When used to measure liquids in the English system1, a cup is equivalent to:

1Nowadays, the American system

Also the part of a bra that holds a woman's breast and a measurement of a woman's physical breast size.

For those trying to use American recipes in metric countries:

1 cup is approximately 250 millilitres.

Solid measures

British			American

1 lb fat			2 cups
14 oz rice			1 cup		
1 lb flour			4 cups
1 oz flour 			1/4 cup		
1 lb sugar			2 cups
1 oz sugar			2 tablespoons
1 lb icing sugar		3.5 cups 
2 oz breadcrumbs		1 cup
12 oz golden syrup		1 cup

Liquid measures

1 pint 				2.5 cups
20 fluid oz			2.5 cups
16 fluid oz			1 pint (USA)

In Australia, 1 pint is equal to 20 liquid ounces, but when measuring solids an 8 oz cup is used. (Is that right sneff?)

Common short term for the "protective cup" worn by male athletes playing contact sports to shield their delicate parts from injury. The cup is most often made of hard plastic, with a softer rubber or foam gasket around the edge for comfort. It may be somewhat triangular in shape, or contoured to curve from the pubic bone to the perineum. The former is good only against impacts from directly in front, the latter also guards against impacts from below/between the legs. Historically, a cup is worn tucked inside the pouch of a jock strap designed to hold it (worn in place of common underwear,) but in recent years, they sell compression shorts with a front pocket that some people find more comfortable. Some cups made specifically for martial arts are labeled to be worn on top of clothing, but this just looks silly, and might not protect the wearer as well as he thinks. (Getting hit with a nut trapped under the edge of a cup may be more painful than the same hit without the cup!)

It's never been particularly cool to wear a cup. In sports with tight-fitting pants like baseball or football, it creates a silly-looking bulge. In spite of that, you used to wear it anyways, as common sense told you that however bad it looked, or however uncomfortable it was, that paled in comparison to being hit in the junk. Or perhaps your coaches enforced it with cup checks. (Taking a hit off your cup still hurts, but since the blow is deflected to the pubic bone, it's nowhere near as painful.) Nowadays, a lot of guys think they can react fast enough to avoid the hit, or it won't be that bad. Unless rules or coaches require it, almost nobody wears them in football anymore, and many pitchers and outfielders in baseball have abandoned them too. "I don't need it," they tell you.

An anecdote to counter that fallacy: Senior year of high school, my centerfielder (we'll call him "Eddie",) quit wearing his cup. His logic was that, as an outfielder, the ball took long enough to reach him that he had plenty of time to react to it. Midway through the season, he charged in on a hard-hit ground ball up the middle. It looked like he had it... until it struck a a sprinkler head, bounced, and hit him square in the nuts. To his credit, Eddie picked up the ball and threw it to his cutoff man before the overwhelming pain set in. The game stopped for about five or ten minutes as he writhed in agony in front of two teams and their attending parents. Including Eddie's.

The next day, Eddie started wearing a cup again. Don't be foolish. Nobody's perfect, and accidents happen.

Cup (k?p), n. [AS. cuppe, LL. cuppa cup; cf. L. cupa tub, cask; cf. also Gr. hut, Skr. kpa pit, hollow, OSlav. kupa cup. Cf. Coop, Cupola, Cowl a water vessel, and Cob, Coif, Cop.]


A small vessel, used commonly to drink from; as, a tin cup, a silver cup, a wine cup; especially, in modern times, the pottery or porcelain vessel, commonly with a handle, used with a saucer in drinking tea, coffee, and the like.


The contents of such a vessel; a cupful.

Give me a cup of sack, boy. Shak.

3. pl.

Repeated potations; social or exessive indulgence in intoxicating drinks; revelry.

Thence from cups to civil broils. Milton.


That which is to be received or indured; that which is allotted to one; a portion.

O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me. Matt. xxvi. 39.


Anything shaped like a cup; as, the cup of an acorn, or of a flower.

The cowslip's golden cup no more I see. Shenstone.

6. Med.

A cupping glass or other vessel or instrument used to produce the vacuum in cupping.

Cup and ball, a familiar toy of children, having a cup on the top of a piece of wood to which, a ball is attached by a cord; the ball, being thrown up, is to be caught in the cup; bilboquet. Milman.- Cup and can, familiar companions. -- Dry cup, Wet cup Med., a cup used for dry or wet cupping. See under Cupping. -- To be in one's cups, to be drunk.


© Webster 1913.

Cup, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Cupped (k?pt); p. pr. & vb. n. Cupping.]


To supply with cups of wine.


Cup us, till the world go round. Shak.

2. Surg.

To apply a cupping apparatus to; to subject to the operation of cupping. See Cupping.

3. Mech.

To make concave or in the form of a cup; as, to cup the end of a screw.


© Webster 1913.

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