• WordNet 3.6
    • adj top situated at the top or highest position "the top shelf"
    • v top finish up or conclude "They topped off their dinner with a cognac","top the evening with champagne"
    • v top be the culminating event "The speech crowned the meeting"
    • v top cut the top off "top trees and bushes"
    • v top strike (the top part of a ball in golf, baseball, or pool) giving it a forward spin
    • v top reach or ascend the top of "The hikers topped the mountain just before noon"
    • v top pass by, over, or under without making contact "the balloon cleared the tree tops"
    • v top provide with a top or finish the top (of a structure) "the towers were topped with conical roofs"
    • v top be superior or better than some standard "She exceeded our expectations","She topped her performance of last year"
    • v top be ahead of others; be the first "she topped her class every year"
    • v top be at the top of or constitute the top or highest point "A star tops the Christmas Tree"
    • n top a canvas tent to house the audience at a circus performance "he was afraid of a fire in the circus tent","they had the big top up in less than an hour"
    • n top a garment (especially for women) that extends from the shoulders to the waist or hips "he stared as she buttoned her top"
    • n top covering for a hole (especially a hole in the top of a container) "he removed the top of the carton","he couldn't get the top off of the bottle","put the cover back on the kettle"
    • n top a conical child's plaything tapering to a steel point on which it can be made to spin "he got a bright red top and string for his birthday"
    • n top platform surrounding the head of a lower mast
    • n top the greatest possible intensity "he screamed at the top of his lungs"
    • n top the top or extreme point of something (usually a mountain or hill) "the view from the peak was magnificent","they clambered to the tip of Monadnock","the region is a few molecules wide at the summit"
    • n top the highest or uppermost side of anything "put your books on top of the desk","only the top side of the box was painted"
    • n top the upper part of anything "the mower cuts off the tops of the grass","the title should be written at the top of the first page"
    • n top the highest level or degree attainable; the highest stage of development "his landscapes were deemed the acme of beauty","the artist's gifts are at their acme","at the height of her career","the peak of perfection","summer was at its peak","...catapulted Einstein to the pinnacle of fame","the summit of his ambition","so many highest superlatives achieved by man","at the top of his profession"
    • n top the first half of an inning; while the visiting team is at bat "a relief pitcher took over in the top of the fifth"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Puppet, with her guitar, sitting on top of a haystack Puppet, with her guitar, sitting on top of a haystack
Taking the Top Rail 113 Taking the Top Rail 113
Signy, at the top of the tree, looks in at the window Signy, at the top of the tree, looks in at the window
at the top of at the top of
Stitching the top of the back Stitching the top of the back
Top decoration cups Top decoration cups
He climbed to the top of a high tree He climbed to the top of a high tree

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Brabara Cartland is the world's top-selling author with over 500 million copies sold.
    • Top (Wool Manuf) A bundle or ball of slivers of comkbed wool, from which the noils, or dust, have been taken out.
    • Top A child's toy, commonly in the form of a conoid or pear, made to spin on its point, usually by drawing off a string wound round its surface or stem, the motion being sometimes continued by means of a whip.
    • Top (Golf) A forward spin given to the ball by hitting it on or near the top.
    • Top (Naut) A platform surrounding the head of the lower mast and projecting on all sudes. It serves to spead the topmast rigging, thus strengheningthe mast, and also furnishes a convenient standing place for the men aloft.
    • Top (Rope Making) A plug, or conical block of wood, with longitudital grooves on its surface, in which the strands of the rope slide in the process of twisting.
    • Top (Golf) A stroke on the top of the ball.
    • Top Eve; verge; point. "He was upon the top of his marriage with Magdaleine."
    • Top The chief person; the most prominent one. "Other . . . aspired to be the top of zealots."
    • Top The crown of the head, or the hair upon it; the head. "From top to toe""All the stored vengeance of Heaven fall
      On her ungrateful top !"
    • Top The head, or upper part, of a plant. "The buds . . . are called heads, or tops , as cabbageheads."
    • Top The highest part of anything; the upper end, edge, or extremity; the upper side or surface; summit; apex; vertex; cover; lid; as, the top of a spire; the top of a house; the top of a mountain; the top of the ground. "The star that bids the shepherd fold,
      Now the top of heaven doth hold."
    • Top The highest rank; the most honorable position; the utmost attainable place; as, to be at the top of one's class, or at the top of the school. "And wears upon his baby brow the round
      And top of sovereignty."
    • Top The part of a cut gem between the girdle, or circumference, and the table, or flat upper surface.
    • Top The utmost degree; the acme; the summit. "The top of my ambition is to contribute to that work."
    • Top To arrange, as fruit, with the best on top.
    • Top To cover on the top; to tip; to cap; -- chiefly used in the past participle. "Like moving mountains topped with snow.""A mount
      Of alabaster, topped with golden spires."
    • Top (Dyeing) To cover with another dye; as, to top aniline black with methyl violet to prevent greening and crocking.
    • Top To cut, break, or otherwise take off the top of (a steel ingot) to remove unsound metal.
    • Top To excel; to rise above others. "But write thy, and top ."
    • Top To improve (domestic animals, esp. sheep) by crossing certain individuals or breeds with other superior.
    • Top To perform eminently, or better than before. "From endeavoring universally to top their parts, they will go universally beyond them."
    • Top To predominate; as, topping passions. "Influenced by topping uneasiness."
    • Top To put a stiffening piece or back on (a saw blade).
    • Top (Naut) To raise one end of, as a yard, so that that end becomes higher than the other.
    • Top To rise above; to excel; to outgo; to surpass. "Topping all others in boasting.""Edmund the base shall top the legitimate."
    • Top To rise aloft; to be eminent; to tower; as, lofty ridges and topping mountains.
    • Top (Naut) To rise at one end, as a yard; -- usually with up.
    • Top To rise to the top of; to go over the top of. "But wind about till thou hast topped the hill."
    • Top (Golf) To strike (the ball) above the center; also, to make (as a stroke) by hitting the ball in this way.
    • Top (Golf) To strike a ball above the center.
    • Top To strike the top of, as a wall, with the hind feet, in jumping, so as to gain new impetus; -- said of a horse.
    • Top To take off the or upper part of; to crop. "Top your rose trees a little with your knife."
    • Top Top-boots.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: One American of every 16 will have one of the Top 12 most common last names.
    • n top A tuft or crest on the apex or summit of anything, as a helmet, the head, etc.; hence, the hair of the head; especially, the forelock.
    • n top Any bunch of hair, fibers, or filaments; specifically, in woolen-manuf., a bundle of long-staple combed wool-slivers, ready for the spinner, and weighing 1½ pounds.
    • n top The crown of the head, or the upper surface of the head back of the forehead; the vertex or sinciput.
    • n top The highest or uppermost part of anything; the most elevated end or point; the summit; the apex.
    • n top Specifically— The head or upper part of a plant, especially the above-ground part of plants yielding root-crops: as, potato- tops, turnip -tops; in pharmacy, the newer growing parts of a plant.
    • n top The upper part of a shoe. Compare def. 13 and top-boot.
    • n top The upper end or source; head waters, as of a river.
    • n top The upper side; the surface.
    • n top plural The collection of a few copies of each sheet of a printed book placed on the top of a pile of such printed sheets.
    • n top That which is first or foremost. The beginning: noting time.
    • n top That which comes first in the natural or the accepted order; the first or upper part; the head: as, the top of a page; the top of a column of figures.
    • n top The most advanced or prominent part; the highest part, place, rank, grade, or the like.
    • n top The crowning-point.
    • n top The highest point or degree; pinnacle; zenith; climax.
    • n top The highest example, type, or representative; chief; crown; consummation; acme.
    • n top Nautical, a sort of platform surrounding the head of the lower mast on all sides. It serves to extend the topmast-shrouds. The tops are named after the respective masts to which they belong, as maintop, foretop, and mizzentop. See cut under lubber.
    • n top The cover of a carriage. In coaches it is a permanent cover; in barouches and landaus it is a double calash; in gigs, phaëtons, etc., it is a calash.
    • n top That part of a cut gem which is between the girdle or extreme margin and the table or flat face.
    • n top plural Buttons washed or plated with gold, silver, tin, etc., on the face or front side only: when the whole is thus treated, they are called all-overs.
    • n top Same as top-boot: especially in the plural: as, a pair of tops.
    • n top The end-piece of a jointed fishing-rod; the tip; also, the topping or mounting at the end of this piece, usually made of bell-metal, agate, carnelian, etc.
    • n top A method of cheating at dice in vogue about the beginning of the eighteenth century. Both dice seemed to be put into the box, but in reality one was kept at the top of the box between the fingers of the person playing.
    • top Being at the top; uppermost; highest; foremost; first; chief; principal.
    • top Greatest; extreme.
    • top Prime; good; capital: as, top ale.
    • top To put a top on; cap; crown.
    • top In dyeing, to cover or wash over with a different or richer color: as, to top indigo with a bright aniline, to give force and brilliancy.
    • top To place and fasten upon the back margin of (a saw-blade) a stiffening piece, or a gage for limiting the depth of a kerf; back (a saw).
    • top To reach the top of.
    • top To rise above or beyond; surmount.
    • top To pass over; leap; clear.
    • top To surpass; outdo.
    • top To take off the top of. Specifically— To remove the top or end from (a plant); especially, to crop, as a tree or plant, by cutting off the growing top, or before ripening (as, in the case of tobacco, to increase the size of the remaining leaves, or, with maize, to hasten the ripening, etc.).
    • top To snuff (a candle): said also of burning off the long end of a new wick.
    • top See the quotation.
    • top Nautical, to raise one end, as of a yard or boom, higher than the other.
    • top To hang.
    • top To tup; cover.
    • top To take or toss off; drink off.
    • top To rise aloft; be eminent; tower; hence, to surpass; excel. See topping, p. a.
    • top To be of a (specified) height or top-measurement.
    • top To incline or fall with the top foremost; topple.
    • top To preen or prune one's self.
    • top See the quotation.
    • top Above.
    • top To wrestle; strive.
    • top To oppose; resist.
    • n top Opposition; struggle; conflict.
    • n top A children's toy of conical, ovoid, or circular shape, whether solid or hollow, sometimes of wood with a point of metal, sometimes entirely of metal, made to whirl on its point by the rapid unwinding of a string wound about it, or by lashing with a whip, or by utilizing the power of a spring. All tops are more precisely called spinning-tops, conical ones peg-tops, and those that are lashed whip-tops.
    • n top In rope-making, a conical block of wood with longitudinal grooves on its surface, in which the strands of the rope slide in the process of twisting.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The drummer for ZZ Top (the only one without a beard) is named Frank Beard.
    • n Top top the highest part of anything: the upper end or surface: the upper part of a plant: the crown of the head: the highest place, rank, or crown, consummation: the chief or highest person:
    • v.t Top to cover on the top: to tip: to rise above: to surpass: to rise to the top of: to take off the top of: to hit a golf ball above its centre
    • v.i Top to be eminent:—pr.p. top′ping; pa.t. and pa.p. topped
    • adj Top surpassing, pre-eminent: arrogant
    • n Top top a child's toy, shaped like a pear, and set or kept whirling round by means of a string or a whip.
    • n Top top (naut.) a small platform at the head of the lower mast: the end-piece of a jointed fishing-rod: the same as top-boot, esp. in pl.adj. highest, foremost, chief: good, capital
    • ***


  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Remember: the average is as close to the bottom as it is to the top.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “When you're average, you're just as close to the bottom as you are the top.”
  • Jascha Heifetz
    Jascha Heifetz
    “There is no top. There are always further heights to reach.”
  • James Reston
    James Reston
    “A government is the only vessel that leaks from the top.”
  • Joseph E. Rogers
    Joseph E. Rogers
    “A man who is at the top is a man who has the habit of getting to the bottom.”
  • Frank Moore Colby
    “I have found some of the best reasons I ever had for remaining at the bottom simply by looking at the men at the top.”


At the top of my lungs - If you shout at the top of your lungs, you shout as loudly as you possibly can.
At the top of the list - If something is at the top of the list, it is of highest priority, most important, most urgent, or the next in one's line of attention.
At the top of your lungs - If you shout at the top of your lungs, you shout as loudly as you possibly can.
At the top of your voice - If you talk, shout or sing at the top of your voice, you do it as loudly as you can.
Blow your top - If someone blows their top, they lose their temper.
Cream rises to the top - A good person or idea cannot go unnoticed for long, just as cream poured in coffee or tea eventually rises to the top.
Off the top of your head - If you say something off the top of your head, you don't think about it beforehand.
On top of the world - If you are on top of the world, everything is going well for you.
Over the top - If something is over the top, it is excessive or unnecessary. It refers to the moment a soldier leaves the trenches.
Top brass - In the army or in other organizations, the top brass are the people in the highest positions
Top dog - The most important or influential person is the top dog.
Top notch - If something is top notch, it's excellent, of the highest quality or standard.
You can't have cake and the topping, too - (USA) This idiom means that you can't have everything the way you want it, especially if your desires are contradictory.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. top,; akin to OFries. top, a tuft, D. top, top, OHG. zopf, end, tip, tuft of hair, G. zopf, tuft of hair, pigtail, top of a tree, Icel. toppr, a tuft of hair, crest, top, Dan. top, Sw. topp, pinnacle, top; of uncertain origin. Cf. Tuft
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. top; Ger. zopf.


In literature:

That queer stack on top!
"Wandl the Invader" by Raymond King Cummings
We people on top are bequeathing misery to our posterity when we let the Mortons of the world hate the rich.
"The Best Short Stories of 1917" by Various
Top Gunther takes top place; man, woman, bird, beast, fish, or bug-eyed monster.
"The Galaxy Primes" by Edward Elmer Smith
Half-way through the night, there was a loud crack and over went our main top-mast with her sails in ribbons.
"Sir Ludar" by Talbot Baines Reed
She took a seat beside her husband on the top step.
"The Curlytops and Their Pets" by Howard R. Garis
When I got to the top of the bank near the river, what was my dismay, on looking northward, to see several persons approaching my tent!
"Dick Onslow" by W.H.G. Kingston
Master Jup and Top, on guard at the foot of Granite House, would have quickly given the alarm.
"The Secret of the Island" by W.H.G. Kingston (translation from Jules Verne)
I never felt particularly giddy on a height, so I was not at all unhappy waiting in the top till some one came to join me.
"My First Voyage to Southern Seas" by W.H.G. Kingston
MEMBER: You force stronger leaders at the top and hasten the growth of the top.
"Northern Nut Growers Association Report of the Proceedings at the Forty-Second Annual Meeting" by Northern Nut Growers Association
The top of the hill is a kind of plateau, with deep gulleys across it.
"The Long Roll" by Mary Johnston

In poetry:

But he has gained the green hill top
Where lies that lonely spring,
And lo! he pauses when he hears
Its gentle murmuring.
"Alexander And Zenobia" by Anne Bronte
An who, when yo goa weary in,
Bids th' childer mak a little din,
An smiles throo th' top o'th' heead to th' chin?
A wife.
"A Wife [1]" by John Hartley
The summer comes to Glen Nefin
With heavy dew on the leas,
With the gathering of wild honey
To the tops of all the trees.
"Girls Spinning" by Padraic Colum
But often words they breeden bale,
That parted Robin and John;
John is gone to Barnesdale,
The gates he knowes eche one.
"Robin Hood And Guy Of Gisborne" by Anonymous British
And our prayers were scarcely ended
When, on mountain-top afar,
We beheld the morning meeting
With the night's last fading star.
"Lake Como" by Abram Joseph Ryan
Is it that here I must not stop,
But o'er yon blue hill's woody top
Must bend my lonely way?
No, surely no! for give but me
My own fireside, and I shall be
At home where'er I stray.
"I'm Pleased and Yet I'm Sad" by Henry Kirke White

In news:

O f my list of top favorite Christmas gifts, the art box my aunt gave me when I was 6 is definitely in my top five.
Jim Hunt, top, John Arp, and Billie McBride are among the Denver theater scene's top understudies.
Entering 2012, there weren't a ton of questions facing the Patriots' offense, which finished last season at the top, or near the top, of many major statistical categories.
Lexis Public Relations, which was named as the UK's fastest growing PR company over five years in the 1997 PR Week Top 150, is in the top 100 fastest growing unquoted UK companies across all sectors, according to a new Sunday Times survey.
Tawa Supermarkets' annual sales, number of corporate stores, top executive, headquarters city and website, as reported in SN's 2011 Top 50 Small Chains and Independents, plus links to other Tawa Supermarkets stories.
Raley's Supermarkets' annual sales, number of corporate stores, top executive, headquarters city and website, as reported in SN's 2010 Top 75, plus links to other Raley's stories.
TOP O' THE MORN : A sacred circle topped Eerkes Hill.
Girls' Generation have proven to be one of the top acts in Asia topping the charts in both South Korea and Japan.
Top seed Nationals get top billing .
This top-of-the-line Goldmund-brand audio system tops out at close to $1 million.
Jamestown is the only team to have two players among the top 10 Trench Trophy finalists that were announced for Western New York high school football's top lineman.
The X-Factor' Top 8 will soon be the Top 6 after 2 more go home tonight.
There's a new name and tune at the top of this week's Top of the Charts.
Sing along with the shakeup as the top six teams find new positions and every team is compared to a lyric from a top 10 song.
The top two placers in each of the swimming events gained berths to the state meet, along with the top four divers .

In science:

The top panel shows runs of αo (points and dashed curve at top) and optical flux (solid curve).
Revealing the Energetics and Structure of AGN Jets
F ′ ) − χtop (F )) = c2 (S (A, d)) − χtop (F ) · χtop (B (A, d)).
Maximally irregularly fibred surfaces of general type
Because ∆ is a determinant, specific techniques can be used to study for instance the law of the top eigenvalue or the spacing distribution in the bulk or next to the top (cf. [117]).
Large deviations and stochastic calculus for large random matrices
For the construction of the power set p of a set a, we first take a power set b of preda (top(a)) by (POW) and obtain a numbering of the subsets of preda (top(a)) by the ξb function.
The Theory of Sets of Ordinals
The top plots of Figures 56 show the amplitudes and three spatial components of the acceleration on the Local group (top) and the convergence of the angle between the LG dipole and the CMB dipole (bottom) as a function of distance in two reference frames.
The Dipole Anisotropy of the 2 Micron All-Sky Redshift Survey