General English


  • noun a unit of measurement used in US recipes, equal to around 240 ml


  • noun a sporting competition in which the winner’s prize is a large ornamental cup
  • noun an athletic support reinforced with plastic or metal, worn to protect the male genitals during team sports


  • noun a container for drinking hot liquids, always with a saucer

Origin & History of “cup”

Cup is a member of a large Indo-European family of words denoting broadly ‘round container’ that go back ultimately to the bases *kaup- (source of English head) and *keup-. this produced Greek kúpellon ‘drinking vessel’, English hive, and Latin cūpa ‘barrel’, source of English coop (13th c.) (via middle Dutch kūpe) and cooper ‘barrel-maker’ (14th c.) (from a derivative of Middle Dutch kūpe). A post-classical by-form of cūpa was cuppa, from which came German kopf ‘head’ and English cup.