Meaning of “copy” in the English Dictionary

"copy" in English

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copyverb [ I or T ]

uk /ˈkɒp.i/ us /ˈkɑː.pi/

copy verb [ I or T ] (PRODUCE)

A2 to produce something so that it is the same as an original piece of work:

They've copied the basic design from the Japanese model and added a few of their own refinements.
Patricia's going to copy her novel onto a flash drive and send it to me.
disapproving He was always copying from/off other students (= cheating by copying), but never got caught.

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copy and paste

If you copy and paste something on a computer screen, you move it from one area to another.


uk /ˈkɒp.i/ us /ˈkɑː.pi/

copy noun (VERSION)

B1 [ C ] something that has been made to be exactly like something else:

This painting is only a copy - the original hangs in the Louvre.
I always keep a copy of any official or important letters that I send off.
Could you make a copy of (= use a special machine to copy) this for tomorrow's meeting, please?

B2 [ C ] a single book, newspaper, record, or other printed or recorded text of which many have been produced:

The library has copies of all the national and local newspapers.

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(Definition of “copy” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"copy" in American English

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copyverb [ T ]

us /ˈkɑp·i/

copy verb [ T ] (PRODUCE)

to produce something that is exactly like another thing, or to do something meant to be like someone or something else:

The design was copied from a 19th-century wallpaper.
He copied the file onto a diskette.


us /ˈkɑp·i/

copy noun (TEXT)

[ U ] text that is to be printed, or text that is used to sell a product:

She writes advertising copy.


[ C ] something that is exactly like another thing:

I always keep copies of letters I have written.
Please make two copies of this.

[ C ] A copy is also a single unit of something produced in large numbers, usually for sale:

I had a copy of her latest CD somewhere.
We ordered ten copies of the book.

(Definition of “copy” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"copy" in Business English

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uk /ˈkɒpi/ us

[ C ] COMMERCE a single book, newspaper, CD, or other printed or recorded product, of which many have been produced:

The 600-page volume has become an instant hit, selling 250,000 copies since its publication in October.
a copy of sth Order your copy of her new album today!
The company is offering a free copy of their anti-virus software.

[ C ] a document or other printed material that is exactly the same as another one, produced, for example, by using a photocopier or printing it more than once from a computer:

Enclosed is a signed copy of the contract.
make/take a copy I will need to take a copy of your passport.

[ C ] IT a computer file, document, etc. that is created to be exactly the same as another one:

Before working on the file, make a copy and save it in another folder.

[ C ] COMMERCE a product that is made to look the same as another product, especially illegally:

If you look closely at the label, you can tell it's a copy.
The factories were for making illegal copies of software, CDs, and DVDs.

[ U ] MARKETING the words used in advertising to help sell a product:

[ U ] writing that is going to be printed in a book, magazine, etc.:

The copy will be checked several times before publication.

copyverb [ T ]

uk /ˈkɒpi/ us

to make a copy of a letter, document, etc.:

He was asked to copy the documents to keep on record.
copy sth to sb The report was copied to all the senior members of the department.

IT to make a copy of a computer file, document, email, etc.:

Copy the files and put them in a new folder.
copy sth to sb Every email I send out, I also copy to my boss.
copy and paste

IT to make a copy of something on a computer screen and put it in a different place in a document or in a new document, file, or directory:

Copy and paste the text from the box into a word processor document.

to use someone else's idea, design, etc., often illegally:

It is a system that works well and that others can copy.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “copy” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)