  1. a small, cuplike, porous container, usually made of bone ash, used in assaying, as for separating gold and silver from lead.
  2. a receptacle or furnace bottom in which silver is refined.
verb (used with object), cu·peled, cu·pel·ing or (especially British) cu·pelled, cu·pel·ling.
  1. to heat or refine in a cupel.

Origin of cupel

1595–1605; < Medieval Latin cūpella, equivalent to Latin cūp(a) tub + -ella diminutive suffix
Related formscu·pel·er [kyoo-puh-ler] /ˈkyu pə lər/, cu·pel·ler [kyoo-pel-er] /kyuˈpɛl ər/, nouncu·pel·la·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cupel

Historical Examples of cupel

British Dictionary definitions for cupel


  1. a refractory pot in which gold or silver is refined
  2. a small porous bowl made of bone ash in which gold and silver are recovered from a lead button during assaying
verb -pels, -pelling or -pelled or US -pels, -peling or -peled
  1. (tr) to refine (gold or silver) by means of cupellation
Derived Formscupeller, noun

Word Origin for cupel

C17: from French coupelle, diminutive of coupe cup
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