Definition of copious in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈkəʊpɪəs/


1Abundant in supply or quantity: she took copious notes
More example sentences
  • A sensible approach was taken to the game and copious quantities of water were supplied to the players in an effort to stop them dehydrating.
  • On the other hand, the King Cobra, which has a relatively less potent venom, injects a copious quantity in one bite.
  • It has a year-long mild climate, copious supplies of fresh water, vegetation and trees that contain plenty of good things to eat.
abundant, superabundant, plentiful, ample, profuse, full, extensive, considerable, substantial, generous, bumper, lavish, fulsome, liberal, bountiful, overflowing, abounding, teeming;
in abundance;
many, numerous, multiple, multifarious, multitudinous, manifold, countless, innumerable
informal a gogo, galore
South African informal lank
literary bounteous, plenteous
1.1 archaic Profuse in speech or ideas: I had been a little too copious in talking of my country
More example sentences
  • Typically courteous, he began his acceptance speech by offering copious thanks to all and sundry.



Example sentences
  • He classifies style according to its copiousness (its quantity of words and figures) and its energy.
  • I consider [purism] as destroying the nerve and beauty of language, while the other improves both, and adds to its copiousness.
  • It exhibits, he writes, ‘a vehemence and rapidity of mind, a copiousness of images, and vivacity of diction.’


Late Middle English: from Old French copieux or Latin copiosus, from copia 'plenty'.

  • Copious is from Latin copia ‘plenty’, also found in the symbol of fruitfulness the cornucopia (late 16th century) or ‘horn of plenty’, and in copy (Late Middle English). The radical change of meaning from the Latin came about because copia had a secondary meaning of ‘permission, licence, opportunity’. Latin phrases such as copiam describendi facere ‘permission to make a transcription’ led to copia being used in medieval Latin to mean a copy.

Words that rhyme with copious

Gropius, Procopius

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: copi|ous

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.