Sinope was the daughter of Asopus, and according to some accounts was carried off by Zeus to the city of this name on the Black Sea (today in Turkey). Others say that it was Apollo who abducted her, and that she bore him Syrus, the ancestor of the Syrians.

Her name appears to contain the element that means 'face' (ops), but the first half of her name is difficult to interpret with any certainty. It can hardly be from sinos, 'harm', 'mischief'. Robert Graves makes the name mean 'moon-face', with the sin- element presumably deriving from selene, 'moon'.