cop out

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cop out

1. verb To avoid something, often sneakily or due to cowardice. Don't cop out of this by not coming to the disciplinary meeting—you need to take responsibility for your actions!
2. verb To break one's commitment to someone or something. I said I'd go to the birthday party, but I didn't have anything to wear and copped out at the last minute. Unfortunately, I wasn't surprised when Steve tried to cop out.
3. verb To plead guilty to a lesser charge in order to avoid a trial or a more severe punishment. If you don't want to go to jail, I think your best option here is to cop out.
4. noun An unsatisfactory answer, excuse, or reason for something. When used as a noun, the phrase is typically hyphenated or written as one word. The Beatles are your favorite band? Geez, what a cop-out—everybody likes the Beatles! You need to take responsibility here, so don't give me some lame copout about why you can't go to the disciplinary meeting.
See also: cop, out
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

cop out

 (of something) and cop out (on something)
1. Sl. to withdraw from doing something. Are you copping out of this job? No, I'm not copping out!
2. S. to break one's promise about doing something. You said you would and now you are copping out of it. I'm not copping out. I just can't find the time.
3. Sl. to plead guilty (to a lesser charge). Frank copped out and got off with a night in the cooler.
See also: cop, out

cop out

(on someone) Sl. to break one's promise to someone. (See also previous.) Come on! Don't cop out on me! You promised me you would do it! Don't cop out now!
See also: cop, out

cop out

(on something) Go to cop out (of something).
See also: cop, out
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cop out

Back out of a responsibility or commitment; also, take the easy way out. For example, Don't count on him; he's been known to fake illness and cop out, or She'll cop out and let her assistant do all the work. These meanings are derived from the underworld slang use of cop out for backing down or surrendering. [Late 1950s]
See also: cop, out
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

cop out

v.
To avoid fulfilling some commitment or responsibility: I was too tired to go out, so I copped out on my friends. The students copped out of cleaning up after the party.
See also: cop, out
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

cop out

1. in. to plead guilty (to a lesser charge). (see also cop a plea.) I decided not to cop out and got a mouthpiece instead.
2. in. to give up and quit; to chicken out (of something). Why do you want to cop out just when things are going great?
3. n. a poor excuse to get out of something. (Usually cop-out or copout.) That’s not a good reason. That’s just a cop-out.
See also: cop, out
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
DPJ MUST STOP 'COP-OUT TACTICS' (The Daily Yomiuri as translated from The Yomiuri Shimbun's editorial published June 17)
It doesn't My fellow feminist's response was a cop-out.
Having argued the only syndrome defense - urban psychosis - not maligned in Professor Alan Dershowitz's book is both a blessing and a slight, but it leaves this writer uniquely qualified to review The Abuse Excuse: And Other Cop-outs, Sob Stories, and Evasions of Responsibility.
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Cop-outs revealed by TV licensing bosses included a mum who said: "My 11-yearold son must've bought the TV during the night.
This is one of the favorite cop-outs of bishops and conservative laity: Blame God.
There are no cop-outs in Ian Rankin's Fleshmarket Close (Orion, pounds 6.99) in which series sleuth John Rebus must deal with the topical plight of asylum-seekers housed on a sink estate.
But the Edinburgh-born dad-of-two doesn't do cop-outs. That's why he has spent his summer in Largs, finding his passion for the game again and earning his A Coaching Licence, instead of in the Luton shop he has helped run for years.
Client defections are accelerating at Andersen and experts say more cop-outs are likely.
In 1971, the Associated Press found that the "movement reached massive proportions" with as many as 3000 communes and upwards of 3 million inhabitants.(31) While activists and cynics alike tended to dismiss communes as hedonistic "cop-outs," there was no reason to judge the experiments more harshly than their Owenite, Fourierst or Oneidan predecessors.
There are no weasel words, no list of excluded parts, no cop-outs, and loads of features other warranty providers haven't even dreamed of.
They're responsibility cop-outs, employed to keep the heat off the manager, which pack a killer side-effect.
There are other cop-outs and I'm sorry to keep on about the new line-out laws as being one of them.
Childless women view mums as neurotic cop-outs and don't understand why they can't go out on a whim.