Word of the Day: chop

Word of the Day
June 13, 2016
chop (verb, noun)
/tʃɑp/  sound icon
Lots of people don't like chopping onions.
Most commonly, to chop means 'to cut something with quick and sharp blows,' 'to hit with a heavy and sharp stroke,' or 'to cut into smaller pieces'; in this latter sense, it is often followed by up. Figuratively, chop means 'to reduce something severely.' A chop is not only the act of chopping, but also a thick individual piece of meat, usually including a rib. In North America, chop is also an uncountable noun and means ground grains used as animal food.


Example sentences
Eugene has been chopping wood all afternoon.
The karate black belt chopped the bricks in two with a blow of her hand.
Would you mind chopping up those onions? They make me cry.
Our budget has been chopped again this year; I don't know how we'll manage.
A single chop split the log in two.
I'm going to the butcher's to buy a chop for dinner.
The farmer fed his animals some chop.


Words often used with chop
the chop (UK): dismissal from a job. Example: "Wendy had only had her job for two months when she got the chop."
Multi-word forms
chop and change (UK): change your mind frequently. Example: "I don't know what George wants; I've asked him, but he keeps chopping and changing!"
chop shop: a place where people take stolen cars to sell their parts. "My car was stolen two days ago. I'm sure it's in the chop shop by now."
Did you know?
In the plural, chops can also mean 'the jaw' or 'the area around the mouth,' and it has several figurative meanings. For instance, you might say a person or animal who is eagerly anticipating food is licking his/her chops. Mainly in US English, the expression bust your chops means 'to work very hard.' Example: "We've been busting our chops all week and the work still isn't finished!" If you bust someone else's chops (again, mainly US English), that means you give that person a hard time. Example: "The boss has been busting my chops for months now about my sales targets, but I just can't do any better."
Chop dates back to the second half of the 14th century and comes from the Middle English word choppen.
Chop in other languages
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