Definition of dropper in English:



  • 1A short glass tube with a rubber bulb at one end and a tiny hole at the other, for measuring out drops of medicine or other liquids.

    ‘oils sold in bottles with a rubber-tipped dropper’
    ‘an eye dropper’
    • ‘When using liquid medication, use a calibrated dropper, medicine syringe or measuring spoon to insure that you are giving your child an accurate amount of medication.’
    • ‘With a medicine dropper, drop 20 drops of water inside the circle.’
    • ‘Small doses may need to be measured by a special dropper instead of a teaspoon.’
    • ‘She bit her lip and stuck a medicine dropper into the bottle, filling it with a quick squeeze.’
    • ‘When purchasing oils, be skeptical of oils that are bottled in clear glass or have a rubber dropper incorporated into its screw-top cap.’
    • ‘Have the child lie on one side, and using a medicine dropper, put one to three drops into the ear.’
    • ‘Using a shoestring, a medicine dropper, and a sponge strip, how long does it take to get 10 ml of water from the graduated cylinder to the cup?’
    • ‘Don't buy essential oils with rubber glass dropper tops.’
    • ‘It's easy enough to put a piece of brass on the scale and use a medicine dropper to fill the case.’
    • ‘Using a medicine dropper, tongs, and tweezers, how long does it take to remove 30 grains of rice from the bark of a tree?’
    • ‘So (turning this into a marketing tool,) they sold the stuff as a kit, with empty capsules and a dropper to make your own dose.’
    • ‘Get the kind with the little test tubes and droppers.’
    • ‘These medications are usually applied to the infected areas with a dropper or with your finger after a feeding.’
    • ‘Great care must be taken when patients need ocular treatments in addition to other treatments contained in dropper bottles.’
    • ‘Rinse the dropper with hot water and dry with a clean tissue.’
    • ‘This medicine is to be taken by mouth even if it comes in a dropper bottle.’
    • ‘He extracted a few drops of the green contents with the dropper and squeezed the drug into his coffee-Scotch mixture.’
    • ‘You would get less mercury in the dropper than you would water if you squeezed the bulb equally in both cases.’
    • ‘I prefer syringes, but droppers (from chemists) are another method, albeit more troublesome.’
    • ‘When doses of liquid iron supplement are applied with a dropper, the dose should be placed well back on the tongue, and followed with water or juice.’
  • 2Australian, New Zealand, South African A light vertical stave in a fence, especially a lath used to separate the wires of a wire fence.

    ‘Do you require non-electric droppers, barbed wire, iowa pattern, soft wire or high tensile?’
    ‘The galvanised steel fence dropper is the most convenient and easy to use fence dropper.’
  • 3Fishing
    A subsidiary line or loop of filament attached to a main line or leader.

    as modifier ‘a dropper line’
    • ‘My point fly is a heavy leaded nymph with a pheasant tail nymph on a dropper or tied in line some 12 inches above the heavy point fly.’
    • ‘Put the bulk shot or an olivette about 18 inches from the hook and a dropper about 8 inches from the hook.’
    • ‘One or two flies is normally quite sufficient for May loch style fishing and make sure droppers are well spaced so as to look unrelated.’
    • ‘On weedy or messy bottoms, I often fish with a small nymph on a dropper about 18 inches from the booby.’
    • ‘I generally use this fly as a top dropper on a three fly cast, and I have found that it is a good one to use on a sinking line.’


Mid 17th century (in the sense ‘a person who lets something drop’); dropper (sense 1) is first recorded in the late 19th century.