Definition of dope in English:

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Pronunciation: /dəʊp/


[mass noun]
1 informal A drug taken illegally for recreational purposes, especially cannabis: police arrested a protester for smoking dope
More example sentences
  • That doesn't make cannabis a gateway - that people who might use heroin start with dope is not the same as saying that people who use dope might use heroin.
  • Here they are reminded that it is an offence in Britain to possess or supply heroin, cocaine, dope etc - and then told in the very next sentence that half of young British adults have done these very things.
  • Lumping everything from dope to heroin under the category ‘drugs’, and equating drug-taking with potential violence, is an obvious recipe for a media panic.
drugs, narcotics, addictive drugs, recreational drugs, illegal drugs;
cannabis, heroin
1.1A drug given to a racehorse or greyhound to inhibit or enhance its performance.
Example sentences
  • That inquiry followed positive dope tests on two horses beaten at short odds.
  • The horse was automatically dope tested by stewards at the course and the result of those tests will be revealed later this week.
1.2A drug taken by an athlete to improve performance: [as modifier]: he failed a dope test
More example sentences
  • Although the most modern methods of finding the athletes who cheat are being used I don't believe that they will catch all of the athletes who use dope to win.
  • What is more encouraging is the stance of the IOC President that rather than projecting a negative image, these dope tests and sanctions against cheats would only prove beneficial to sport in the longer run.
  • Until testers learnt about the new designer steroid THG, athletes were taking it and still returning negative dope tests.
2 [count noun] informal A stupid person: though he wasn’t an intellectual giant, he was no dope either
More example sentences
  • They have suffered embarrassment and worst from dopes, dubbos and incompetents.
  • You have to wonder just what other accidents are waiting to happen between now and the end of the Games, and I don't mean the two dopes now out of hospital!
  • The real dopes are his lieutenants who appear incapable of helping out their tired leader.
3 informal Information about a subject, especially if not generally known: our reviewer will give you the dope on hot spots around the town
More example sentences
  • The obvious solution was to get the dope on him.
  • He found out what some of the other cabinet ministers were up to and started collecting the dope on them.
  • They really will give you the inside dope on where things are going.
4A varnish formerly applied to fabric surfaces of aircraft to strengthen them and keep them airtight.
Example sentences
  • Airplanes were made of dope, fabric, and wood - all highly flammable.
  • He had done a lot of wood repair in the aileron and flap bays so there were patches of silver dope on the fabric and it was not really looking so good.
  • Carefully tease the loops of the whipping together so that there are no gaps and either give it a coat of quick drying dope used by model aircraft builders or coat it with the specially made rod ring epoxy finish.
4.1A thick liquid used as a lubricant.
Example sentences
  • Pipe dope is applied to the male threads of pipes to be connected to female threads.
  • The pipe dope provides lubrication and seals the joints.
4.2A substance added to petrol to increase its effectiveness.


[with object]
1Administer drugs to (a racehorse, greyhound, or athlete) in order to inhibit or enhance sporting performance: the horse was doped before the race
More example sentences
  • The prosecution had alleged that the five charged were part of a group that set out to dope racehorses in an attempt to make money off wagering.
  • Having mastered how to use the equipment, the chemist can find out whether, for instance, a race horse had been doped, if an area is worth mining or if the proper chemical compound has been made.
  • He is a coach more notorious for doping his athletes than for their on-track successes.
drug, administer drugs/opiates/narcotics to;
tamper with, interfere with;
disable, stupefy, sedate, befuddle, inebriate, intoxicate, narcotize, incapacitate, weaken;
knock out, anaesthetize, give an anaesthetic to, make/render unconscious
British informal nobble
1.1 (be doped up) informal Be heavily under the influence of drugs, typically illegal ones: he was so doped up that he can’t remember a thing
More example sentences
  • Maybe if she knew he was doped up on opiate, she might've felt a bit better.
  • It was alleged that they, much like some of their human counterparts, were doped up.
  • Can you imagine what the story would be like if I tried to write while I was doped up on Kodine?
1.2Treat (food or drink) with drugs: maybe they had doped her Perrier
More example sentences
  • The warning comes after reports of an incident where a woman's drink was doped.
add drugs to, tamper with, adulterate, contaminate
informal lace, spike, slip a Mickey Finn into, doctor, cut
1.3 [no object] informal, dated Regularly take illegal drugs.
2Smear or cover with varnish or other thick liquid: she doped the surface with photographic emulsion
More example sentences
  • However, it is doped as in the olden days, then covered with an impressive paint finish.
  • If you dope it afterward, surface tension takes the particles back to a spherical shape.
  • The culprit, he believes, was the highly flammable cellulose doping compound used to coat the fabric covering and make it taut.
3 Electronics Add an impurity to (a semiconductor) to produce a desired electrical characteristic.
Example sentences
  • The flash memory device includes a semiconductor substrate and heavily doped impurity regions formed spaced apart from one another by a predetermined distance in the semiconductor substrate in a first direction.
  • Recent research has discovered that a semiconductor can be made magnetic by doping it with an impurity.
  • To conduct electricity, a polymer needs to be doped so that electrons can move freely.


Very good: that suit is dope!
More example sentences
  • There's no other way to put it - Saturday was dope.
  • Sunday was dope with the unbelievable Red Sox game in the afternoon and then the show at night.
  • I have had some dope sessions in San Fransisco.

Phrasal verbs

dope something out

informal, dated Work out something: they met to dope out plans for covering the event



Example sentences
  • It is not the vehement condemnation of dopers from an athlete in a unique position to give it, but it is the reaction of one who knows her reputation will never fully recover from what history records as an error on the part of the testers.
  • But for one shining moment, there was that first album, and on its virtues even dopers and beer-hounds could agree.
  • So, we're in a situation where the numbers of dopers are higher, but their chances of getting caught are higher as well.


Early 19th century (in the sense 'thick liquid'): from Dutch doop 'sauce', from doopen 'to dip, mix'.

Words that rhyme with dope

aslope, cope, elope, grope, hope, interlope, lope, mope, nope, ope, pope, rope, scope, soap, taupe, tope, trope

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dope

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