flap

1 of 2

noun

1
: a stroke with something broad : slap
2
obsolete : something broad and flat used for striking
3
: something that is broad, limber, or flat and usually thin and that hangs loose or projects freely: such as
a
: a piece on a garment that hangs free
b
: a part of a book jacket that folds under the book's cover
c
: a piece of tissue partly severed from its place of origin for use in surgical grafting
d
: an extended part forming the closure (as of an envelope or carton)
4
: the motion of something broad and limber (such as a sail or wing)
5
: a movable auxiliary airfoil usually attached to an airplane wing's trailing edge to increase lift or drag see airplane illustration
6
a
: a state of excitement or agitation : tizzy, uproar
b
: something that generates an uproar
7
: a consonant (such as the sound \d\ in ladder and \t\ in latter) characterized by a single rapid contact of the tongue or lower lip against another point in the mouth

called also tap

flap

2 of 2

verb

flapped; flapping

transitive verb

1
: to beat with or as if with a flap
2
: to toss sharply : fling
3
: to move or cause to move in flaps

intransitive verb

1
: to sway loosely usually with a noise of striking and especially when moved by wind
2
a
: to beat or pulsate wings or something suggesting wings
b
: to progress by flapping
c
: to flutter ineffectively
3
: to talk foolishly and persistently

Examples of flap in a Sentence

Noun She opened the tent flap and crawled outside. the inside flap of a book's cover a loose flap of skin Verb The breeze flapped the sails. The flag flapped in the breeze. The bird's wings were flapping.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The plane's crew reported that engine cowling fell off during takeoff and struck the wing flap, the FAA said. Sarah Al-Arshani, USA TODAY, 8 Apr. 2024 Earlier, there had been a flap over an exemption for workers in restaurants that bake and sell bread. Dan Walters, The Mercury News, 28 Mar. 2024 The zip top secured with the leather flap also keeps your haul safe, making this a very convenient every day bag option. Paula Lee, Glamour, 26 Feb. 2024 The massive seabirds — some have wingspans of up to 12 feet — spend their lives on their wings, soaring up to 500 miles a day and cruising at 80 mph with barely a flap, so developing flight skills are critical to survival. Erika I. Ritchie, Orange County Register, 5 Feb. 2024 So the pilot pulls the flaps in and can set the engine to produce less power. Craig Merrett, Discover Magazine, 25 Mar. 2024 It is located in the hollow just in front of the flap of the ear. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Feb. 2024 First, most anti-theft backpacks appear to have no visible access points, as zippers and pouches are hidden by flaps. Chris Abell, Travel + Leisure, 5 Feb. 2024 At the shopping mall, Ethan opened the flap of the claw machine. Aspen Pflughoeft, Miami Herald, 1 Feb. 2024
Verb
The adorable penguin flaps its flippers and dances, bobbing from side to side. Maya Polton, Parents, 29 Mar. 2024 Data suggests that condors flap their wings less than 1% of the time while in flight. Scott Travers, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 Planes with flapping wings sound more anime than aerospace, but the world’s largest airframers on both sides of the Atlantic are expediting prototypes that could shape the next generation of business and commercial jets in entirely unconventional ways. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 24 Mar. 2024 The next room, a 5,000-square-foot space with 40-foot ceilings, uses 26 projectors to display shifting, contorting images from Nachum’s artwork: a giant bird flapping its wings, a cascade of flower petals, a person wearing a crown with Braille on it. Christopher Kuo, New York Times, 8 Mar. 2024 Soaring birds–such as condors, eagles, hawks, albatrosses, gulls, storks and gannets–generally rely on large wingspans and slotted feathers at the wingtip to keep them in flight with little flapping. Scott Travers, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 Outside, tables were overturned, tablecloths flapping. Aryn Kyle, Harper's Magazine, 26 Feb. 2024 Eurasian serotine bats can be recognized by their long smoky-brown fur (with pale yellow-brown underbelly), large triangular ears, and distinctive flight pattern: bouts of flapping interspersed with brief glides. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 27 Nov. 2023 Aside from the ultra-intricate helicopter with flapping propellers and a retractable ramp and feet, the kit comes with eight recognizable faces in Minifigure form, including Paul Atreides, Chani Kynes, and Duncan Idaho. Melissa Epifano, EW.com, 1 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flap.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English flappe

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of flap was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near flap

Cite this Entry

“Flap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flap. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

flap

1 of 2 noun
1
2
: a broad, limber, or flat piece that hangs loose (as on a pocket or envelope)
3
: the motion or sound of a flap
4
: a movable part of an airplane wing that is attached to the trailing edge of the wing and that is used to increase lift or drag

flap

2 of 2 verb
flapped; flapping
1
2
: to move or cause to move with a beating motion
flapping its wings

Medical Definition

flap

noun
: a piece of tissue partly severed from its place of origin for use in surgical grafting

More from Merriam-Webster on flap

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