fly the coop


  1. an enclosure, cage, or pen, usually with bars or wires, in which fowls or other small animals are confined for fattening, transportation, etc.
  2. any small or narrow place.
  3. Slang. a prison.
  4. Sometimes Facetious. a cooperative, especially the cooperative bookstore of a college or university.

verb (used with object)

  1. to place in or as if in a coop; confine narrowly (often followed by up or in).

verb (used without object)

  1. Slang. (of a police officer) to park and sleep inside one’s patrol car while on duty.
  1. fly the coop, Informal. to run off; depart abruptly; escape: We stopped to see my sister, but she’d flown the coop.


  1. a cage or small enclosure for poultry or small animals
  2. a small narrow place of confinement, esp a prison cell
  3. a wicker basket for catching fish


  1. (tr; often foll by up or in) to confine in a restricted area


  1. a cooperative, cooperative society, or shop run by a cooperative society

the internet domain name for

  1. a cooperative

“small cage for poultry,” mid-14c., from Old English cype, cypa “basket, cask,” akin to Middle Dutch kupe, Swedish kupa, and all probably from Latin cupa “tub, cask,” from PIE *keup- “hollow mound” (see cup (n.)).


1560s, from coop (n.). Related: Cooped; cooping.

To get away or escape: “The Hendersons found the cocktail party rather dull and decided to fly the coop.”

Escape, run away, as in After years of fighting with my mother, my father finally flew the coop. This term originally meant “escape from jail,” known as the coop in underworld slang since the late 1700s. [Late 1800s]

see fly the coop.

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