Environment friendly methods for the synthesis of copper nanoparticles have become a valuable trend in the current scenario. The utilization of phytochemicals from plant extracts has become a unique technology for the synthesis of nanoparticles, as they possess dual nature of reducing and capping agents to the nanoparticles. In the present investigation we have synthesized copper nanoparticles (CuNPs) using a rare medicinal plant Cissus arnotiana and evaluated their antibacterial activity against gram negative and gram positive bacteria. The morphology and characterization of the synthesized CuNPs were studied and done using UV-Visible spectroscopy at a wavelength range of 350–380 nm. XRD studies were performed for analyzing the crystalline nature; SEM and TEM for evaluating the spherical shape within the size range of 60–90 nm and AFM was performed to check the surface roughness. The biosynthesized CuNPs showed better antibacterial activity against the gram-negative bacteria, E. coli with an inhibition zone of 22.20 ± 0.16 mm at 75 μg/ml. The antioxidant property observed was comparatively equal with the standard antioxidant agent ascorbic acid at a maximum concentration of 40 μg/ ml. This is the first study reported on C. arnotiana mediated biosynthesis of copper nanoparticles, where we believe that the findings can pave way for a new direction in the field of nanotechnology and nanomedicine where there is a significant potential for antibacterial and antioxidant activities. We predict that, these could lead to an exponential increase in the field of biomedical applications, with the utilization of green synthesized CuNPs, due to its remarkable properties. The highest antibacterial property was observed with gram-negative strains mainly, E. coli, due to its thin peptidoglycan layer and electrostatic interactions between the bacterial cell wall and CuNPs surfaces. Hence, CuNPs can be potent therapeutic agents in several biomedical applications, which are yet to be explored in the near future. © 2019 Elsevier B.V.