1. n., adj., & v.
1. the highest point or part (the top of the house).
2 a the highest rank or place (at the top of the school). b a person occupying this (was top in maths). c the upper end or head (the top of the table).
3 the upper surface of a thing, esp. of the ground, a table, etc.
4 the upper part of a thing, esp.: a a blouse, jumper, etc. for wearing with a skirt or trousers. b the upper part of a shoe or boot. c the stopper of a bottle. d the lid of a jar, saucepan, etc. e the creamy part of milk. f the folding roof of a car, pram, or carriage. g the upper edge or edges of a page or pages in a book (gilt top).
5 the utmost degree; height (called at the top of his voice).
6 (in pl.) colloq. a person or thing of the best quality (he's tops at cricket).
7 (esp. in pl.) the leaves etc. of a plant grown esp. for its root (turnip-tops).
8 (usu. in pl.) a bundle of long wool fibres prepared for spinning.
9 Naut. a platform round the head of the lower mast, serving to extend the topmost rigging or carry guns.
10 (in pl.) esp. Bridge the two or three highest cards of a suit.
11 Brit. top gear (climbed the hill in top).
1. highest in position (the top shelf).
2 highest in degree or importance (at top speed; the top job).
--v.tr. (topped, topping)
1. provide with a top, cap, etc. (cake topped with icing).
2 remove the top of (a plant, fruit, etc.), esp. to improve growth, prepare for cooking, etc.
3 be higher or better than; surpass; be at the top of (topped the list).
4 sl. a execute esp. by hanging, kill. b (refl.) commit suicide.
5 reach the top of (a hill etc.).
6 Golf a hit (a ball) above the centre. b make (a stroke) in this way.
Phrases and idioms:
at the top (or at the top of the tree) in the highest rank of a profession etc. come to the top win distinction. from top to toe from head to foot; completely. off the top of one's head see HEAD. on top
1. in a superior position; above.
2 on the upper part of the head (bald on top).
on top of
1. fully in command of.
2 in close proximity to.
3 in addition to. on top of the world colloq. exuberant.
over the top
1. over the parapet of a trench (and into battle).
2 into a final or decisive state.
3 to excess, beyond reasonable limits (that joke was over the top). top-boot esp. hist. a boot with a high top esp. of a different material or colour. top brass esp. Mil. colloq. the highest-ranking officers, heads of industries, etc. top copy the uppermost typed copy (cf. carbon copy). top dog colloq. a victor or master.
1. the uppermost drawer in a chest etc.
2 colloq. high social position or origin. top-dress apply manure or fertilizer on the top of (earth) instead of ploughing it in.
1. this process.
2 manure so applied.
3 a superficial show. top-flight in the highest rank of achievement. top fruit Brit. fruit grown on trees, not bushes. top gear Brit. the highest gear in a motor vehicle or bicycle. top-hamper an encumbrance on top, esp. the upper sails and rigging of a ship. top hat a man's tall silk hat. top-hole Brit. colloq. first-rate. top-level of the highest level of importance, prestige, etc. top-notch colloq. first-rate. top-notcher colloq. a first-rate person or thing. top off (or up) put an end or the finishing touch to (a thing). top out put the highest stone on (a building). top one's part esp. Theatr. act or discharge one's part to perfection.
1. a sawyer in the upper position in a saw-pit.
2 a person who holds a superior position; a distinguished person. top secret of the highest secrecy. top ten (or twenty etc.) the first ten (or twenty etc.) gramophone records in the charts. top up esp.
1. a complete (an amount or number). b fill up (a glass or other partly full container).
2 top up something for (a person) (may I top you up with sherry?). top-up n. an addition; something that serves to top up (esp. a partly full glass).
Etymology: OE topp 2. n. a wooden or metal toy, usu. conical, spherical, or pear-shaped, spinning on a point when set in motion by hand, string, etc.
Etymology: OE, of uncert. orig.