American English

Definition of top noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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    highest point
  1. 1[countable] the highest part or point of something She was standing at the top of the stairs. Write your name at the top. The title is right at the top of the page. He filled my glass to the top. We climbed to the very top of the hill. Snow was falling on the mountain tops. The wind was blowing in the tops of the trees. see also rooftop, treetop
  2. upper surface
  3. 2[countable] the upper flat surface of something Can you polish the top of the table? a desk top see also hardtop, roll-top desk, tabletop
  4. highest rank
  5. 3[singular] the top (of something) the highest or most important rank or position He's at the top of his profession. She is determined to make it to the top (= achieve fame or success). They finished the season at the top of the division. We have a lot of things to do, but packing is at the top of the list. This decision came from the top.
  6. of pen/bottle
  7. 4[countable] a thing that you put on the end of something to close it Where's the top of this pen? a bottle with a screw top synonyms at
  8. clothing
  9. 5[countable] a piece of clothing worn on the upper part of the body I need a top to go with this skirt. a uniform/pajama/bikini top see also crop top
  10. leaves of plant
  11. 6[countable, usually plural] the leaves of a plant that is grown mainly for its root Remove the green tops from the carrots.
  12. amount of money
  13. 7tops [plural] (informal) used after an amount or number to show that it is the highest possible It couldn't have cost more than $50, tops.
  14. best
  15. 8tops [plural] (old-fashioned) (informal) a person or thing of the best quality Among sports superstars she's (the) tops. In the survey New Yorkers come out tops for humor.
  16. toy
  17. 9[countable] a child's toy that spins on a point when it is turned around very quickly by hand or by a string She was so confused—her mind was spinning like a top.
  18. beginning
  19. 10[uncountable] (informal) the beginning or earliest part of something That was great, now let's take it from the top (= go back to the beginning of a song, scene, etc. and practice it again). The church bells ring at the top of the hour (= when it is exactly 1 o'clock, 2 o'clock, etc.). see also big top
  20. Thesauruslidtop cork cap plugThese are all words for a cover for a container.lid a cover over a container that can be removed or opened by twisting or lifting it off:a jar with a tight-fitting lidtop a thing that you put over the end of something such as a pen or bottle in order to close itcork a small round object made of cork or plastic that is used for closing bottles, especially wine bottlescap (often in compounds) a top for something such as a bottle, or a protective cover for something such as the lens of a cameraplug a round piece of material that you put into a hole in order to block it; a flat round rubber or plastic thing that you put into the hole of a sink in order to stop the water from flowing out:a drain plugPatterns a tight-fitting lid/top/cap a screw top/cap a pen lid/top to put on/screw on/take off/unscrew the lid/top/cap to pull out the cork/plugIdioms
    at the top/bottom of the heap
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    high up/low down in the structure of an organization or a society These workers are at the bottom of the economic heap.
    at the top of your voice/lungs
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    as loudly as possible She was screaming at the top of her voice.
    blow your top/stack (informal)
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    to get very angry
    (at the) bottom/top of the pile
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    in the least/most important position in a group of people or things It's been 20 years since an American player was top of the pile.
    come out on top
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    to win a contest or an argument In most boardroom disputes he tends to come out on top.
    from top to bottom
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    going to every part of a place in a very thorough way We cleaned the house from top to bottom.
    from top to toe
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    completely; all over
    get on top of something
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    to manage to control or deal with something How will I ever get on top of all this work?
    off the top of your head (informal)
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    just guessing or using your memory, without taking time to think carefully or check the facts I can't remember the name off the top of my head, but I can look it up for you.
    1. 1on the highest point or surface a cake with whipped cream on top Stand on top and look down. He's going bald on top (= on the top of his head).
    2. 2in a leading position or in control She remained on top for the rest of the match.
    3. 3in addition Look, here's 30 dollars, and I'll buy you lunch on top.
      on top of something/somebody
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    1. 1on, over, or covering something or someone Books were piled on top of one another. Many people were crushed when the building collapsed on top of them.
    2. 2in addition to something He gets commission on top of his salary. On top of everything else, my car's been stolen.
    3. 3very close to something or someone We were all living on top of each other in that tiny apartment.
    4. 4in control of a situation Do you think he's really on top of his job? Work tends to pile up if I don't keep on top of it.
    on top of your game, at the top of your game (informal)
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    performing at the highest level in an activity or business At 42, she's still on top of her game.
    on top of the world
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    very happy or proud
    over the top (informal)
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    done to an exaggerated degree and with too much effort His performance is completely over the top. an over-the-top reaction
    thin on top (informal)
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    without much hair on the head He's starting to get a little thin on top (= he's losing his hair).
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: top