any excavation made in a mine, especially from a steeply inclined vein, to remove the ore that has been rendered accessible by the shafts and drifts.

verb (used with or without object), stoped, stop·ing.

to mine or work by stopes.

Origin of stope

1740–50; apparently < Low German stope; see stoop2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stope

Historical Examples of stope

  • And we can't 'it the vein without following the drift to the stope.

    The Cross-Cut

    Courtney Ryley Cooper

  • For a man moved, silent and furtive, in the tunnel between me and the stope!

    The La Chance Mine Mystery

    Susan Carleton Jones

  • So we kind of retired and let the men cork you into Thompson's stope to die.

    The La Chance Mine Mystery

    Susan Carleton Jones

  • Get through into that stope with your fuse, man; I'll hand you the blasting stuff.

    The La Chance Mine Mystery

    Susan Carleton Jones

  • Drills and hammers would be buried in the stope, or thrown over the dump.

    Blue Goose

    Frank Lewis Nason

British Dictionary definitions for stope



a steplike excavation made in a mine to extract ore


to mine (ore, etc) by cutting stopes

Word Origin for stope

C18: probably from Low German stope; see stoop ²
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 stope

1778, "to cut in stopes" (1747), apparently cognate with step (n.). Related: Stoped.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper