General English


  • noun a small amount of liquid that falls
  • noun a fall of immature fruit


  • verb to become lower or to decrease suddenly

Cars & Driving

  • noun a sudden reduction (of pressure, voltage, etc.)


  • verb not to keep in a product range


  • In air conditioning, the vertical distance that a horizontally projected air stream has fallen when it reaches the end of its throw.


  • noun an act of dropping a possible catch
    Citation ‘Next ball the Yuvraj was dropped in the slips. Perhaps this too was a tactical drop. Patiala’s lavish hospitality came as a welcome relief after many tough days of touring’ (Bose 1990)
    Citation ‘His progress should have been arrested at 21 when he punched Jones at knee height to Pietersen at short cover: Pietersen’s third drop of the match’ (Haigh 2005)
  • verb to fail to take a possible catch, or fail to dismiss a batsman in this way
    Citation ‘Richie Richardson, the West Indian captain, said he thought England had become demoralised by the dropped catches that allowed his team to come back from the verge of defeat and set England 194 to win’ (Matthew Engel, Guardian 31 March 1994)
    Citation ‘In the ensuing tide of English euphoria it was swiftly forgotten that KP had been dropped three times, most calamitously by Shane Warne’ (Paul Hayward, Wisden 2006)
  • verb to bowl the ball in such a way that it pitches at a particular length, on a particular spot, or in line with a particular target
    Citation ‘Bowlers of intellect will (if they discover your propensity to the forward play …) drop the ball shorter and shorter, and lead you insensibly into error’ (Felix 1850)
    Citation ‘The third prong of the attack was Clarrie Grimmett, dropping the ball as if radar-guided onto a teasing spot’ (WCM January 1984)
    Citation ‘He took three steps, dropped the ball on the leg-wicket … and could hit the top of the off-stump three times in an over’ (James 1963)


  • Same as drop-out (I).
  • The voltage difference between any two points of a circuit or conductor, due to the flow of current. Also called voltage drop (1), or potential drop (2).
  • The voltage difference between the terminals of a circuit element, due to the flow of current. Also called voltage drop (2), or potential drop (3).


  • verb to stop a case

Media Studies

  • noun a short branch line from a cable television trunk line, that feeds signals to an individual house or flat


  • noun a sudden reduction or fall in the quantity of something
  • plural noun liquid medicine for the eye, nose, or ear administered with a dropper


  • noun an act of leaving something where it can be collected by someone else
  • noun a small portion of liquid (such as blood, rain, etc.)
  • verb to let something fall to the ground
  • verb to make a vertical descent (usually under control)
  • verb to deploy troops by parachute
  • verb to deliver supplies by helicopter or parachute
  • verb to offload men or supplies from a vehicle
  • verb to correct artillery or mortar fire so that the rounds land closer to the observer


  • noun the amount of space left when a text starts lower down the page than normal
  • verb to bring down the text, leaving a blank space
  • verb to unlock the forme after printing, so as to release the type which is then ready for distribution
  • verb to decide not to do or use something any more


  • noun news, requisite information. The word usually occurs in the question ‘What’s the drop?’, recorded among UK adolescents in the early 1990s.
  • verb to take (an illicit drug) orally. The word was most often encountered in the phrase ‘drop acid’, meaning to take LSD by mouth. Originally an American term, ‘drop’ replaced the neutral ‘take’ in Britain around 1966.
  • verb to knock (a person) down
  • verb to give birth to. A shortening of drop a pup.
  • verb (of a record, film) to appear, be released. From the earlier sense of to ‘give birth to’. An expression used on campus in the USA since around 2000.


  • verb to let something such as a ball fall
  • verb to lose a match, game or part of a game



  • verb to fall, to go to a lower level

Origin & History of “drop”

Drop, droop, and drip are closely related. Droop (13th c.) was borrowed from Old Norse drūpa, which came from a Germanic base *drūp-. A variant of this, *drup-, produced middle Danish drippe, the probable source of English drip (15th c.), and a further variant, *drop-, lies behind Old English dropa, ancestor of modern English drop. All three go back ultimately to a prehistoric Indo-European *dhreub-, source of Irish drucht ‘dew’.

The English noun originally meant ‘globule of liquid’, and its related verb ‘fall in drops’. The main modern transitive sense, ‘allow to fall’, developed in the 14th century, giving English a single word for the concept of ‘letting fall’ not shared by, e.g., French and German, which have to use phrases to express it: respectively, laisser tomber and fallen lassen.