1 noun (C)
1 THE HIGHEST PART the highest part of something: the top of: Place the mixture in the top of the oven. | The top of the mountain is covered with snow. | I filled the glass right to the top. | She could only just see over the tops of their heads. | at the top (of sth): Write your name at the top of the page. | I stood at the top of the stairs. | the very top (=the highest part): The book I wanted was at the very top of the stack. | up the top spoken (=at or near the top of a tree, mountain etc): You'll see it when you get up the top of the hill. | tree top/roof-top/hill-top etc: the white cliff-tops in the distance
—opposite bottom 1 (1)
2 UPPER SURFACE the flat upper surface of an object: papers spread all over the top of the piano | The table has a glass top.
3 BEST POSITION the top the best, most successful, or most important position in an organization,company, group etc: He started life at the bottom and worked his way up to the top. | the cult of secrecy at the top | the top of: people who are near the top of the wages league | (at the) top of the class/division etc (=the best in a list or in an order of things): We came top of our group three years running. | top of the range informal (=an expression meaning one of the best or most expensive, used especially in advertising): ia perfectly smooth ride, as you would expect from the top of the range product | the top of the tree informal (=the highest position in a profession): By now Vivien Westwood had reached the top of the fashion tree.
—opposite bottom 1 (5)
4 be (at the) top of the list/agenda something that is at the top of the list etc will be dealt with or discussed first: Defence isn't always at the top of the political agenda!
5 on top
a) on the highest point or surface of something: Sprinkle some Parmesan on top and grill. | a hat with a red pom-pom on top | on top of: There's $10 on top of the refrigerator. | one on top of the other also on top of one another (=in a pile): The workmen were stacking the crates on top of one another.
—opposite underneath 1
b) in the most successful or important position in business, a game etc: The All Blacks stayed on top throughout the match.
c) on the highest part of your head: Cut it short on top, please.
6 on top of
a) if something dangerous or threatening is on top of you, it is very near you: The truck was almost on top of us.
b) if something bad happens to you on top of something else, it happens when you have other problems: On top of everything else, I now owe my parents $10,000 for the fines!
c) in complete control of a job, situation etc: Don't worry; I'm back on top of things now
7 come out on top to win a difficult struggle or argument, especially one that has lasted for a long time: It's very difficult to predict who will come out on top.
8 get on top of if work, a problem etc gets on top of you, it begins to make you feel unhappy and upset: Things are starting to get on top of him.
9 on top of the world informal extremely happy: When I heard she'd been released I felt on top of the world!
10 COVER something that you put on a pen, bottle etc to close it, especially something that you push or turn: You've left the top off the toothpaste again! | Where's the top of this pen? | bottle/pen etc: Milk bottle tops
—see also: screw top
11 CLOTHES a piece of clothing that you wear on the upper part of your body: her stripy top | a skirt with a matching top | slip your pyjama top off
12 PLANT the part of a fruit or vegetable where it was attached to the plant, or the leaves of a plant whose root you can eat: Cut the tops off the tomatoes. | carrot tops
13 the top of the milk BrE the creamy part that rises to the top of a bottle of milk
14 STREET/FIELD ETC the part of the street or of a piece of land that is the furthest away either from you or from the most important entrance to it: I waited at the top of East Street.
15 the top of the table the part of a long dinner table where the most important people sit
—see also: top table
16 off the top of your head informal if you answer a question or provide information off the top of your head, you do it immediately without checking the facts: Just off the top of my head I'd say there were about 50.
17 sing/shout at the top of your voice to sing etc as loudly as you possibly can: We yelled at the tops of our voices.
18 from the top spoken an expression meaning from the beginning, used especially in the theatre: Alright. Once more from the top. Action!
19 from top to bottom if you clean or search somewhere from top to bottom, you do it very thoroughly
20 from top to toe if a person is dressed or covered in something from top to toe, they are completely dressed or covered in it: expensive Parisian couture from top to toe
21 the top and bottom of BrE spoken the general result or meaning of a situation, expressed in a few words: He's trying to embarrass you, that's the top and bottom of it.
22 not have much up top BrE spoken to be not very intelligent
23 tops BrE spoken used after a number to say that it is the highest possible amount of money you will get: You'll make -200 from it, -250 tops.
24 be (the) tops old fashioned informal to be the best
25 TOY a child's toy that spins around on its point when the child twists it
26 spin like a top to spin or turn round very quickly: The impact sent me spinning like a top.
27 sleep like a top BrE to sleep very deeply and well
2 adjective (only before noun)
1 HIGHEST at the top; highest: the top button of his shirt | I can dive off the top board. | Sprinkle cheese over the top layer of tomatoes. | top floor: Andrew lives on the top floor. | top priority: We are giving the matter top priority. | the top 50/third/20% etc: She is among the top 5% of earners in this country. | We weren't even in the top 100 companies.
—opposite bottom 2 (1)
2 top left/right/centre expressions meaning the picture at or nearest the top of the pages on the left or right or in the centre, used in magazines and newspapers: Top right: Silk Blouse -95 from Harrods.
3 BEST best or most successful: one of our top tennis players | a top New York salon | people in top jobs | top quality ingredients | She got top marks. | be on top form (=to be doing something that you are good at especially well): Our team's on top form at the moment.
4 top speed the fastest speed a vehicle can move at: We chased after them at top speed.
5 top copy a piece of written material that is produced first and from which copies have been or can be made.
6 the top brass informal people in positions of high rank, especially in the army, navy etc
7 top dog informal the person in the highest or most important position especially after a struggle or effort
8 HIGH SOCIAL CLASS old-fashioned informal from the highest social class: a top people's magazine
3 verb topped, topping (T)
1 BE HIGHER to be higher or more than something: Their profits have reportedly topped -1,000,000 this year.
2 top an offer/bid etc to offer more money than someone else: A rival company has topped our offer by $5 million.
3 BE BETTER if you top someone else's remarks or actions you say or do something better, funnier or more exciting: top that: And we also met Michael Jackson. Bet you can't top that !
4 top the bill/charts etc to come first in a list or in an order of things: Their party topped the poll in only 12 seats.
—see also: chart­topping
5 be topped by sth if something, especially an article of clothing, a mountain, or a building, is topped by something else, it has that thing on its top: Roofs topped by fat chimneys | trellis-topped brick walls
6 topped with cream/onions etc with cream etc on the top: spicy new pizzas topped with curry sauce
—see also: topping 1
7 to top it all spoken in addition to other bad things that have happened to you: To top it all I lost my job.
8 top and tail BrE to cut the top and bottom off a piece of fruit or a vegetable
9 REACH THE TOP literary if you top a rising piece of ground, you reach the top of it: Our wagon topped the crest of the hill and we gasped at the view before us.
10 top yourself BrE slang to kill yourself deliberately
top sth off phrasal verb (T) to complete something successfully by doing a last action or adding a last detail: Let's top off the evening with a drink. | A cherry on each cake would top them off nicely. top out phrasal verb (I) if something such as a price that is increasing tops out, it reaches its highest point and stops rising: Do you think interest rates have topped out now? top sth/sb up phrasal verb (T) especially BrE
1 to fill a partly empty container with liquid: I'll just top up the coffee pot.
2 to put more drink in someone's glass or cup: Can I top you up?
3 to increase the level of something slightly so as to bring it back to the level you want: Top up your tan this winter!
—see also: top­up

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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