• (Australia) enPR: kŏp'ə, IPA: /ˈkɔp.ə/
  • (British) enPR: kŏp'ə, IPA: /ˈkɒp.ə/
  • (America) enPR: kä'pər, IPA: /ˈkɑ.pɚ/


  1. (uncountable) A reddish-brown, malleable, ductile metallic element with high electrical and thermal conductivity, symbol Cu, and atomic number 29.
  2. The reddish-brown colour/color of copper.
  3. (countable, dated) Any of various specialized items that are made of copper, where the use of copper is either traditional or vital to the function of the item.
    • 1885, General Rules and Regulations Applicable to All Employes of the Chicago and Grand Trunk Railway Company:
      Coppers are generally good for a year, if the battery is carefully attended […]
    • 1890, The Manufacturer and Builder, Vol. 22, p. 83:
      Some coppers come already tinned. I didn't buy mine, so they surely were not tinned.
    • 1907, "Instructions for the Care of Callaud Batteries" in Journal of the Telegraph, vol. XL:
      Coppers are not consumed, and their life depends largely on the manner in which they are used.
    1. (countable) A copper coin, typically of a small denomination, such as a penny.
      • 1909, Archibald Marshall [pseudonym; Arthur Hammond Marshall], chapter II, in The Squire’s Daughter, London: Methuen, OCLC 12026604 ↗; republished New York, N.Y.: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1919, OCLC 491297620 ↗:
        "I don't want to spoil any comparison you are going to make," said Jim, "but I was at Winchester and New College." ¶ "That will do," said Mackenzie. "I was dragged up at the workhouse school till I was twelve. Then I ran away and sold papers in the streets, and anything else that I could pick up a few coppers by—except steal. […]."
    2. (UK, AU, dated) A large pot, often used for heating water or washing clothes over a fire. In Australasia at least, it could also be a fixed installation made of copper, with a fire underneath and its own chimney. Generally made redundant by the advent of the washing machine.
      Mum would heat the water in a copper in the kitchen and transfer it to the tin bath.
      I explain that socks can’t be boiled up in the copper with the sheets and towels or they shrink.
      • 1797, Dyeing, article in Colin Macfarquhar, George Gleig (editors), Encyclopædia Britannica: or, A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature, Volume 6, Part 1 [|the+copper%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=KqIwT_qFGqHUmAW63fDaBQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22water%20in%20a|the%20copper%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false p.207]:
        When the water in the copper boils, the arsenic and tartar, well pounded, is put into it, and kept boiling till the liquor is reduced to about half.
      • 2000, Christopher Christie, The British Country House in the Eighteenth Century, p. 266:
        The wet laundry's stove had a long vent in the ceiling which helped to release the steam from the coppers in which the clothes and bed linen were boiled.
  4. (entomology) Any of various lycaenid butterflies with copper-coloured upperwings, especially those of the genera Lycaena and Paralucia.
Synonyms Translations Translations
  • Portuguese: cúprico
  • Russian: медный
  • French: cuivré
  • German: Kupferfarbe
  • Portuguese: cobre, cor-de-cobre
  • Russian: цвет
  • Portuguese: cobre
  • Russian: медный
  • Russian: ме́дный котело́к


  1. Made of copper.
  2. Having the reddish-brown colour/color of copper.
    • All in a hot and copper sky,
      The bloody Sun, at noon,
      Right up above the mast did stand,
      No bigger than the Moon.
  • (made of copper) coppern qual archaic
  • (having the colour/color of copper) coppery
  • German: kupfern, küpfern
  • Portuguese: de cobre, cúprico
  • Russian: ме́дный
Translations Verb

copper (coppers, present participle coppering; past and past participle coppered)

  1. To sheathe or coat with copper.

copper (plural coppers)

  1. (slang, law enforcement) A police officer.
Synonyms Related terms Translations
Proper noun
  1. Surname

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