There are 4 main definitions of TOP in English:

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Entry from British & World English dictionary


Tongan pa’anga.
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There are 4 main definitions of TOP in English:

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top 2

Pronunciation: /täp/


1 [usually in singular] The highest or uppermost point, part, or surface of something: Eileen stood at the top of the stairs fill the cup almost to the top
More example sentences
  • I feel a few gentle taps on the top of my head, and look up to see a man looking down at me.
  • The redhead was more composed, sitting cross-legged in a way that only just allowed the kilt to cover the tops of her thighs, hands in her lap to prevent me getting a better view.
  • He tugged his hat down, covering the tops of his ears and his eyebrows.
upper part, upper surface, upper layer
1.1 (usually tops) The leaves, stems, and shoots of a plant, especially those of a vegetable grown for its root.
Example sentences
  • Be sure to pinch back the flowering tops of basil plants to keep them from going to seed too early in the season.
  • Marijuana or marihuana is a drug obtained from the flowering tops, stems, and leaves of the hemp plant (cannabis sativa).
  • When the tops of the carrots grow thicker, thin them to about two to three inches apart.
leaves, shoots, stem, stalk
1.2chiefly British The end of something that is furthest from the speaker or a point of reference: the bus shelter at the top of the road
More example sentences
  • I looked up towards the top of the road and saw a silver Mercedes haring down.
  • Even worse, because it is a wide pavement they will use this and drive straight up to the top of the road irrespective of pedestrians.
  • Apparently someone out there beyond the top of Morningside Road wants to demutualise the whole thing.
2A thing or part placed on, fitted to, or covering the upper part of something, in particular.
2.1A garment covering the upper part of the body and worn with a skirt, pants, or shorts.
Example sentences
  • They were both wearing short skirts and halter tops.
  • Every body shape imaginable was squeezed into super short skirts and super tight tops with plunging necklines.
  • Jersey makes a big comeback this season in tops, skirts and trousers.
2.2A lid, cover, or cap for something: the pen dries out if you leave the top off
More example sentences
  • Beer bottle tops will do nicely, if you can't bring yourself to use your Royal College cuff links or the earrings you bought on your most recent trip to Monte Carlo.
  • Stopper corks with plastic tops are used for some wines, particularly fortified wines and some sweet wines, a single bottle of which may be consumed over an extended period.
  • He opened his own can with a hiss of escaping gas as Crystal removed the top of her water bottle.
lid, cap, cover, stopper, cork
2.3A platform at the head of a ship’s mast, especially (in a sailing ship) a platform around the head of each of the lower masts, serving to extend the topmast shrouds.
Example sentences
  • Above is another fifty feet of climbing, as the shrouds (ropes) which are attached to the top narrow down to the point where there is no longer room for your foot unless you turn it sideways.
3 (the top) The highest or most important rank, level, or position: her talent will take her right to the top the people at the top must be competent
More example sentences
  • This triumph leaves them in a comfortable position at the top of the table.
  • It's a school in an area of boarded-up houses and it doesn't rank at the top of national league tables.
  • The prospect of mass tourism ranks at the top of her list of nightmares.
3.1 (tops) informal A person or thing regarded as particularly good or pleasant: Davison is tops in its market
More example sentences
  • Results from Vodafone's mobile phone recycling scheme show that Sligo and Cork are tops when it comes to mobile phone recycling.
  • Cork Harlequins are rated tops in the country for they have a sweet balance of skill and power in their team.
3.2The utmost degree or the highest level: she shouted at the top of her voice
More example sentences
  • The Officer shouted at the top of his voice: ‘One.Two.Three.’
  • I surf every day and need to be at the top of my fitness to face the challenge of big waves.
3.3British The highest gear of a motor vehicle.
Example sentences
  • You're already in top, on the highway doing 70, and the engine sounds as if it needs another gear, so you try to change up but you're already in top!
  • Be brave and you'll be able to come to a stop in top, dipping the clutch just before stopping.
3.4The high-frequency component of reproduced sound.
Example sentences
  • It shows you how to use the bass, mid and top when mixing.
4 Baseball The first half of an inning: the top of the eighth
More example sentences
  • Aisling Walsh again hit a home run in the top of the fourth inning bringing the final four runs home.
  • Jim Edmonds of the Cardinals led off the top of the ninth inning with a high fly down the left field line.
  • The Scots started off the first game with two runs in the top of the first inning.
5 short for topspin.
Example sentences
  • For some players that can manage a fast swing speed, put top on the ball, and have it land in, they may not be overhitting.
  • Flat returns were a little harder for me with all the power, but if I put a little extra ‘top’ on the ball it felt fine.
6 (usually tops) A bundle of long wool fibers prepared for spinning.
Example sentences
  • She started off with wool tops in sliver form.
  • Dyed merino tops are perfect for hand spinning and felting projects.
  • Wensleydale top is the ultimate in luxurious spinning fibres.
7 Physics One of six flavors of quark.
Example sentences
  • Physicists had known that the top must exist since 1977, when its partner, the bottom, was discovered. But the top proved exasperatingly hard to find.
8 informal A male who takes the active role in homosexual intercourse, especially anal intercourse.


Highest in position, rank, or degree: the top button of his shirt a top executive
More example sentences
  • Early release is being re-examined by the Executive as a top priority.
  • The county's ambulance service has been ranked among the top performers in the speed of its response to patients.
  • Those in top positions tend to fear that statements made on television on the spur of the moment may land them in the dock.
highest, topmost, uppermost
foremost, leading, principal, preeminent, greatest, best, finest, elite
informal top-notch, number one, blue-ribbon, blue-chip
upper, chief, principal, main, leading, highest, highest-ranking, ruling, commanding, most powerful, most important
informal A1, top-notch, blue-ribbon, blue-chip, number one

verb (tops, topping, topped)

[with object]
1Exceed (an amount, level, or number); be more than: losses are expected to top $100 million this year
More example sentences
  • Quarterly figures, published yesterday, show that for the first time, discrimination claims on race grounds topped the number of gender discrimination claims.
  • In the third quarter, the number of unemployed topped the record level of 1991, when huge numbers of immigrants from the former Soviet Union came to Israel.
  • With the way the economy is going now, we hope to top those numbers but that remains to be seen.
exceed, surpass, go beyond, better, best, beat, outstrip, outdo, outshine, eclipse, go one better than, cap
1.1Be at the highest place or rank in (a list, poll, chart, or league): her debut album topped the charts for five weeks
More example sentences
  • Recent mainstream media polls show issues such as health and rural matters topping the list of public concerns about the performance of the government.
  • Quitting smoking tops the wish list for New Year resolutions and Swindon Primary Care Trust is working hard to help people turn their smoke-free dreams into a reality.
  • He was elected an alderman of Limerick City Council in the 1999 local elections when he topped the poll with over 900 votes in Ward 3.
lead, head, be at the top of
1.2Be taller than: he topped her by several inches
More example sentences
  • Cyril was a tall man, easily topping Johen's height by a head or more, and he had passed that height on to his son Martin.
1.3Surpass (a person or previous achievement or action); outdo: he was baffled as to how he could top his past work
More example sentences
  • There are some examples of child actors who manage to stay in movies as adults, sometimes even topping their early achievements.
  • Jim of Automotive News narrowly topped Anthony Rowley of the Singapore Business Times in a close race.
  • The question of how Rafa Benitez can ever top this achievement can be left for another day.
1.4Appear as the chief performer or attraction at: Hopper topped a great night of boxing
More example sentences
  • While Ignatov topped the show, perhaps Airjazz stole it.
  • Sting, who is to receive an honour for his outstanding contribution to music, will top the show, which is to be presented by a male-female double-act for the first time since 1990.
  • Veteran rockers Queen, along with Razorlight and Simple Minds, will top the entertainment line-up.
1.5Reach the top of (a hill or other stretch of rising ground): they topped a rise and began a slow descent
More example sentences
  • We topped a hill, and another, until we were on a steep north-facing slope that dropped off to the Yellowstone River.
  • I was still winning as we topped the hill and headed down.
  • We were doing about 45 miles per hour when we topped that hill and saw a 2-ton truck 30 feet in front of us.
2 (usually be topped) Provide with a top or topping: baked potatoes topped with melted cheese
More example sentences
  • Tomorrow, that brick wall might be topped with razor wire, and those privacy screens might all be made illegal in the name of National Security.
  • Some changes are small: in some schools, pizza is now topped with low-fat cheese and French fries are baked, not fried.
  • Down the driveway, high electronic gates protect the building and the pale grey walls are topped with rolled razor wire.
cover, cap, coat, smother;
finish, garnish
2.1Complete (an outfit) with an upper garment, hat, or item of jewelry: a white dress topped by a dark cardigan
More example sentences
  • His snowy white shirt was topped by a burgundy waistcoat which, amazingly enough, matched her gown almost perfectly, and he wore a black cravat around his neck.
  • Elegantly styled trousers are topped by a sporty leather jacket.
  • Croatian men wear white shirts topped with a colored vest or jacket.
2.2Remove the top of (a vegetable or fruit) in preparation for cooking.
Example sentences
  • I had my first jobs when I was in kindergarten picking apples, topping onions and catching cabbage butterflies.
  • Wash and top the radishes.
  • Wash and top the strawberries, then blend until smooth.
3 Golf Mishit (the ball or a stroke) by hitting above the center of the ball.
Example sentences
  • But when I play even a friendly match with someone else, I end up topping the ball and slicing terribly.
  • The first thing I noted about Chris was his tendency to top the ball.
  • If you're topping or slicing the ball, the problem could be your knees.


(tops) informal
At the most: he makes $28,000 a year, tops
More example sentences
  • These are simple enough to prepare in 25 minutes tops, giving busy cooks a welcome break from the kitchen.
  • I slept for maybe three hours tops.



at the top of one's game

At the height of one’s powers: this film is the work of a director at the top of his game
More example sentences
  • On the acting front, we have three top actors working at the top of their game.
  • Barnes has created a collection of acute observations which shows him to be at the top of his game.
  • All in all a very satisfying live recording of a band at the top of their game.

at the top of one's lungs

As loudly as possible.
Example sentences
  • She began to scream loudly, crying out at the top of her lungs.
  • Take a mental escape by turning up the radio and singing at the top of your lungs.
  • You might as well stand on your desk in the newsroom and announce your burglary at the top of your lungs.

from top to bottom

Completely; thoroughly: we searched the place from top to bottom
More example sentences
  • She cooks the family meal, cleans the house from top to bottom and completes her homework the day she receives it.
  • The police cordoned off the area, declared a curfew, and searched the place from top to bottom.
  • He now says he wants to review the Department from top to bottom and propose a complete overhaul.

from top to toe

Completely; all over: she seemed to glow from top to toe
More example sentences
  • In fact, feet are just one of the problem areas we'll be looking at in detail, providing help and advice with a health and beauty regime that will work for you, from top to toe.
  • You leave feeling as if every part of your body has been pampered - you're invigorated from top to toe.
  • So, kitted out from top to toe in newly acquired and neatly pressed blue linen, I listened to her praise western civilization and the red-brick building that housed its published works.

from the top

informal From the beginning: they rehearsed Act One from the top
More example sentences
  • Would you like to start again from the top?
  • The audience was right with us from the top.
  • Let's take it again from the top.

off the top of one's head

see head.

on top

1On the highest point or uppermost surface: a hill with a flat rock on top
More example sentences
  • At one stage the girls jumped back into the water and actually dragged the boat for 50 yards to rocks with me on top.
  • There are fewer and fewer trees up here, none on top, nothing but rock, and that makes it more attractive to lightning.
  • In the middle there was a tall and slender rock with something black on top.
1.1On the upper part of the head: my hair’s thinning on top
More example sentences
  • The man has short dark hair which is thinning on top and wore a dark jacket which is possibly imitation leather.
  • He was a tall man, with light brown hair that was thinning on top.
  • Female-pattern baldness usually becomes noticeable after the menopause; the hair on top tends to thin first.
2In a leading or the dominant position: his party came out on top in last month’s elections
More example sentences
  • He can't decide where he stands on the war because he's not really sure which position will put him on top.
  • White men still come out on top, with London dominating the awards.
  • But even if that had happened, the polls suggest that it is unlikely that the anti-war position would have come out on top.

on top of

1On the highest point or uppermost surface of: a town perched on top of a hill
More example sentences
  • It can be laid on top of most surfaces, and is available in a range of colours and decorative finishes.
  • Do not use a grill on top of or underneath any surface that will burn, such as a porch or carport.
  • They advise matches in the kitchen not to be left on top of kitchen surfaces, but to be kept in a cupboard and for parents to regularly check their child's bedroom for matches.
1.1So as to cover; over: trays stacked one on top of another
More example sentences
  • I'm wearing Rebecca's cardigan again, and on top of that one of my red favorites.
  • I went to put a fleece on, on top of my sweatshirt, and thought that perhaps the weather had got chilly again despite having been sunny for most of the day.
1.2In close proximity to: we all lived on top of each other
More example sentences
  • Like most families, they wanted enough space so they wouldn't feel they were living on top of each other.
  • But invite anybody else to stay over, and you will be living on top of each other.
  • We city dwellers basically live on top of each other, so interactions sometimes get tense, especially when our kids may be threatened.
2In command or control of: he couldn’t get on top of his work
More example sentences
  • Labour insists it has got on top of these problems.
  • It's a new challenge, and it's something you can never really get on top of.
  • Once I'd got on top of this job, the other priorities all seemed to slot into place.
3In addition to: on top of everything else, he’s a brilliant linguist
More example sentences
  • Those additional wage costs are on top of higher prices for oil, steel, copper, plastics, etc.
  • He advised that this was an additional charge on top of the normal council rates.
  • And you may be charged an additional fee on top of the room rates.

on top of the world

informal Happy and elated.
Example sentences
  • For a short time, he felt on top of the world.
  • He said he was on top of the world after clinching the World Superbike Championship days after the birth of his first child.
  • Not that I want to lie and pretend I'm on top of the world, but if I could just wait a little longer perhaps I'll find something positive to write.

top dollar

informal A very high price: I pay top dollar for my materials
More example sentences
  • Local businesses who didn't want to pay top dollar for design firms would hold ‘logo design contests’ for my dad's students.
  • It's powerful corporations that pay top dollar for receptive ears in Washington.
  • If you really want to ski this winter and you don't want to pay top dollar, look for those quiet times.

top forty (or ten, etc.)

The first forty (or ten, etc.) records in the pop music charts.
Example sentences
  • Christine is one of the few female writers to have charted two hit records in the same top ten.
  • Their single ‘With You’ Is currently riding high in the charts, in the top twenty for the second week and now at no 16 from last week's no 15.
  • Any album that has ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ on it has got to make the top ten.

to top it all

As a culminating, typically unpleasant, event or action in a series: her father had a fatal heart attack, and to top it all her mother disowned her
More example sentences
  • This year has been a difficult year for my family and me, but to top it all, now I am in quarantine for SARS - I cannot believe it!
  • And, to top it all, the indifference shown by the government is appalling.
  • And to top it all, a moratorium on debt repayments will only postpone the inevitable into the future.

up top

see up.

Phrasal verbs


top something off

1 (often be topped off) Finish something in a memorable or notable way: the festivities were topped off with the awarding of prizes
More example sentences
  • The celebrations of the day will be topped off with an open air dance to the music of The Conquerors, from 12-2 a.m.
  • It's been a dream year and this just tops it off.
  • We topped the day off by going to see ‘Minority Report’ at Greenwich Cinema.
2US informal Fill up a nearly full tank with fuel.
Example sentences
  • Make sure the station's generator is functioning (hopefully there is one!) and make sure the fuel tank is topped off.
  • Prior to the storms, all the generators had been tested at full load and all of their tanks had been topped off.
  • And when you do decide to go all the way with a full tank of gas, don't bother topping it off because filling past the first ‘click’ will create sloshing and allow the gas you tried to squeeze in to spill over and out.

top out

Reach an upper limit: collectors whose budgets tend to top out at about $50,000
More example sentences
  • It starts at $20,395, and tops out at $24,590.
  • It tops out at approximately 100 kilometres per hour and a fully charged battery will only take you 80 km.
  • The price range starts at just under £18,000 and tops out at not much more than £21,000.

top something out

Put the highest structural feature on a building, typically as a ceremony to mark the building’s completion.
Example sentences
  • Despite price tags that ran into the multimillions of dollars for a penthouse with views of the Santa Monica mountains, the downtown Los Angeles skyline, and the Pacific Ocean, all units were sold before the structure was topped out.
  • The building's topping out ceremony was carried out on Friday by Noel Ahern TD, Minister of State at the Department of the Environment & Local Government.
  • Building work on the New Farleigh hospice site in Broomfield reached new heights this week, with a topping out ceremony to complete the roof.

top something up

chiefly British Add to a number or amount to bring it up to a certain level: a 0.5 percent bonus is offered to top up savings rates
More example sentences
  • But the government only tops it up to that level if you are on a full state pension.
  • The maximum contribution each year is £3,600, which means that you pay £2,808 and the Inland Revenue tops it up by the standard tax rate of 22%.
  • Mr Warren said Carter then proceeded to help herself to the building society money, topping it up from the bank account when it ran low.
4.1Fill up a glass or other partly full container.
Example sentences
  • He swallowed half of it immediately; sighing as it warmed his stomach, before topping the glass back up again and slowly putting the bottle away.
  • With every handshake my glass was topped up with a nip of whisky and by 1am I was feeling rather wobbly.
  • Neil Hinton, defending, said during the evening her glass had been topped up several times.
fill, refill, refresh, freshen, replenish, recharge, resupply;
supplement, add to, augment


Late Old English topp (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch top 'summit, crest'.

  • Found in Old English, a child's toy, related to tip; came from Old Norse in Middle English. The expression to go over the top originated in the First World War, when it described troops in the trenches charging over the parapets to attack the enemy. It gradually developed the meaning ‘to do something to an excessive or exaggerated degree’, possibly in reference to the huge numbers of soldiers who died in the conflict. Soon people were shortening it to simply over the top, and since the early 1980s it has been reduced even further to the abbreviation OTT, particularly when referring to acting. See also sleep

Words that rhyme with top

atop, bop, chop, clop, cop, crop, dop, drop, Dunlop, estop, flop, fop, glop, hop, intercrop, knop, kop, lop, mop, op, plop, pop, prop, screw-top, shop, slop, sop, stop, strop, swap, tiptop, underprop, whop
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There are 4 main definitions of TOP in English:

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top 3

Pronunciation: /täp/


(also spinning top)
A conical, spherical, or pear-shaped toy that with a quick or vigorous twist may be set to spin.
Example sentences
  • Boys play marbles, spin tops, fly kites, and play such games as kabaddi (team wrestling).
  • We liked hurling tops and see them spin, jump and hiss.
  • Atoms have spin; replace the tops with atoms and now you're imagining a basic quantum computer!


Late Old English, of unknown origin.

  • Found in Old English, a child's toy, related to tip; came from Old Norse in Middle English. The expression to go over the top originated in the First World War, when it described troops in the trenches charging over the parapets to attack the enemy. It gradually developed the meaning ‘to do something to an excessive or exaggerated degree’, possibly in reference to the huge numbers of soldiers who died in the conflict. Soon people were shortening it to simply over the top, and since the early 1980s it has been reduced even further to the abbreviation OTT, particularly when referring to acting. See also sleep

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There are 4 main definitions of TOP in English:

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Top 40 4

plural noun

The forty most popular songs of a given time period.
Example sentences
  • We'd have waited until Sunday and recorded the songs off The Top 40 if it had been us.
  • Like the shift from network radio to the rise of independent stations, Top 40 happened quickly, between 1955 and '57.
  • … The Internet means exposure, and these days, unless you're in the Top 40, you're not getting on the radio.


Made up of, or broadcasting the Top 40: a Top 40 countdown
More example sentences
  • The Top 40 countdown is at about number six when I flick over, so I get to see what's at top of the charts (which I have given up following for the last year or two).
  • We're moving closer to No.1 in our preseason Top 40 countdown.
  • When she's not in the perfume factory, club hopping or filming her reality series ‘The Simple Life,’ Hilton has also recently recorded an album and her first single is already a hit on Top 40 radio stations.
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