- 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
Examples from the Web for 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|Ian Frisch|December 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
From the roof of the barn is a long loop of rope, through this the turkey is suspended by its legs.
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!’|David Freedlander|September 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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|Ben Jacobs|September 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
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|DAILY BEAST
They then both set to work trying to discover some way of fastening it by which it would not slip down the rope.Saint George for England|G. A. Henty
He likewise sailed in a costly ship; its anchor was inlaid with pure gold, and every rope was of twisted silk.The Sand-Hills of Jutland|Hans Christian Andersen
Macavoy, stripped to the waist, and carrying only a hatchet and a coil of rope tied round him, started away alone up the river.Romany of the Snows|Gilbert Parker
The rope, which is guided upon sheaves between the rails, is taken twice round the head pulley.
A bundle of straw, tied with a rope, is brought into the courtyard and left to stand there near the Yule logs.Balder The Beautiful, Vol. I.|Sir James George Frazer
British Dictionary definitions for rope
- 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
- boxing driven against the ropes enclosing the ring by an opponent's attack
- in a defenceless or hopeless position
Word Origin for rope
Word Origin and History for rope (1 of 2)
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.
Word Origin and History for rope (1 of 2)
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.
Idioms and Phrases with rope
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