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verb (used without object), loped, lop·ing.
  1. to move or run with bounding steps, as a quadruped, or with a long, easy stride, as a person.
  2. to canter leisurely with a rather long, easy stride, as a horse.
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verb (used with object), loped, lop·ing.
  1. to cause to lope, as a horse.
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  1. the act or the gait of loping.
  2. a long, easy stride.
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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. 2018

Related Words for loped

gallop, trot, canter, run, bound

Examples from the Web for loped

Historical Examples of loped

  • The two Indians wheeled their ponies and loped after the others.

    Bloom of Cactus

    Robert Ames Bennet

  • With that the Indian rose, turned his back on them and loped into the forest.

  • Across the lawn he loped, and little François, anxious at the window, spied him.

    Mistress Anne

    Temple Bailey

  • They mounted, swung their horses and loped off toward the bridge across the creek.

    Rimrock Trail

    J. Allan Dunn

  • For half an hour they loped over the prairie without speech.

    Two on the Trail

    Hulbert Footner

British Dictionary definitions for loped


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



"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper