excuse, dodge, evasion, fraud, pretence, pretext, alibi
COLLOQ. get-out, shirking, passing the buck

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\\ˈ ̷ ̷ ˌ ̷ ̷ \ noun (-s)
Etymology: cop out, verb (herein)
1. : an excuse for copping out : pretext
2. : the means for copping out
3. : one who cops out
4. : the act or an instance of copping out

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/kop"owt'/, n. Informal.
1. an act or instance of copping out; reneging; evasion: The governor's platform was a cop-out.
2. a person who cops out: Everyone helped as they had promised, except for one cop-out.
[1940-45; n. use of v. phrase cop out]

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cop-out UK US noun [countable] [singular cop-out plural cop-outs] informal
something you say or do to avoid doing what you should do

Telling him you’re ill sounds like a cop-out to me.

Thesaurus: reasons and excusessynonym

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cop-out «KOP OWT», noun. Slang.
1. a backing out or quitting; an avoidance, evasion, or escape: »

Addiction is a kind of “cop-out.” Without heroin, there would be pain and uncertainty (Atlantic). “That was no strategy,” one of them observed bitterly, “that was a cop-out” (New York Times).

2. a person who backs out or quits: »

The “flower children” have my vote as the cop-outs of the decade (Time).

3. a plea of guilty to the lesser of several charges: »

One goal is to do away with the need for a lengthy trial by producing a fast guilty plea—a “cop-out” (Time).

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n. informal an instance of avoiding a commitment or responsibility

being ‘average’ is the lazy person's cop-out

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/ˈkɑːpˌaʊt/ noun, pl -outs [count]
informal + disapproving
1 : an excuse for not doing something

He played poorly and used his recent illness as a cop-out.

She says she doesn't have the time, but that's just a cop-out. [=she really does have the time]

2 : something that avoids dealing with a problem in an appropriate way

The ending of the book is a disappointing cop-out.

— see also cop out at cop, 2

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ˈcop-out [cop-out cop-outs] noun (informal, disapproving)
a way of avoiding doing sth that you should do, or an excuse for not doing it

Not turning up was just a cop-out.

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cop out — is an idiom which means to avoid taking responsibility for an action, fulfilling a duty or meeting expectations; as a noun, it refers to someone who cops out . Cop out or cop out may also refer to: Linda Lavin Raffaele Cecco Cop Out, a 1969 book… …   Wikipedia

  • cop-out — cop outs N COUNT: usu sing (disapproval) If you refer to something as a cop out, you think that it is a way for someone to avoid doing something that they should do. [INFORMAL] Wallowing in guilt about the past is a cop out that prevents you from …   English dictionary

  • cop out — by 1942, n. and v., sneak off, escape, Amer.Eng. slang, probably from cop a plea (c.1925) plead guilty to lesser charges, probably from northern British slang cop to catch (a scolding, etc.); Cf. cop a feel grope someone (1930s); see COP (Cf.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • cop-out — n informal something you do or say in order to avoid doing or accepting something ▪ There is plenty to do on your own doorstep; to look further is a cop out …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • cop-out — cop ,out noun count INFORMAL something you say or do to avoid doing what you should do: Telling him you re ill sounds like a cop out to me …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • cop-out — cop′ out n. 1) cvb an act or instance of copping out 2) cvb inf a person who cops out • Etymology: 1940–45 …   From formal English to slang

  • cop-out — ☆ cop out [käp′out΄ ] n. Slang the act or an instance of copping out, as by confessing, reneging, quitting, etc …   English World dictionary

  • cop out — [v] abandon, quit back down, back off, back out, backpedal, desert, dodge, excuse, give the slip*, have alibi, rationalize, renege, renounce, revoke, skip, use pretext, welsh, withdraw; concepts 121,156 Ant. be ready, face, ready, take on …   New thesaurus

  • cop out — verb choose not to do something, as out of fear of failing She copped out when she was supposed to get into the hang glider • Syn: ↑opt out • Derivationally related forms: ↑copout • Hypernyms: ↑choose, ↑prefer, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Cop Out — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Cop Out – Geladen und entsichert Originaltitel Cop Out …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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