Meaning of CUP in English


I. cup 1 S1 W1 /kʌp/ BrE AmE noun

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: cuppe , from Late Latin cuppa , from Latin cupa 'barrel' ]

1 . FOR DRINKING [countable] a small round container, usually with a handle, that you use to drink tea, coffee etc ⇨ saucer :

Mathew picked up the cup and sipped his coffee.

She put her cup and saucer down on the table.

tea/coffee cup

Helen took the coffee cups into the kitchen.

paper/plastic/china etc cup

They drank cheap wine from plastic cups.

2 . DRINK [countable] the liquid contained inside a cup

cup of

Let’s go and have a cup of coffee.

Will you stay for a cup of tea?

Would you like another cup?

3 . AMOUNT OF LIQUID/FOOD [countable]

a) a unit used in the US for measuring food or liquid in cooking, equal to eight ↑ fluid ounce s or 237 ↑ millilitre s :

Mix the butter with one cup of powdered sugar until light and fluffy.

b) ( also cupful /ˈkʌpfʊl/) the amount of liquid or food that a cup can hold:

Breakfast consisted of half a cup of milk and a dry biscuit.


a) [countable] a specially shaped silver container, often with two handles, that is given as a prize in a competition, especially a sports competition:

The president of the club came to present the cup to the winners.

b) [singular] a sports competition in which a cup is given as a prize:

They’ve won the European Cup twice.

Germany’s World Cup team

5 . ROUND THING [countable] something round and hollow that is shaped like a cup:

The flowers’ white petals contrast handsomely with their lemon-yellow cups.

acorn cups

cup of

She held it in the cup of her hand.

6 . GOLF [countable] American English a hole in the ground that you have to try to hit the ball into in the game of golf

7 . CLOTHING [countable]

a) the part of a ↑ bra that covers a woman’s breast

b) American English a ↑ jockstrap

8 . ALCOHOL [uncountable and countable] British English a mixed alcoholic drink:

He’s gone to get me some fruit cup.

9 . not be your cup of tea spoken to not be the type of thing that you like:

Jazz just isn’t my cup of tea – I prefer classical music.

10 . in your cups British English old-fashioned drunk, or when drunk:

By the time Anthony arrived, Richard was already deep in his cups.

⇨ ↑ eggcup

• • •



▪ full

The cup was full of hot tea.

▪ empty

A girl was clearing away the empty cups.

▪ a paper/plastic/china cup (=one made of paper etc)

All they had to drink was warm beer in plastic cups.

▪ a coffee cup

He picked up the coffee cups and took them into the kitchen.

▪ a tea cup ( also teacup )

Mum put a tea cup and saucer on the table.

■ verbs

▪ fill a cup

Angie filled the cup and handed it to him.

▪ drain/empty a cup (=drink all the coffee, tea etc in it)

He lifted his cup of coffee and drained it.

■ phrases

▪ a cup and saucer

Do you prefer a mug or a cup and saucer?

▪ a set of cups

a set of beautiful blue coffee cups

II. cup 2 BrE AmE verb ( past tense and past participle cupped , present participle cupping ) [transitive]

1 . to hold something in your hands, so that your hands form part of a circle around it:

He cupped her face in his hands and kissed her.

Luke was sitting at his desk, one hand cupping his chin.

2 . cup your hand(s) to make a shape like a cup with your hand or hands:

He struck a match and cupped his hand around the flame.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.