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a. A small open container, usually with a flat bottom and a handle, used for drinking.
b. Such a container and its contents.
2. Abbr. c. A unit of capacity or volume equal to 16 tablespoons or 8 fluid ounces (237 milliliters). See Table at measurement.
3. The bowl of a drinking vessel.
4. The chalice or the wine used in the celebration of the Eucharist.
5. A decorative cup-shaped vessel awarded as a prize or trophy.
6. Sports A golf hole or the metal container inside a hole.
7. Either of the two parts of a brassiere that fit over the breasts.
8. An athletic supporter having a protective reinforcement of rigid plastic or metal.
9. A sweetened, flavored, usually chilled beverage, especially one made with wine: claret cup.
10. A dish served in a cup-shaped vessel: fruit cup.
a. A cuplike object.
b. Biology A cuplike structure or organ.
12. A lot or portion to be suffered or enjoyed.
tr.v. cupped, cup·ping, cups
1. To shape like a cup: cup one's hands.
2. To place one's curved hand or hands over or around: cupped his chin in his hands.
3. To subject to the therapeutic procedure of cupping.
cup of tea
1. Something that one excels in or enjoys: Opera is not my cup of tea.
2. A matter to be reckoned or dealt with: Recreational sport is relaxing. Professional sport is another cup of tea altogether.
in (one's) cups
Intoxicated; drunk.

[Middle English cuppe, from Old English, from Late Latin cuppa, drinking vessel, perhaps variant of Latin cūpa, tub, cask.]


hollowed like a cup; concave
References in classic literature ?
In his cupped hands he brought the water toward his face and, at the moment he was about to apply it, made pointless attempts to blow it away.
His hands were cupped to receive the life blood of the victim--the red nectar that at Opar would have filled the golden sacrificial goblets.
Rain, beating heavily upon his body, awakened him and sitting up he cupped his hands and caught the precious drops which he transferred to his parched throat.