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cop out

Meaning: to not do something you should do because of fear of failure

For example:

  • My friend Clive could have been a great concert pianist, but he copped out and became a piano teacher instead.

  • Brenda should have gone on the TV show to promote her new book, but she copped out because she was so nervous. She made up some excuse about feeling sick.

Quick Quiz:

She could have been a successful writer, but Lydia copped out and became a literary editor because she
  1. was afraid of failing
  2. was sick of writing
  3. wanted to be famous

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