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Apparently related to step, but with uncertain phonological development. Perhaps from a German Low German word like Stoop (step), from Middle Low German stōpe (step). More at stoop.



stope (plural stopes)

  1. A mining excavation in the form of a terrace of steps.
    • 2006, Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day, Vintage 2007, page 318,
      The other smell [] that worked its way into your clothes, your skin, your spirit, believed here to rise by way of long-deserted drifts and stopes, from the everyday atmosphere of Hell itself.

Derived terms[edit]


stope (third-person singular simple present stopes, present participle stoping, simple past and past participle stoped)

  1. (mining) To excavate in the form of stopes.
  2. (mining) To fill in with rubbish, as a space from which the ore has been worked out.