[ mop-ing-uhp ]

  1. serving to complete or put the finishing touches to a phase of a particular action.

  2. serving to complete a military campaign by killing or capturing any remaining enemy troops: a mopping-up operation.

Origin of mopping-up

1905–10; mop up + -ing1, used attributively

Words Nearby mopping-up Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use mopping-up in a sentence

  • Then he saw the helper busily mopping up the reeking mass of chemicals.

    The Skylark of Space | Edward Elmer Smith and Lee Hawkins Garby
  • The world is small, as you say, but just at this moment infernally busy mopping up.

    The Pagan Madonna | Harold MacGrath
  • "Then we'd better be shackin' erlong," said Mormon, mopping up gravy with half a biscuit.

    Rimrock Trail | J. Allan Dunn
  • On arrival there, the "mopping up" party is found still at work, but it soon completes its grim task.