Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A thicket of small trees or shrubs; a coppice.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A thicket of small trees or shrubs.
  • v. To trim or cut.
  • v. To plant and preserve.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A wood of small growth; a thicket of brushwood. See coppice.
  • transitive v. To trim or cut; -- said of small trees, brushwood, tufts of grass, etc.
  • transitive v. To plant and preserve, as a copse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. See coppice.
  • To cut or trim, as brushwood, tufts of grass, and the like.
  • To plant or preserve, as underwoods.
  • To inclose as in a copse.
  • To form a coppice; grow up again from the roots after being cut down, as brushwood.
  • Also coppice.
  • n. Same as cops.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a dense growth of bushes

Etymologies

Middle English copys, from Old French copeiz, thicket for cutting, from coper, couper, to cut; see cope1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1578, from coppice, by contraction, originally meaning “small wood grown for purposes of periodic cutting”. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I mean at least on my left hand (upon which side they were), for in front where the brook ran out of the copse was a good stiff hedge of holly.

    Lorna Doone

  • In the copse was a hidden patch of bare earth, known only to Janie and several thousand people who were wont to use it in pairs at night.

    More Than Human

  • Beyond the copse was a row of huddled-up cottages.

    Five Fall Into Adventure

  • In the heart of the copse was a rude wooden bench, built some years before by the factor's orders.

    The Cryptogram A Story of Northwest Canada

  • Such little meadows as these about the copse are the favourite resort of birds and the very home of flowers -- more so than extensive woods like the Chace, or the open pastures and arable fields.

    Round About a Great Estate

  • No need saying that the cavalcade seen passing the copse is the lancer troop of Colonel Uraga.

    The Lone Ranche

  • The chief timber of the copse was the pecan hickory -- almost an evergreen -- and the trees were still in full leaf; only here and there, where the trunks stood far apart, did the moonbeams strike through the thick frondage.

    The War Trail The Hunt of the Wild Horse

  • Whilst he and Leander walked over the hill, they descended into a fine valley, at the bottom of which was a little kind of copse or thicket, composed of stately tall trees and close quickset hedges.

    The Inhuman Stepmother, or the History of Miss Harriot Montague

  • "Every human being has a natural right to walk across this copse, which is all waste ground, and has no crop sown in it.

    The British Barbarians

  • The young spaniel stalks under the copse of birch trees, thrusting his snout into the rabbit holes and intermittently exhaling hot air from his nostrils into the burrows.

    Spring's here: skylarks overhead, moles in the garden, moths in the bathroom

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