Nearby words

  1. toots,
  2. tootsie,
  3. tootsy,
  4. tootsy-wootsy,
  5. toowoomba,
  6. top 40,
  7. top banana,
  8. top billing,
  9. top boot,
  10. top brass


Origin of top

before 1000; Middle English, Old English; cognate with Dutch top, German Zopf, Old Norse toppr “top”

Related formsun·topped, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for on top


/ (tɒp) /



of, relating to, serving as, or situated on the topthe top book in a pile
British informal excellenta top night out

verb tops, topping or topped (mainly tr)

Word Origin for top

Old English topp; related to Old High German zopf plait, Old Norse toppr tuft


/ (tɒp) /


a toy that is spun on its pointed base by a flick of the fingers, by pushing a handle at the top up and down, etc
anything that spins or whirls around
sleep like a top to sleep very soundly

Word Origin for top

Old English, of unknown origin

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 on top
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with on top

on top

In a dominant or successful position. It is also put as come out on top, as in As we expected, Paul again came out on top in the chess tournament. [Mid-1500s] Also see on top of.


In addition to the idioms beginning with top

  • top banana
  • top brass
  • top dog
  • top dollar
  • top drawer
  • top off
  • top out
  • top to toe

also see:

  • at the top of one's lungs
  • big top
  • blow one's top
  • brass hat (top brass)
  • from head to toe (top to toe)
  • off the top of one's head
  • on top
  • on top of
  • on top of the world
  • over the top
  • sleep like a log (top)
  • thin on top
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.