[ hopt-uhp ]
/ ˈhɒptˈʌp /
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adjective Slang.
excited; enthusiastic; exuberant, especially overexuberant.
having an engine with added power: a hopped-up jalopy.
stimulated by narcotics; drugged; doped.
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Origin of hopped-up

First recorded in 1920–25
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does hopped-up mean?

Hopped-up is an informal adjective that means extremely excited or enthusiastic about something, as in Dave is really hopped-up about getting the new gaming system. 

This sense of the word can imply a sense of overexcitement or frenzy. The terms hyped-up and hyped mean the same thing.

Hopped-up is also used to describe someone who is in a state of stimulation, especially due to narcotics or other drugs. When used in this way, hopped-up is often followed by the word on and the drug or stimulating substance, as in Rock stars in the ’80s were notorious for being constantly hopped-up on cocaine. Though the word is most closely associated with hard drugs, it sometimes involves other stimulants, as in hopped-up on caffeine or After the party, the kids were hopped-up on sugar. 

Less commonly, hopped-up is used to describe a vehicle, especially a car, that has been modified in order to increase its power, especially its engine power (and therefore its ability to go faster). The term souped-up means the same thing and is probably more commonly used.

The adjective hopped-up is sometimes seen without a hyphen. However, it’s usually best to spell it with a hyphen to avoid confusion in cases when the past tense verb hopped is followed by the word up, as in The cat hopped up on the table.

The phrasal verb hop up can be used in all of the senses of the adjective hopped-up. It can mean to excite someone or to make something more exciting, as in Get out there and hop up the crowd. It can also mean to stimulate someone, such as with drugs or another stimulant, as in My mother-in-law loves to hop the kids up on sugar. In the context of cars, it can mean the same thing as soup up. 

Example: The kids were hopped-up all week in anticipation of their trip to the theme park.

Where does hopped-up come from?

The first records of the term hopped-up come from the 1920s. Its senses involving excitement and stimulation by drugs emerged around the same time. Its use to describe someone on drugs may derive from the use of the noun hop to refer to a narcotic, especially opium.

Today, when hopped-up is used to describe someone as extremely excited, it often likens their state to that of someone who has been stimulated by drugs—as if the excitement itself is a drug.

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How is hopped-up used in real life?

Hopped-up is very informal. It’s typically used to describe people who are stimulated by drugs or other substances, or people who are so excited that it almost seems like they’re being stimulated by some kind of substance.



Try using hopped-up!

Is hopped-up used correctly in the following sentence?

Witnesses said the suspect must have been hopped-up on some kind of substance, judging by his erratic behavior.

How to use hopped-up in a sentence

Other Idioms and Phrases with hopped-up

hopped up


Relating to a motor, especially a car engine, whose power has been increased. For example, Kids loved to ride around in hopped-up cars. [Slang; mid-1900s] Also see soup up.


Stimulated with, or as if with, a narcotic. For example, Their idea of a good time is to get all hopped up on marijuana or worse. This slangy usage dates from the 1920s but may be related to the late 19th-century use of the noun hop for a narcotic, especially opium.

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