definition of copy by The Free Dictionary



n. pl. cop·ies


a. An imitation or reproduction of an original; a duplicate: a copy of a painting; made two copies of the letter.

b. Computers A file that has the same data as another file: stored on the server a copy of every document.

c. One example of a printed text, picture, film, or recording: an autographed copy of a novel.


a. Material, such as a manuscript, that is to be set in type.

b. The words to be printed or spoken in an advertisement.

c. Suitable source material for journalism: Celebrities make good copy.

v. cop·ied, cop·y·ing, cop·ies

1. To make a reproduction or copy of: copied the note letter for letter; copied the file to a disk.

2. To follow as a model or pattern; imitate. See Synonyms at imitate.

3. To include as an additional recipient of a written communication: Please copy me when you reply to her.


1. To make a copy or copies.

2. To admit of being copied: colored ink that does not copy well.

3. To hear clearly or understand something said by radio communication: Mayday. Do you copy?

[Middle English copie, from Old French, from Medieval Latin cōpia, transcript, from Latin, profusion; see op- in Indo-European roots.]

cop′y·a·ble, cop′i·a·ble adj.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.



n, pl copies

1. an imitation or reproduction of an original

2. a single specimen of something that occurs in a multiple edition, such as a book, article, etc

3. (Journalism & Publishing)

a. matter to be reproduced in print

b. written matter or text as distinct from graphic material in books, newspapers, etc

4. (Journalism & Publishing) the words used to present a promotional message in an advertisement

5. (Journalism & Publishing) journalism informal suitable material for an article or story: disasters are always good copy.

6. (Printing, Lithography & Bookbinding) archaic a model to be copied, esp an example of penmanship

vb, copies, copying or copied

7. (when: tr, often foll by out) to make a copy or reproduction of (an original)

8. (tr) to imitate as a model

9. (intr) to imitate unfairly

[C14: from Medieval Latin cōpia an imitation, something copied, from Latin: abundance, riches; see copious]

Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈkɒp i)

n., pl. cop•ies, for 1, 2, 7, 9,
v. cop•ied, cop•y•ing.

1. an imitation, reproduction, or transcript of an original: a copy of a famous painting.

2. one of the various examples or specimens of the same book, engraving, or the like.

3. matter intended to be reproduced in printed form.

4. the text of a news story, advertisement, television commercial, or the like.

5. something newsworthy: Political gossip is always good copy.

7. Archaic. something that is to be reproduced; model.


8. to make a copy of; transcribe; reproduce.

9. to follow as a pattern or model; imitate.


10. to make a copy or copies.

11. to undergo copying: It copied poorly.

[1300–50; Middle English copie (cōpia copy, Latin: abundance, means; see copious]

Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.

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