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 But particles are escaping through small gaps where a Mylar flap, or lid, is being held open by at least a centimeter by large rocks. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "NASA successfully collected a sample from asteroid Bennu, but some of it is leaking into space," 23 Oct. 2020 This question has come up in restaurant regulations for outdoor dining: In Washington, eateries may serve patrons in tents, but only if no more than a single flap is down. Washington Post, "How to safely — and graciously — host friends and family as the weather gets colder," 15 Oct. 2020 Officers in riot gear blocked an open flap in the fabric; the mob pressed against them, screaming insults. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, "Among the Insurrectionists," 15 Jan. 2021 Lauretta said these bulkier pebbles were just large enough to prevent that flap from closing. Amy Thompson, Smithsonian Magazine, "NASA Snags Its First Asteroid Sample," 6 Nov. 2020 The flap was meant to allow material in—but not out. Chris Wright, Wired, "How NASA Scrambled to Save OSIRIS-REx From Leaky Disaster," 16 Dec. 2020 The mission team analyzed images Thursday taken of the collector head of the spacecraft that showed that a substantial sample was collected -- but there is so much material in the head that the flap designed to keep the sample inside is jammed. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "NASA successfully collected a sample from asteroid Bennu, but some of it is leaking into space," 23 Oct. 2020 By Friday morning, however, the flap appeared to be working fine. Washington Post, "Where’s the slot? With some voters confused, Md. officials detail how ballot dropboxes work.," 23 Oct. 2020 One of the traits researchers are keenest to explore is one that would eliminate a flap inside the vanilla flowers called the rostellum. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Newly Sequenced Vanilla Genome Could Boost Tiny Global Supply," 23 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Snap the canvas flap onto the canoe and drape it over your gun. Ryan Chelius, Field & Stream, "How to Make a DIY Gun Rack for a Duck-Hunting Canoe," 18 Feb. 2021 At its war memorial, the flags of the United States and 15 other nations that fought for South Korea flap in the wind. New York Times, "The Korean War Emptied the Town. Those Who Rebuilt It May Now Be Rewarded," 12 Jan. 2021 On Tangier Island, the Keep America Great flags still flap in the wind off the bay over deserted streets and closed restaurants. Washington Post, "On a Trump-loving island in the Chesapeake, a virus outbreak unites instead of divides," 22 Dec. 2020 Others, including finches, flap them intermittently, rising and falling like a roller coaster. Paul Stenquist, Star Tribune, "Want the birds to come entertain you? Set a good table," 8 Dec. 2020 Others, including finches, flap them intermittently, rising and falling like a roller coaster. Paul Stenquist, Star Tribune, "Want the birds to come entertain you? Set a good table," 8 Dec. 2020 Others, including finches, flap them intermittently, rising and falling like a roller coaster. Paul Stenquist, Star Tribune, "Want the birds to come entertain you? Set a good table," 8 Dec. 2020 To sufficiently coat themselves in dust, turkeys flap their wings, sometimes turning over on their back and wriggling in the dirt. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, "View Amazing Photos and Video of a Turkey Dust Bathing," 25 Nov. 2020 To achieve peak downforce, Ferrari added a shut-off Gurney flap in the rear and an active control system that adjusts downforce over the rear axle. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "986-HP 2021 Ferrari SF90 Spider Is a 211-MPH Hybrid Droptop," 12 Nov. 2020

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

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flap. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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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 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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Comments on flap

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