- the cords used to enclose a prize ring or other space.
- Informal.the operations of a business or the details of any undertaking: The new employee didn't take long to learn the ropes.
verb (used with object), roped, rop·ing.
verb (used without object), roped, rop·ing.
- Boxing.in a defenseless position, as leaning against the ropes to keep from falling.
- Informal.in a desperate or hopeless position; close to defeat or failure: By repeatedly undercutting his prices, his competitors soon had him on the ropes.
Origin of rope
Related Words for ropetwine, string, thread, tape, cable, strand, lariat, lace, lanyard, lasso, cordage, hawser
Examples from the Web for rope
Contemporary Examples of rope
“I like decorating my slaves,” she said, referencing the rope, her thin, crimson-coated lips peeling off her front teeth.Dungeons and Genital Clamps: Inside a Legendary BDSM Chateau
December 20, 2014
From the roof of the barn is a long loop of rope, through this the turkey is suspended by its legs.Confessions of a Turkey Killer
November 26, 2014
Clinton, meanwhile, spent several minutes greeting audience members along the rope line and posing for cellphone selfies.Hillary Clinton Basks in Labor’s Love: ‘This Is Like a Homecoming!’
September 16, 2014
After all, what politician blurts out a major life decision while working a rope line?Bill Clinton's McConnell Attack May Be What We'll Remember From the Steak Fry
September 15, 2014
Pictures showed Lee being hoisted off the ship on a rope, aided by other crew members, well before the ship sank completely.South Korea’s Ferry Disaster Gives Us a New Cowardly Captain to Hate
Barbie Latza Nadeau
April 22, 2014
Historical Examples of rope
He bore still around him the rope that was to save the rest.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
And he brought the mare to a halt by jerking the rope around her neck.Way of the Lawless
She'll buy her some spurs and try to rope and cut out and help brand.
I can feel the cold of the water yet, and your rope settling over my shoulders.
Over his shoulder he carried a bag, tied round and round with a rope.Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates
- a fairly thick cord made of twisted and intertwined hemp or other fibres or of wire or other strong material
- (as modifier)a rope bridge; a rope ladder
- a rope, noose, or halter used for hanging
- death by hanging, strangling, etc
- to have a thorough understanding of a particular sphere of activity
- to be experienced in the ways of the world
- boxingdriven against the ropes enclosing the ring by an opponent's attack
- in a defenceless or hopeless position
Word Origin for rope
Old English rap "rope, cord, cable," from Proto-Germanic *raipaz (cf. Old Norse reip, West Frisian reap, Middle Dutch, Dutch reep "rope," Old Frisian silrap "shoe-thong," Gothic skauda-raip "shoe-lace," Old High German, German reif "ring, hoop"). Technically, only cordage above one inch in circumference and below 10 (bigger-around than that is a cable). Nautical use varies. Finnish raippa "hoop, rope, twig" is a Germanic loan-word.
To know the ropes (1840, Dana) originally is a seaman's term. Phrase on the ropes "defeated" is attested from 1924, a figurative extension from the fight ring, where ropes figure from 1829. To be at the end of (one's) rope "out of resources and options" is first attested 1680s. Formerly also in many slang and extended uses related to punishment by hanging, e.g. John Roper's window "a noose," rope-ripe "deserving to be hanged," both 16c. To give someone (enough) rope (to hang himself) is from 1650s.
c.1300, "bind with a rope," from rope (n.). Meaning "mark off with rope" is from 1738; to rope (someone or something) in is from 1848. Related: Roped; roping.
In addition to the idiom beginning with rope
- rope in
- end of one's rope
- enough rope
- (show someone) know the ropes
- on the ropes