1. A household implement made of absorbent material attached to a typically long handle and used for washing, dusting, or drying floors.
2. A loosely tangled bunch or mass: a mop of unruly hair.
v. mopped, mop·ping, mops
To wash or wipe with or as if with a mop: mopped the hallway; mopping the spilled water; mopped her forehead with a towel.
To use a mop to wash or dry surfaces: mopped along the baseboards.
1. To clear (an area) of remaining enemy troops after a victory.
2. Informal To perform the minor tasks that conclude a project or an activity.
[Early Modern English map, mop, probably shortening of Middle English mappel, ultimately (perhaps via Medieval Latin mappula, table cloth) from Latin mappa, towel, cloth; see MAP.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.