Definition of top noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary




highest point

1 [countable] the highest part or point of somethingShe 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

upper surface

2 [countable] the upper flat surface of somethingCan you polish the top of the table?a desk top see also hardtop, roll-top desk, tabletop

highest rank

3 [singular] the top (of something) the highest or most important rank or positionHe'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.

of pen/bottle

4 [countable] a thing that you put on the end of something to close itWhere's the top of this pen?a bottle with a screw top


5 [countable] a piece of clothing worn on the upper part of the bodyI need a top to go with this skirt.a uniform/pajama/bikini top see also crop top

leaves of plant

6 [countable, usually plural] the leaves of a plant that is grown mainly for its rootRemove the green tops from the carrots.

amount of money

7 tops [plural] (informal) used after an amount or number to show that it is the highest possibleIt couldn't have cost more than $50, tops.


8 tops [plural] (old-fashioned, informal) a person or thing of the best qualityAmong sports superstars she's (the) tops.In the survey New Yorkers come out tops for humor.


9 [countable] a child's toy that spins on a point when it is turned around very quickly by hand or by a stringShe was so confused—her mind was spinning like a top.


10 [uncountable] (informal) the beginning or earliest part of somethingThat 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 topIDIOMS

at the top/bottom of the heap

high up/low down in the structure of an organization or a society
These workers are at the bottom of the economic the top of the heapat the bottom of the heap

at the top of your voice/lungs

as loudly as possible
She was screaming at the top of her the top of your voiceat the top of your lungs

blow your top/stack

(informal) to get very angryblow your topblow your stack

(at the) bottom/top of the pile

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.bottom of the pileat the bottom of the piletop of the pileat the top of the pile

come out on top

to win a contest or an argument
In most boardroom disputes he tends to come out on top.come out on top

from top to bottom

going to every part of a place in a very thorough way
We cleaned the house from top to bottom.from top to bottom

from top to toe

completely; all over
from top to toe

get on top of something

to manage to control or deal with something
How will I ever get on top of all this work?get on top of

off the top of your head

(informal) just guessing or using your memory, without taking time to think carefully or check the factsI can't remember the name off the top of my head, but I can look it up for the top of your head

on top

1 on the highest point or surfacea cake with whipped cream on topStand on top and look down.He's going bald on top (= on the top of his head).2 in a leading position or in controlShe remained on top for the rest of the match.3 in additionLook, here's 30 dollars, and I'll buy you lunch on top.on top

on top of something/someone

1 on, over, or covering something or someoneBooks were piled on top of one another.Many people were crushed when the building collapsed on top of them.2 in addition to somethingHe gets commission on top of his salary.On top of everything else, my car's been stolen.3 very close to something or someoneWe were all living on top of each other in that tiny apartment.4 in control of a situationDo 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

on top of your game


at the top of your game

(informal) performing at the highest level in an activity or businessAt 42, she's still on top of her game.on top of your game

on top of the world

very happy or proud
on top of the world

over the top

(informal) done to an exaggerated degree and with too much effortHis performance is completely over the over-the-top reactionover the top

thin on top

(informal) without much hair on the headHe's starting to get a little thin on top (= he's losing his hair).thin on top
Usage noteUsage note: lidtop 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 plugpatternsa tight-fitting lid/top/capa screw top/capa pen lid/topto put on/screw on/take off/unscrew the lid/top/capto pull out the cork/plug