Definition of “top” - English Dictionary

“top” in English

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uk /tɒp/ us /tɑːp/

top noun (HIGHEST PART)

A2 [ C ] the highest place or part:

She waited for me at the top of the stairs.
There were flags on the tops of many of the buildings.
There was a pile of books on top of (= on) the table.

[ C ] the flat upper surface of something:

The top of the table/desk was badly scratched.

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top noun (CLOTHES)

B1 [ C ] any piece of light clothing worn on the part of the body above the waist:

a skimpy top
a pyjama top
I need a top to go with these trousers.

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top noun (LID)

C1 [ C ] the cover or lid used to close a container or pen:

a screw-on top
a bottle top
a pen top

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top noun (EARRING)

[ C usually plural ] Indian English a piece of jewellery, usually one of a pair, worn in a hole in the ear or fastened to the ear by a clip; an earring

topadjective [ before noun ]

uk /tɒp/ us /tɑːp/

top adjective [ before noun ] (HIGHEST PART)

B1 [ before noun ] at the highest part of something:

There's a dirty mark on the top left-hand corner of the picture.
The offices are on the top floor of the building.
He was standing on the top rung of a ladder.
The ball curled into the top corner of the net.

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top adjective [ before noun ] (UPPER PART)

in the part nearest to the highest part; in the upper part:

The top few steps were damaged and broken.

topadjective, adverb

uk /tɒp/ us /tɑːp/

B1 (in the position of being) most important or successful; best:

So what would be your top choice of a place to go on holiday?
As a chess player he's among the top ten percent in the country.
at top speed

as fast as possible:

The train thundered through the station at top speed.
be/come top

B2 UK to be the student with the best results:

She came top (of the class) in English.
Sam was top at/in Science.
on top form UK US in top form

feeling or doing things as well as possible:

Paul's back on top form after his illness.

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topadjective, exclamation

uk /tɒp/ us /tɑːp/ UK informal


uk /tɒp/ us /tɑːp/ -pp-

top verb (HIGHEST PART)

C2 [ T ] also top off to be on the upper surface of something, especially as a decoration:

The dessert was topped off with whipped cream and pieces of fruit.

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uk /tɒp-/ us /tɑːp-/

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

“top” in American English

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us /tɑp/

top noun (HIGHEST PART)

[ C ] the highest point, place, or part:

We set out for the top of the mountain at daybreak.
The book was on (the) top of the table (= on the upper surface of the table).

top noun (LID)

[ C ] a cover or lid used to close a container:

a bottle top

top noun (TOY)

[ C ] a toy with rounded sides that you can spin on a point at its bottom

top noun (CLOTHING)

[ C ] a piece of clothing worn esp. by women on the part of the body above the waist:

I’m looking for a matching top to go with this skirt.

top noun (BEST POSITION)

[ U ] the most important or successful position in a group or organization:

At forty he was at the top of (= one of the leaders of) his profession.

topadjective [ not gradable ]

us /tɑp/

top adjective [ not gradable ] (UPPER)

in the highest or upper part:

She tripped over the top step and nearly fell.
The pages are numbered on the top right-hand corner (= on the upper right surface of the page).

topadjective, adverb [ not gradable ]

us /tɑp/

top adjective, adverb [ not gradable ] (BEST)

(in the position of being) at the highest level of importance, achievement, or success; best:

It was rated among the ten top universities in the nation.
She’s one of the top executives in the fashion industry.
As a chess player, he’s among the top 10% in the country.

Top is used with many different words to mean best:

top-ranked athletes
top-rated bonds
top-seeded tennis players

topverb [ T ]

us /tɑp/ -pp-

top verb [ T ] (BE HIGHER THAN)

to be more than:

The school building fund now tops $180,000.

top verb [ T ] (MAKE BETTER)

to do, pay, etc. more than anyone else; to make something more or better:

"They’ve offered me $1000." "I’m afraid we can’t top (= offer more than) that."

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

“top” in Business English

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uk /tɒp/ us
the top

the most important or successful position in an organization, activity, etc.:

He worked hard and quickly reached the top of his profession.
Congratulations on your promotion - how are you enjoying life at the top?
be at the top of your game informal

to be able to use your skills and abilities to a very high level, and even more than you have done previously:

She's 55 and at the top of her game as an entrepreneur.
come out on top

to be the winner in a competitive situation:

The company that drops its prices first will come out on top.
from the top down

at all levels in a company, including the most important managers:

There have been mutiple failures, from the top down.
From the top down, staff are remarkably optimistic.

starting at the level of the most important managers and spreading to other employees:

Change has been imposed from the top down.
on top (of sth)

in addition to something:

When we came to pay for the goods, there was a delivery charge on top.
We expect sales to rise by 6% on top of last year's growth.
The company's in financial trouble and on top of that they're losing key staff.

in control of a situation:

be/get/stay on top of sth Management needs to get on top of the problem quickly.
top of mind

MARKETING →  front of mind

topadjective [ before noun ]

uk /tɒp/ us

most important or successful in an organization, activity, etc.:

We have a meeting with the company's top managers.
She's applying for a range of top jobs in the field.
He graduated from one of the top universities in the country.

in the highest position or rank:

My office is on the top floor of the building.
top 10/50/100, etc. A number of Fortune Magazine's top 500 companies maintain headquarters or major facilities in New Jersey.


uk /tɒp/ us

very successfully:

topverb [ T ]

uk /tɒp/ us -pp-

to do something better than you did previously, or better than someone else:

The sales team are aiming to top last year's performance.
The figures topped last year's results by 15%.

to be more than a particular number or amount:

Visits to the website are now topping 5,000 per day.

to be in the highest position in a list or rank:

They top the list of high-performing investments.

Phrasal verb(s)

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