There are 2 main definitions of copper in English:

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copper1

Line breaks: cop¦per
Pronunciation: /ˈkɒpə
 
/

noun

1 [mass noun] A red-brown metal, the chemical element of atomic number 29. (Symbol: Cu)
Example sentences
  • In addition, fruit juices are rich in essential minerals like iron, copper, potassium, sodium, iodine and magnesium.
  • Silver fillings are actually made of a combination of metals including silver, tin, copper and mercury.
  • Men usually work with metals such as copper, brass, and aluminum to craft decorative plates, wall hangings, and utensils.

Copper was the earliest metal to be used by humans, first by itself and then later alloyed with tin to form bronze. A ductile easily worked metal, it is a very good conductor of heat and electricity and is used especially for electrical wiring

2 (coppers) British Brown coins of low value made of copper or bronze.
Example sentences
  • The entrance fee was one shilling, and we had to borrow several pails to hold the coppers and other coins that were paid in.
  • Amazingly, people started to put money in the box - just coppers and five pence pieces, but still more than we'd expected.
  • Crystal stared miserable at her polystyrene cup, which contained only a few coppers and one ten pence piece.
3 dated A large copper or iron container for boiling laundry.
Example sentences
  • A purpose-built brew-house stands next to the pub, complete with a boiling copper and fermentor.
  • There was an area with a concrete floor, a tin bath, a copper, a sink and a cold tap.
  • This last device was used to move clothes up and down in boiling soapy water, contained in a gas-heated copper.
4 [mass noun] A reddish-brown colour like that of copper: she had copper-coloured hair
More example sentences
  • In other colourful news, I've just had some reddish / copper lowlights put in my hair.
  • There weren't many people in my school with copper coloured hair.
  • Looking closely, there's a hint of copper colouring in the larger scratch.
5 [with modifier] A small butterfly with bright reddish-brown wings.
  • Genus Lycaena, family Lycaenidae: many species

verb

[with object] Back to top  
Cover or coat (something) with copper: some iron hulls were sheathed with wood and then coppered (as adjective coppered) coppered pins
More example sentences
  • Drake watched it from atop the watchman's truck, against the pole that held the beat-up and coppered bell.
  • Everything was made of gold, coppered from age.

Origin

Old English copor, coper (related to Dutch koper and German Kupfer), based on late Latin cuprum, from Latin cyprium aes 'Cyprus metal' (so named because Cyprus was the chief source).

More
  • The verb cop (early 18th century), meaning ‘to catch’, comes from a northern English dialect word cap meaning ‘to capture or arrest’. This probably goes back to Latin capere, ‘to take or seize’. So a copper was a catcher, which is why it became an informal word for a police officer in the 1840s. Apprehended villains have been saying ‘ it's a fair cop!’ since the 1880s. See also capableCopper, the reddish-brown metal, comes from Latin cyprium aes ‘Cyprus metal’. The island of Cyprus was the Romans' main source of copper.

Definition of copper in:

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There are 2 main definitions of copper in English:

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copper2

Line breaks: cop¦per
Pronunciation: /ˈkɒpə
 
/

noun

British informal
A police officer.
Example sentences
  • How do you know the coppers won't know you weren't there?
  • Unless perhaps you were a copper going undercover.
  • Since Monday I have been counting the number of coppers, cop cars, dog handling units, malicious arrests and good-humoured stop-and-searches I've spotted in Hackney.

Origin

mid 19th century: from cop1 + -er1.

More
  • The verb cop (early 18th century), meaning ‘to catch’, comes from a northern English dialect word cap meaning ‘to capture or arrest’. This probably goes back to Latin capere, ‘to take or seize’. So a copper was a catcher, which is why it became an informal word for a police officer in the 1840s. Apprehended villains have been saying ‘ it's a fair cop!’ since the 1880s. See also capableCopper, the reddish-brown metal, comes from Latin cyprium aes ‘Cyprus metal’. The island of Cyprus was the Romans' main source of copper.

Definition of copper in:

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