flap

noun
\ ˈflap \

Definition of flap 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

6a : 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

verb
flapped; flapping

Definition of flap (Entry 2 of 2)

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

2a : to beat or pulsate wings or something suggesting wings

b : to progress by flapping

c : to flutter ineffectively

3 : to talk foolishly and persistently

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

None of you, Trump told the lawmakers, had even heard of ZTE before the most recent flap. Erica Werner And Josh Dawsey, chicagotribune.com, "Senate, House GOP at odds over rare rebuke of Trump on national security," 5 July 2018 None of you, Trump told the lawmakers, had even heard of ZTE before the most recent flap. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: 10 stories illuminate the Trump doctrine on foreign policy," 5 July 2018 One of the plane's flaps was found in 2015 off the coast of Tanzania, suggesting they had not been deployed and that plane was uncontrolled or barely controlled at the time of the crash. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "Australian investigators dismiss MH370 murder-suicide theory," 23 May 2018 The book argues two wing flaps found on islands off Africa point to the pilot performing a controlled ditching outside the area scoured by sonar. USA TODAY, "Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: Search director disagrees with pilot ditch theory," 22 May 2018 But rays use only fins that flap in wavelike motion for propulsion and steering—no stabilizers needed. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "How Robot Stingrays Could One Day Sink a Battleship," 3 May 2018 But a winter of driving washboard roads led to service items above our handyman pay grade: rattling rocker panel, broken door lock, frozen toilet flap. Aaron Gulley, Outside Online, "Airstream in for Service? Go Backpacking," 21 Mar. 2018 There are active aero flaps in the hood, the front splitter, and the rear diffuser; the articulating rear wing can act as an active air brake; and the car’s underside is completely smooth and flat. Tony Markovich, Car and Driver, "With 1888 HP, the Rimac C_Two Puts Croatia on the Supercar Map," 7 Mar. 2018 Predictably, there were complaints Tuesday because Louisville had to take down its banner while North Carolina’s from 2005 proudly flaps inside the Dean Smith Center. Andy Staples, SI.com, "Louisville Should Have Acted Like It Had Bigger Problems Than a Meaningless Banner Removal," 20 Feb. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At a display industry conference in May, the buzz was about prototypes of screens that were flexible enough to roll and flap in the wind. Geoffrey Fowler, Philly.com, "Whoa! Meet the future phones that fold up, have 9 cameras, and charge over thin air," 1 July 2018 This explanation jibes with the British tradition of flying a ‘half-staff’ flag exactly one flag’s width lower than its normal position to underscore that Death’s flag is flapping above it. Michael E. Miller, Washington Post, "‘Disgraceful’: Trump once criticized Obama for not swiftly lowering the American flag. Now it’s his turn.," 3 July 2018 Older babies and toddlers might avoid eye contact, fail to answer to their names, or do repetitive movements such as rocking back and forth or flapping their arms. Maria Polletta, azcentral, "Could a Phoenix center's research change how autism is diagnosed?," 2 July 2018 At a display industry conference in May, the buzz was about prototypes of screens that were flexible enough to roll and flap in the wind. Geoffrey Fowler, courant.com, "Future Phones: They Fold Like Napkins, Have 9 Cameras, Charge Over Thin Air," 6 July 2018 Sleeves flapped and unfurled in a unique bell shape achieved thanks to an open zipper up the arm. Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, "Chanel recreates Paris for couture show celebrating the city," 3 July 2018 His father, Steven Jackson, led the procession with a solemn gaze as the purple ribbon on his chest flapped in the wind. Hanna Krueger, NOLA.com, "Hundreds gather to celebrate the life of Keeven Robinson, who died in JPSO custody," 19 May 2018 Like everyone who buys $200,000 convertibles, Aston Martin customers don’t like the idea of making any sacrifices for the right to feel their Hermès scarves flap in the wind coming off the Riviera. Alex Davies, WIRED, "Unfold the Complex Engineering of Aston Martin's Super Swanky Convertible," 9 May 2018 Once the domain of specialty restaurants and sports bars, chicken wings have flapped their way into the mainstream, whether at pizzerias, steakhouses or burger joints. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "Americans to eat 1.35 billion wings during Super Bowl weekend," 2 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flap.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of flap

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

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

History and Etymology for flap

Noun

Middle English flappe

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Learn More about flap

Phrases Related to flap

in a flap

Statistics for flap

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flap

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

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More Definitions for flap

flap

noun

English Language Learners Definition of flap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a flat piece of material that is attached to something on one side and that can be easily moved

: the movement or sound of something that is moving up and down or back and forth

: a state or situation in which many people are excited or upset

flap

verb

English Language Learners Definition of flap (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move (something) up and down or back and forth

flap

noun
\ ˈflap \

Kids Definition of flap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something broad and flat or flexible that hangs loose Tape the box flaps closed.

2 : the motion or sound made by something broad and flexible (as a sail or wing) moving back and forth

3 : an upset or worried state of mind Don't get in a flap over nothing.

flap

verb
flapped; flapping

Kids Definition of flap (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move with a beating or fluttering motion Birds flapped their wings.

flap

noun
\ ˈflap \

Medical Definition of flap 

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

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Comments on flap

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