According to the dictionaries, "copper" aside from that is the name of a reddish-brown soft metal, as an adjective means a reddish brown color too. I need to make sure if it can be used as an adjective to refer to something like a dish, etc. which is made of copper or I have to use copper made?

  • And do you have any research to present to us?
    – Lambie
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 16:07
  • @Lambie having a look on all dictionaries' definitions is what I did. The only reference to copper as an adjective alluding to something made of copper is a coin or token made of copper or bronze which doesn't satisfy my need.
    – A-friend
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 16:47
  • 1
    just try googling then: copper coins, copper plates, copper pipes
    – Lambie
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 16:49
  • The term you're looking for is "noun adjunct". Commented May 6, 2019 at 8:57
  • We assume whatever research you did didn’t help you, because if it did, you wouldn’t be asking your question. You still should include it in your question.
    – ColleenV
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 13:50

2 Answers 2


You can certainly say "copper dish", "copper penny", etc.

The names of some materials need to change form when used as an adjective (like "woolen blanket", "wooden spoon", oaken bucket ...).

Silk can go either way: "silken fabric" or "silk purse". But copper just stays "copper".

[I thought I had seen the word "coppern" used in old-fashioned type writing, but looking it up, I can't find any sign of its existence.]

  • 2
    silver, gold, copper, steel etc. don't change either
    – Lambie
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 16:50
  • 3
    @Lambie golden? Commented May 5, 2019 at 18:10
  • 3
    @GrzegorzOledzki "Golden" often refers to the color rather than the material. For example, the man with golden hair sells gold jewelry.
    – Tashus
    Commented May 5, 2019 at 18:29
  • @Tashus makes sense, as "The Man with the Golden Gun" very probably does not have a gun entirely made of gold. It probably would fail at the second use - and be prohibitively heavy... Commented May 6, 2019 at 11:09

Yes, "copper" can be used as an attributive noun. These examples describe various items made out of the metal:

Copper roofs turn green over time.

In America, most new houses have copper wiring.

We ate off of copper plates.

  • 2
    This, by the way, is why the dictionaries failed to give "made of copper" as a meaning for the adjective form. As Jasper says, it's an attributive noun when used in this sense, not an adjective. Commented May 6, 2019 at 4:26

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