verb (used without object), loped, lop·ing.

to move or run with bounding steps, as a quadruped, or with a long, easy stride, as a person.
to canter leisurely with a rather long, easy stride, as a horse.

verb (used with object), loped, lop·ing.

to cause to lope, as a horse.


the act or the gait of loping.
a long, easy stride.

Origin of lope

1375–1425; late Middle English < Dutch lopen to run, cognate with Old English hlēapan to leap
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for lope

gallop, trot, canter, run, bound

Examples from the Web for lope

Contemporary Examples of lope

Historical Examples of lope

  • He was moving leisurely, keeping his horse at the cattle pony's lope.

  • The horse broke into a lope on the level stretch in answer to the spur.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

  • The six blue figures were only fifty feet away, approaching him at a lope.

    Acid Bath

    Vaseleos Garson

  • Without waiting for him to reply, she urged her horse into a lope.

    Out of the Depths

    Robert Ames Bennet

  • The ponies were coming at the lope now, and not an instant was to be lost.

    Warrior Gap

    Charles King

British Dictionary definitions for lope



(intr) (of a person) to move or run with a long swinging stride
(intr) (of four-legged animals) to run with a regular bounding movement
to cause (a horse) to canter with a long easy stride or (of a horse) to canter in this manner


a long steady gait or stride
Derived Formsloper, noun

Word Origin for lope

C15: from Old Norse hlaupa to leap; compare Middle Dutch lopen to run
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

Word Origin and History for lope

"to run with long strides," early 15c.; earlier "to leap, jump, spring" (c.1300), from Old Norse hlaupa "to run, leap," from Proto-Germanic *khlaupan (see leap (v.)). Related: Loped; loping. The noun meaning "a jump, a leap" is from late 14c.; sense of "long, bounding stride" is from 1809.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper