flap

noun
\ ˈflap How to pronounce flap (audio) \

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 Using a number of flaps, motors, and sensors to recreate the anatomy of a bird's sliding feathers in a wing could be perilous, as a lot could potentially go wrong. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "What This PigeonBot Tells Us About the Future of Flight," 21 Jan. 2020 To alleviate her suffering, veterinarians eventually decided to remove Lady's outer ear flaps -- which left her looking a little funny. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "A stray cat without ears has a new set of purple ones, thanks to an animal lover who crochets," 19 Jan. 2020 The channel will feature a variety of mill wheels, lock gates, flaps, forks and collecting areas for visitors to manipulate and explore. Aegis Staff Report, baltimoresun.com, "Plans unveiled at groundbreaking for Rockfield Park water-based play area," 22 Nov. 2019 That might seem like a lengthy period to focus on just one painting, but over the past four-plus centuries, this particular oil-on-panel artwork has endured its fair share of controversy—and not just for its prominent phallic flaps. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "Detroit Exhibit Celebrates Bruegel’s ‘The Wedding Dance’ and Its Controversial Codpieces," 13 Dec. 2019 Köhler has done graduate work in physics; Tent Pauli, named for the theoretical physicist, is photographed from the outside, its entrance flaps lined with a string of paper lanterns. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "How Hipcamp Became the Airbnb of the Outdoors," 2 Dec. 2019 In the current design, the wings have no flaps and so creating enough drag to slow the plane down enough to land is an issue Vos and his team will need to address. Molly Quell, Ars Technica, "The Flying V would be unlike any other passenger airliner, even in 2040," 22 Oct. 2019 Northern fur seals are distinct from harbor, ringed, bearded, ribbon and spotted seals in Alaska, which have no ear flaps. Washington Post, "Home sweet volcano: Alaska fur seals thrive at unlikely spot," 4 Oct. 2019 Northern fur seals are distinct from harbor, ringed, bearded, ribbon and spotted seals in Alaska, which have no ear flaps. Dan Joling, Anchorage Daily News, "Home sweet volcano: Alaska fur seals thrive in an unlikely spot," 4 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb During the 35 years leading up to the 20th century, there were increasing numbers of persons who conceived and patented different types of flying machines, ranging from flying steamships to aircraft with flapping wings. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "The Long, Complicated History of the Very First Flight," 17 Dec. 2019 My son not stimming next to me, his fingers flapping in excitement, his weight shifting from side to side. Hannah Grieco, chicagotribune.com, "They rage, and I struggle to help: What it’s like parenting children with mental illness," 18 Nov. 2019 In one spot, the flapping wings of a huge, mechanical dino-bird buzzed. Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, "‘Finally!’ Dinosaur lovers descend on the Smithsonian’s newly renovated fossil hall," 9 June 2019 Overhead, my small tent seemed suddenly huge—a fluttering, flapping red monster, bigger and harder to hold with every passing second. The Editors, Outside Online, "This Arctic Explorer Was One Tent Pole Away from Death," 26 Jan. 2020 With a ripping crack, my lower-right wing collapsed and the entire spread of taut canvas on the top wing tore loose and went flapping away in shreds. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "The Long, Complicated History of the Very First Flight," 17 Dec. 2019 The idea adults in midlife face a dark night of the soul -- or desperately escape from it, hair plugs flapping in a convertible's breeze -- is deeply rooted. Nick Haslam, CNN, "Why the 'midlife crisis' is a myth," 14 Oct. 2019 Some are sailors who want to watch the sheets flapping in the wind, some are excited about beyond-the-norm experiences such as traveling on ships that also carry cargo. Fran Golden, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Cruises for Non-Cruisers," 12 Sep. 2019 Our brother’s rib cage had become white paper prayer flags flapping inside the flames. Longreads, "A Beautiful, Rugged Place: Erosion of the Body," 7 June 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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Time Traveler for flap

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for flap

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flap. Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for flap

flap

noun
How to pronounce flap (audio)

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 How to pronounce flap (audio) \

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 How to pronounce flap (audio) \

Medical Definition of flap

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on flap

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flap

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flap

Spanish Central: Translation of flap

Nglish: Translation of flap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flap for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flap

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