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1. To commit suicide. Primarily heard in UK. A: "Did you hear that his father topped himself over the weekend?" B: "Yeah, I can't believe it. Everyone is still in shock."
2. To outdo or outperform one's previous effort(s) or achievement(s). Primarily heard in US. Wow, you've really topped yourself with these cupcakes, Stephen!
See also: top
top (something) with (something)
To cover, garnish, or adorn the top of something with something else. The chef topped the steak with sautéed mushrooms. I wanted to top the house with red slate tiles.
See also: top
1. To add to something until it is full, especially if it was already close to being full. A noun or pronoun can be used between "top" and "off." I'd like to top the car off with gas before we set out on the road tomorrow. Here, let me top off your glass with a bit more wine.
2. To finish or complete something by adding a final element or flourish to it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "top" and "off." The party was great! There was dinner, games, and dancing, and they topped the evening off with a karaoke competition. The cake is almost finished, let me just top it off with a few chocolate strawberries. We topped off our vacation in Greece with a trip to the Acropolis of Athens.
3. To add something unpleasant or difficult to an already troublesome situation. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "top" and "off." I got a flat tire halfway through my bicycle ride, and to top that off, I had left my phone at home so I couldn't call anyone for help! The boss tore me a new one today, and to top it all off, my boyfriend said he was moving out.
1. To complete the topmost portion or story of a building that is under construction. A noun or pronoun can be used between "top" and "out." The construction company announced that they would be topping out the new courthouse this weekend. They said they would top the hotel out months ago, but it's still sitting there unfinished.
2. To fill some vessel, especially a cargo ship, to its limit. A noun or pronoun can be used between "top" and "out." The pirates topped their ship out with gold and jewels they had plundered. The furniture topped out the moving truck all on its own, so I don't know how we'll get all our boxes of stuff to the new house.
3. To reach an upper limit; to stop going any higher. Their market value topped out at $134 per share.
4. To cause something to cease going higher. A noun or pronoun can be used between "top" and "out." The federal reserve announced that it would be topping interest rates out at 8%. At the request of their boss, I topped out the company's bar tab at $500.
5. To retire from one's work, especially at the peak of one's success. Morgan decided to top out after selling her startup for nearly $12 million. I could see that the market bubble was set to burst anytime, so I topped out while the getting was good.
top the bill
To be the featured person in an event. Two professors from New York University are topping the bill at the conference on climate change this weekend. Up until now he's only been a supporting act, but he's going to top the bill for the first time next Saturday.
1. To fill some container or vessel with more of something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "top" and "up." Often used without directly stating the thing being filled, with the person or thing it belongs to being mentioned instead. Oh, you're glass is nearly empty, Tom. Let me top you up. Would you bring this bottle of wine to the table and top up everyone's glass, please? Make sure you top the car up with gas before you set out.
2. To add more money to some account. With our pay-as-you-go cell phone plans, you can top up over the phone or at various stores around the country. Don't forget to top up your account regularly, as payments are taken from it automatically.
3. To supplement one's income. A noun or pronoun can be used between "top" and "up." I do a bit of freelance work in the evenings to top up what I earn each month. You'll be on a lower starting wage, but you can top it up with commissions.
top something off
to add to the difficulty of something. Jane lost her job, and to top that off, she caught the flu. I had a bad day, and to top it off, I have to go to a meeting tonight.
top something off(with something)
1. to end or terminate something with something; to put something on the top of something. They topped the building off with a tall flagpole. He topped off each piece of pie with a heap of whipped cream.
2. to celebrate an end to something with something. They topped the evening off with a bottle of champagne. They topped off the evening with a bottle of champagne.
top something up
to add a bit of something to replenish the amount that was used. Let me top your drink up. Can I top up your glass?
1. Fill a container, especially when it is almost full to begin with. For example, I don't need much gas; just top off the tank, please. [First half of 1900s]
2. Finish, especially in a spectacular way, as in They topped off their trip with a visit to the White House. [First half of 1800s]
1. Complete the top portion of a building, as in They were scheduled to top out the dome next week. This idiom was first recorded in 1834.
2. Fill up a ship or complete its cargo, as in The ship was topped out with scrap iron. This idiom was first recorded in 1940.
3. Cease rising, as in Interest rates topped out at 10 percent. [Second half of 1900s]
4. Retire just as one becomes very successful, as in He decided that at sixty it was time to top out. [Colloquial; second half of 1900s]
top (or head) the billbe the main performer or act in a show, play, etc.
1. To fill some container completely, especially when it is almost full to begin with: Before we returned the rental car, we topped off the gas tank. Every time I took a sip of my water, the server would come back and top it off.
2. To finish something appropriately: The couple topped off the romantic evening with a walk along the river.
1. To put the framework for the top story on some building: Workers topped out the tower with the last few beams. The contractor will top the building out at a ceremony on Tuesday.
2. To fill something, such as a ship, until it is full: The crew topped out the ship with cargo. We topped the rest of the box out with foam padding.
3. To cease rising; reach the highest point or degree: Interest rates topped out at 16 percent. The balloon rose for a while but finally topped out.
v. Chiefly British
1. To fill some container completely, especially when it is almost full to begin with: Can I top up your coffee? I topped the fish tank up with fresh water.
2. To supplement some income: She tops up her salary with odd jobs on the side. He relies on book royalties to top his salary up.