• Cup


    • enPR: kŭp, IPA: /kʌp/
    • Rhymes: -ʌp


    From Old English cuppe, from Late Latin cuppa, probably a form of Latin cūpa ("tub"), from Proto-Indo-European *keup- ("a hollow"). Reinforced in Middle English by Anglo-Norman cupe, from the same Latin source.

    Full definition of cup



    (plural cups)
    1. A concave vessel for drinking from, usually made of opaque material (as opposed to a glass) and with a handle.
      • 2013-06-22, T time, ... a new study of how Starbucks has largely avoided paying tax in Britain ... shows that current tax rules make it easy for all sorts of firms to generate ... “stateless income”: .... In Starbucks’s case, the firm has in effect turned the process of making an expensive cup of coffee into intellectual property.
    2. Pour the tea into the cup.
    3. A US unit of liquid measure equal to 8 fluid ounces, 1/16 of a US gallon, or 236.5882365 ml.
    4. A trophy in the shape of an oversized cup.
      • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, Mr. Pratt's Patients Chapter 5, Of all the queer collections of humans outside of a crazy asylum, it seemed to me this sanitarium was the cup winner. ... When you're well enough off so's you don't have to fret about anything but your heft or your diseases you begin to get queer, I suppose.
    5. The World Cup is awarded to the winner of a quadrennial football tournament.
    6. A contest for which a cup is awarded.
      The World Cup is the world's most widely watched sporting event.
    7. (golf) A cup-shaped object placed in the target hole.
      The ball just misses the cup.
    8. (US) A rigid concave protective covering for the male genitalia. (for UK usage see box)
      Players of contact sports are advised to wear a cup.
    9. One of the two parts of a brassiere which each cover a breast, used as a measurement of size.
      The cups are made of a particularly uncomfortable material.
    10. (mathematics) The symbol \cup denoting union and similar operations (confer cap).
    11. A suit of the minor arcana in tarot, or one of the cards from the suit.
    12. (ultimate frisbee) A defensive style characterized by a three player near defense cupping the thrower; or those three players.
    13. A flexible concave membrane used to temporarily attach a handle or hook to a flat surface by means of suction (suction cup).
    14. Anything shaped like a cup.the cup of an acorn
      • ShenstoneThe cowslip's golden cup no more I see.
    15. (medicine, historical) A cupping glass or other vessel or instrument used to produce the vacuum in cupping.
    16. That which is to be received or indured; that which is allotted to one; a portion.
      • Bible, Matthew xxvi. 39O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.

    Derived terms

    Coordinate terms


    1. (transitive) To form into the shape of a cup, particularly of the hands.Cup your hands and I'll pour some rice into them.
    2. (transitive) To hold something in cupped hands.He cupped the ball carefully in his hands.
    3. (transitive, obsolete) To supply with cups of wine.
      • ShakespeareCup us, till the world go round.
    4. (transitive, surgery, archaic) To apply a cupping apparatus to; to subject to the operation of cupping.
    5. (transitive, engineering) To make concave or in the form of a cup.to cup the end of a screw


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