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 stoped

Historical Examples of stoped

  • She stoped immediately and turned around and went on down the River.

    The Stronghold

    Miriam Haynie

  • I Stoped the Canoes and brought in the flesh which was fat and fine.

    The Journals of Lewis and Clark

    Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

  • You helped pack the mud to build the butte and stoped out the guest chamber down in hell!

    Shadow Mountain

    Dane Coolidge

British Dictionary definitions for stoped



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 stoped



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper