copy - definition and synonyms


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present tense
present participlecopying
past tensecopied
past participlecopied
  1. 1
    [transitive] to make a copy that is the same as the original thing

    Changes can occur when DNA is copied from one cell to another.

    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] to make a copy of a piece of information by writing it somewhere

      Just copy what’s in the book.

      copy from:

      The students spent the whole lesson copying from the blackboard.

      copy something into something:

      He copied the number into his notebook.

    2. b.
      [transitive] to make a photocopy

      I copied the letter and kept the original.

    3. c.
      [transitive] to make a copy of a piece of computer data, such as a piece of writing or a program

      Use the mouse to highlight the text you want to copy.

      copy something over/across/to/onto:

      To install, first copy the setup file onto your hard drive.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to do something in the same way as someone else

    The instructor does exercises that you can copy while you watch.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to take someone else’s ideas or methods and use them

    Their style of music was copied by a lot of other bands.

  4. 4
    [transitive] to deliberately make something that looks exactly like something else

    She had painstakingly copied an 18th-century painting.

  5. 5
    [intransitive/transitive] to look at someone else’s work and write the same as they have, for example in order to cheat in an examination