verb (used without object), moped, mop·ing.

to be sunk in dejection or listless apathy; sulk; brood.

verb (used with object), moped, mop·ing.

to make dejected, listless, or apathetic.


a person who mopes or is given to moping.
mopes, depressed spirits; blues.

Origin of mope

First recorded in 1560–70; variant of mop2
Related formsmop·er, nounmop·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mopes

Contemporary Examples of mopes

Historical Examples of mopes

  • The servants have told him she mopes around and is getting thin and pale.

    The Little Colonel

    Annie Fellows Johnston

  • And willful too—he just mopes around because he wants to show me I'm wrong.

  • She won't have but one candle lighted, and she sits and mopes in the dark.

    The Little Gray Lady

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • Come on, Nell, don't let us sit here and get the mopes, and think of our consciences.

    The Marriage of Elinor

    Margaret Oliphant

  • He mopes there all free times, and has about fifty marks already for doing it.

    Deering of Deal

    Latta Griswold

British Dictionary definitions for mopes


pl n

the mopes low spirits


verb (intr)

to be gloomy or apatheticthere's no time to mope
to move or act in an aimless wayhe moped around the flat


a gloomy person
See also mopes
Derived Formsmoper, nounmopy, adjective

Word Origin for mope

C16: perhaps from obsolete mope fool and related to mop ²
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 mopes



1560s, "to move and act unconsciously;" 1580s, "to be listless and apathetic," the sound of the word perhaps somehow suggestive of low feelings (cf. Low German mopen "to sulk," Dutch moppen "to grumble, to grouse," Danish maabe, dialectal Swedish mopa "to mope"). Related: Moped; moping; mopey; mopish.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper