verb (used with object), sipped, sip·ping.
  1. to drink (a liquid) a little at a time; take small tastes of: He sipped the hot tea noisily.
  2. to drink from a little at a time: The bird sipped the flower.
  3. to take in; absorb: to sip knowledge at its source.
verb (used without object), sipped, sip·ping.
  1. to drink by sips.
  1. an instance of sipping; a small taste of a liquid: One sip told me that the milk was sour.
  2. a small quantity taken by sipping: Take just a sip, not a gulp or a swallow.

Origin of sip

1350–1400; Middle English sippen (v.), akin to Low German sippen to sip
Related formssip·ping·ly, adverbun·sipped, adjective

Synonym study

1. See drink. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for sips

savor, imbibe, quaff, taste, toss, partake, sample, sup, swallow, extract

Examples from the Web for sips

Contemporary Examples of sips

Historical Examples of sips

  • Hilton frowned in thought while taking a couple of sips of his drink.

    Masters of Space

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • They like my music, and often give me sips of hot coffee, which I like much.

    Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag

    Louisa M. Alcott

  • They sat quietly in their places, drinking steadily, by sips.

  • Sips of hot water will also powerfully help in all cases of such pain.

  • He tasted her in sips, he let her stand, with an opportuneness she herself could not have surpassed.

British Dictionary definitions for sips


abbreviation for
  1. side impact protection system: bars built into certain cars to strengthen the bodywork


verb sips, sipping or sipped
  1. to drink (a liquid) by taking small mouthfuls; drink gingerly or delicately
  1. a small quantity of a liquid taken into the mouth and swallowed
  2. an act of sipping
Derived Formssipper, noun

Word Origin for sip

C14: probably from Low German sippen
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 sips



late 14c., of uncertain origin, perhaps from a source related to Low German sippen "to sip," or from Old English sypian "absorb, drink in," related to supan "to take into the mouth a little at a time" (see sup (v.2)). Related: Sipped; sipping.



c.1500, from sip (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper