the uppermost or upper part, surface, etc., of anything: She put her sweaters in a box on the top of the wardrobe.The railing is wrought iron with hammered scrollwork along the top.
the part of a plant that grows above ground, especially of an edible root: They make a pesto with carrot tops rather than basil.
the small twigs, branches, or shoots of plants: Until these logs are stripped of their tops, you’ll have a hard time selling them for firewood.
the part of anything that is first or foremost; beginning: Let's go over it from the top again.
the highest or leading place, position, rank, etc.: This quarter she's been at the top of the class.
the highest point, pitch, or degree: You have to talk at the top of your voice to be heard around here.
a person or thing that occupies the highest or leading position: There's only a handful of musicians producing new work in this genre, and she's the top.
the best or choicest part: To me, this park is the top of all creation.
a covering or lid, as of a container or vehicle: Put the top on the pot before the sauce overthickens.
any of various outer garments for the upper body, such as a blouse, shirt, or sweater: They're having a sale on cotton tops and shorts.
British. the farthest point of something relative to a person's position or line of sight: Their shop's at the top of the street.
British. the highest available gear of an automobile.
Nautical. a platform surrounding the head of a lower mast on a ship, and serving as a foothold, a means of extending the upper rigging, etc.
Chemistry. the part of a mixture under distillation that volatilizes first.
the best card of a suit in a player's hand.
(in duplicate bridge) the best score on a hand.
a stroke that hits the ball above its center.
the forward spin given to the ball by such a stroke.
the first half of an inning.
the first three batters in the batting order.
(in the LGBTQ community) a person who prefers to take or is currently taking a penetrative or giving role in a particular sexual act, especially in anal intercourse.
(especially in BDSM) a person who prefers to take or is currently taking a dominant role in a sexual relationship.
a cluster of textile fibers, especially tow, put on a distaff for spinning into yarn.
a similar strand of rayon or other synthetic fiber.
Jewelry. crown (def. 27).
tops, the tops, Informal. the most outstanding person or thing in ability, favor, etc.: As a friend, she's the tops.If you like small plates and excellent service, this place is tops.
highest in degree; greatest: We pay top prices for scrap iron.
foremost, chief, or principal: She outshone seven other competitors to win top honors in the competition.
to furnish with an upper part or side; put a top on: The builders would top the pyramid with a solid granite capstone covered in gold.
to be at or constitute the highest or best part of: The song topped the charts for three weeks straight.
to reach the highest or best part of: This German city often tops polls of the most livable city on the planet.
to rise above: The sun had topped the horizon.
to exceed in height, amount, number, etc.: The service just recently topped its competitors by 1,000 customers.
to surpass, excel, or outdo: That tops everything.
Theater. (in spoken dialogue) to reply in a voice of greater volume or higher pitch: King Henry must top the crowd noises in his St. Crispin's Day speech.
to surmount with something specified: to top a sundae with whipped cream.
to get or leap over the top of (a fence, barrier, etc.): She topped the stone wall in her rush to get to the mare giving birth.
Chemistry. to distill off only the most volatile part of (a mixture).
to strike (the ball) above its center, giving it a forward spin.
to make (a stroke) by hitting the ball in this manner.
(in the LGBTQ community) to do a particular sexual act to (a partner), especially anal intercourse.
(especially in BDSM) to dominate (a sexual partner).
Obsolete. to have sexual intercourse with (a woman).
to climax or complete, especially in an exceptional manner; finish: They topped off the evening with a ferryboat ride at midnight.
to fill (a partly full container) completely: to top off a gas tank.
to finish the top of (a structure).
to reach the highest level.
Idioms about top
blow one's top, Informal.
to become enraged; lose one's temper.
to go mad; become insane: He must have blown his top to make such a fool of himself.
off the top of one's head, Informal. head (def. 78).
on top, successful; victorious; dominant: to stay on top.
on top of,
over or upon.
in addition to; over and above.
close upon; following upon: Gale winds came on top of the floods.
in complete control: on top of the problem.
on top of the world,
elated: The success made her feel on top of the world.
over the top,
Military. over the top of the parapet before a trench, as in issuing to charge against the enemy.
surpassing a goal, quota, or limit.
beyond normal limits; outrageously extreme or excessive: His humor is so over the top that it’s embarrassing.
top oneself, Chiefly British. to kill oneself.
- un·topped, adjective
Other definitions for top (2 of 3)
a toy, often inversely conical, with a point on which it is made to spin.
Other definitions for top- (3 of 3)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use top in a sentence
There is a particular focus in the magazine on attacking the United States, which al Qaeda calls a top target.U.S. Spies See Al Qaeda Fingerprints on Paris Massacre | Shane Harris, Nancy A. Youssef | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
In the meantime, Epstein has tried to use his charitable projects to float him back to the top.Sleazy Billionaire’s Double Life Featured Beach Parties With Stephen Hawking | M.L. Nestel | January 8, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
If so, he has his silence -- on top of poor judgment -- to blame.
One of its top officials is the current minister of the interior in Baghad.What an Iranian Funeral Tells Us About the Wars in Iraq | IranWire | January 6, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Pulling oil from the tar sands is costly, even more so when you tack transportation costs on top.
He came to the top of the stairs with a lamp in his hand, and wanted to know what the rumpus was about.The Bondboy | George W. (George Washington) Ogden
The offspring of the ungodly shall not bring forth many branches, and make a noise as unclean roots upon the top of a rock.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version | Various
The jagged top and spurs of San Jacinto Mountain shone like the turrets and posterns of a citadel built of rubies.Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
The way was under a double row of tall trees, which met at the top and formed a green arch over our heads.Music-Study in Germany | Amy Fay
In fact, his appearance was so formidable that Davy did not pause for a second look, but started off at the top of his speed.Davy and The Goblin | Charles E. Carryl
British Dictionary definitions for top (1 of 3)
the highest or uppermost part of anything: the top of a hill
the most important or successful position: to be at the top of the class; the top of the table
the part of a plant that is above ground: carrot tops
a thing that forms or covers the uppermost part of anything, esp a lid or cap: put the top on the saucepan
the highest degree or point: at the top of his career
the most important person: he's the top of this organization
the best or finest part of anything: we've got the top of this year's graduates
the loudest or highest pitch (esp in the phrase top of one's voice)
the beginning: the top of the hour; at the top of the programme
short for top gear
cards the highest card of a suit in a player's hand
a stroke that hits the ball above its centre
short for topspin
a platform around the head of a lower mast of a sailing vessel, the edges of which serve to extend the topmast shrouds
chem the part of a volatile liquid mixture that distils first
a garment, esp for a woman, that extends from the shoulders to the waist or hips
the high-frequency content of an audio signal
(as modifier): this amplifier has a good top response
blow one's top informal to lose one's temper
on top of
in addition to: on top of his accident, he caught pneumonia
informal in complete control of (a difficult situation, job, etc)
off the top of one's head with no previous preparation; extempore
over the top
over the parapet or leading edge of a trench
over the limit; excessive(ly); lacking restraint or a sense of proportion
the top of the morning a morning greeting regarded as characteristic of Irishmen
of, relating to, serving as, or situated on the top: the top book in a pile
British informal excellent: a top night out
to form a top on (something): to top a cake with whipped cream
to remove the top of or from: to top carrots
to reach or pass the top of: we topped the mountain
to be at the top of: he tops the team
to exceed or surpass
slang to kill
(also intr) sport
to hit (a ball) above the centre
to make (a stroke) by hitting the ball in this way
chem to distil off (the most volatile part) from a liquid mixture
to add other colorants to (a dye) in order to modify the shade produced
top and tail
to trim off the ends of (fruit or vegetables) before cooking them
to wash a baby's face and bottom without immersion in a bath
British Dictionary definitions for top (2 of 3)
a toy that is spun on its pointed base by a flick of the fingers, by pushing a handle at the top up and down, etc
anything that spins or whirls around
sleep like a top to sleep very soundly
British Dictionary definitions for top- (3 of 3)
a variant of topo-
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with top
In addition to the idioms beginning with top
- top banana
- top brass
- top dog
- top dollar
- top drawer
- top off
- top out
- top to toe
- at the top of one's lungs
- big top
- blow one's top
- brass hat (top brass)
- from head to toe (top to toe)
- off the top of one's head
- on top
- on top of
- on top of the world
- over the top
- sleep like a log (top)
- thin on top
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.