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[oo ps, oops] /ʊps, ups/

(used to express mild dismay, chagrin, surprise, etc., as at one’s own mistake, a clumsy act, or social blunder.)
/ʊps; uːps/
an exclamation of surprise or of apology as when someone drops something or makes a mistake

“a natural exclamation” [OED] of surprise at doing something awkward, but attested only from 1933 (cf. whoops).


An exclamation of surprise, dismay, apology, etc, esp when one has done something awkward: Mr Belve, oops, I mean Webb, is ecstatic (1933+)


A blunder; serious mistake; goof, whoops: Might have saved her life. Basic oops (1980s+)


(also oops up) To vomit; barf (1980s+)

[echoic, fr the involuntary lip-rounding and expulsion of breath that accompany a regrettable mistake, and from an approximation of the sound of vomiting]

“OOPS: A Knowledge Representation Language”, D. Vermeir, Proc 19th Intl Hawaii Conf on System Sciences, IEEE (Jan 1986) pp.156-157.


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