I. copy cop‧y 1 [ˈkɒpi ǁ ˈkɑːpi] noun copies PLURALFORM
1. [countable] one of many documents, books, magazines, computer software packages etc that are all exactly the same:

• We are offering a free copy of Windows98 with all new PCs.

• The book sold 24,000 copies in the first three months.

adˌvance ˈcopy [countable]
a book, magazine, report etc that is sent to someone to look at, before supplies become generally available to the public:

• The newspaper managed to get hold of an advance copy of the report.

ˌcertified ˈcopy [countable] LAW
a copy of a document that contains a formal statement signed by an official to prove that it is a true copy:

• A certified copy of the court order will be required by HM Land Registry.

ˈoffice ˌcopy
[countable] a copy of a letter or other document kept in a file by a company:

• We keep an office copy of all invoices we send out.

ˈproof ˌcopy [countable]
a copy of the pages of a book or magazine provided by a printer to a publishing company for them to check before printing of the final copies:

• Once the first draft is complete, a proof copy is sent up for checking.

2. [countable] a letter, document etc that has been made to look exactly like another one, for example by being Photocopied (= copied using a special machine called a photocopier):

• Please send copies of all the relevant documents to me as soon as possible.

ˌtop ˈcopy [countable]
a piece of written material that is produced first and from which copies have been made:

• Keep the top copy on file.

• The top copy of the bill acts as a receipt if the customer pays cash.

3. [uncountable] written material that is to be printed in a newspaper, magazine etc:

• Our closing date for copy for the next issue is February 14.

• six pages of double-spaced copy

4. [uncountable] MARKETING the written part of an advertisement:

• “The business of fitness and good health is healthier than ever,” or so says the advertising copy for the National Exhibition of Health & Leisure.

ˈbody ˌcopy [uncountable] MARKETING
the main written part of an advertisement, not the picture or the headline:

• The logo is in capital letters while the body copy is set in roman.

ˈknocking ˌcopy
[uncountable] MARKETING writing, especially in an advertisement, in which you criticize a competing product, service etc:

• School prospectuses do not generally contain knocking copy.

5. [countable] COMPUTING a computer program, CD etc that has been made by putting information or music from another one onto a disk. It is illegal to sell copies made in this way:

• selling pirated copies of computer games

6. [countable] COMPUTING a file, directory etc in which you have put all the same information as is in another one:

• Before you run this software, you should make a copy of your autoexec.bat file.

ˈback-up ˌcopy [countable] COMPUTING
a computer file, directory etc in which you have put all the same information as is in another one so that you can use it if something should happen to the original:

• Back-up copies of working disks should be made frequently so that if a disk is accidentally damaged, not too much work is lost.

ˈhard ˌcopy [countable, uncountable] COMPUTING
information from a computer that is printed out onto paper:

• The terminal can store up to 37 pages in memory for review or printing to hard copy.

  [m0] II. copy copy 2 verb copied PTandPP [transitive]
1. to make a copy of a letter, document etc:

• Could you copy these letters before you send them out?

copy something to somebody

• The letter was copied to the managing director.

2. LAW to deliberately use an idea, design etc that legally belongs to someone else:

• They have issued a patent infringement lawsuit accusing their rivals of copying their design for a range of ready meals.

3. COMPUTING to illegally make a copy of a computer program, CD, etc:

• a new way to protect software from being copied

• illegal software copying

4. COMPUTING to make a file, directory, program etc that is exactly the same as another one so that you can use it if something happens to the original one:

• The best way to save an email is to copy it to a file.

• You can copy, delete, or tag files in a matter of seconds.

* * *

copy UK US /ˈkɒpi/ noun
[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.

Compare BOOTLEG(Cf. ↑bootleg), PIRATE(Cf. ↑pirate)
[U] MARKETING the words used in advertising to help sell a product: »

The advertising copy is tested with consumer surveys.

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

The copy will be checked several times before publication.

See also ADVANCE COPY(Cf. ↑advance copy), BODY COPY(Cf. ↑body copy), CARBON COPY(Cf. ↑carbon copy), CERTIFIED COPY(Cf. ↑certified copy), HARD COPY(Cf. ↑hard copy), KNOCKING COPY(Cf. ↑knocking copy), OFFICE COPY(Cf. ↑office copy), TOP COPY(Cf. ↑top copy)
copy UK US /ˈkɒpi/ verb [T]
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 — Cf. copy and paste
to use someone else's idea, design, etc., often illegally: »

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

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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