Part of speech: noun
Origin: Old English, late 16th century
A small group of trees.
Examples of Copse in a sentence
"The hikers decided to take shelter near a convenient copse."
"The plaza was beautiful around Christmas, especially the copse draped in twinkling lights."
Popularity Over Time
The Latin word "colpus," or blow, transitioned into the Old English word "coppice," which described the act of cutting back shrubbery to encourage new growth. Since the new growth often ended up taking over the area, the word was shortened into "copse" to describe the group of trees that resulted.
Did you Know?
While a copse can be artificially created by growing and maintaining seedlings in a close group, those found in the wild often sprout from the stumps of cut or felled trees. This is why trees within a copse grow so close to each other — often, several new sprouts emerge from the same stump.