\ 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


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


She opened the tent flap and crawled outside. the inside flap of a book's cover a loose flap of skin


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

That’s an important bit of bio on Wilsey, who found herself at the center of the flap over Shanti Project giving her its Nancy Pelosi Lifetime Achievement Award. Willie Brown, SFChronicle.com, "SF streets are a tragedy waiting to happen. Do we have the will to head it off?," 31 Aug. 2019 Tesar finds the method well-suited for thin cuts, like flat iron or sirloin flap. Dallas News, "Sous vide school: 3 top Dallas chefs teach us how to cook chicken, steak and even octopus," 20 Aug. 2019 In another pre-trip tweet, Trump again complained about news coverage surrounding the mass shootings, in this case a flap over how The New York Times changed a headline related to his Monday speech about the attacks. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "'El Paso will not be quiet': Trump, Beto O'Rourke clash before presidential visit to El Paso," 6 Aug. 2019 Add a cat flap to a door, window, wall cut, or build a tunnel or screened walkway. oregonlive.com, "See screened playgrounds purr-fect for felines: Portland Catio Tour," 19 Aug. 2019 With a small pouch, a flap with some hardware, and an elastic Velcro band, the company, which has over 270,000 Instagram followers, believes there are countless ways to wear this new accessory. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "Frankie Collective Is Making Tiny Bags for Your Arms and Ankles," 5 Aug. 2019 Biden didn’t seem particularly concerned about the flap at the time. Michael Steinberger, New York Times, "Joe Biden Wants to Take America Back to a Time Before Trump," 23 July 2019 Cut off the two smaller flaps from both vertical box openings with scissors, save all four for later. Kris Coronado, Washington Post, "With this cardboard version, you can invite family and friends to take a book, return a book.," 19 June 2019 Each had a yellow plastic flap with the Giant logo. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Nighthawks of the Giant," 16 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The news sent thousands of jubilant blacks streaming into the streets, singing, dancing, crowing and wildly flapping their arms in emulation of Jongwe —the Shona word for Mugabe’s campaign symbol, a rooster. Lily Rothman, Time, "Robert Mugabe Ruled Zimbabwe for Decades. Here's How He First Came to Power," 6 Sep. 2019 In the video, an American flag is seen flapping frantically and tugging at its flagpole, which is shaking in the wind. David Williams, CNN, "A light station sits in Hurricane Dorian's path, 34 miles off the North Carolina Coast," 5 Sep. 2019 Ceiling fans whirred overhead, stirring up dust and flapping the pages of the newspaper. Beth Thames | Bethmthames@gmail.com, al, "Ode to the air conditioner," 14 Aug. 2019 An adult bald eagle flapped to gain altitude, then set its wings level and soared over the river. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Our national symbol is a soaring conservation success story," 3 July 2019 Walking through a pine grove north of Boston a few weeks ago, I was startled when a large, black bird came flapping through the forest canopy and landed on a branch about 50 feet away. Don Lyman, BostonGlobe.com, "Ecological services, courtesy of your local vultures," 19 June 2019 The game started in the worst possible way for Liverpool, with Alisson Becker uncharacteristically flapping at a Memphis Depay cross before hauling down Moussa Dembele to concede a second minute penalty - Depay scoring the resulting spot-kick. SI.com, "Liverpool 3-1 Lyon: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Wilson Stunner Helps Get Reds Back on Track," 31 July 2019 In addition, many blood vessels are visible, suggesting vigorous movement — like flapping. Jonathon Keats, Discover Magazine, "The Origins of Flight, From Birds to Bugs to Planes," 21 June 2019 Old Glory flies from the flagpole once again, gently flapping in the early-summer breeze. Thomas Farragher, BostonGlobe.com, "A piece of Maine’s maritime history gets a lifeline," 10 July 2019

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

History and Etymology for flap


Middle English flappe

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Statistics for flap

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

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



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



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

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


\ 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.


flapped; flapping

Kids Definition of flap (Entry 2 of 2)

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


\ 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flap

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on flap

What made you want to look up flap? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


concealment of treason or felony

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