\ ˈflip How to pronounce flip (audio) \
flipped; flipping

Definition of flip

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to toss so as to cause to turn over in the air flip a coin flip a pancake also : toss flip me the ball flip one end of the scarf over your shoulder
2a : to cause to turn and especially to turn over flipped the car flipping the pages of a book
b : to move with a small quick motion flip a switch
c : to turn (something) on or off with a switch flip on/off the lights
d : to change or move through (channels, stations, etc.) quickly flipping channels with the remote control
3 : to buy and usually renovate (real estate) so as to quickly resell at a higher price He's flipped three houses for a substantial profit.
4 : to cause or persuade (a witness) to cooperate in prosecuting a criminal case against an associate … wrote that the … probe seemed to have reached the stage where investigators are in the process of flipping witnesses.— Nancy LeTourneau

intransitive verb

1 : to make a twitching or flicking movement the fish flipped and flopped on the deck
2a : to turn or roll from one side to the other : turn over The crab had flipped onto its back. The car flipped over.
b : to do a somersault in the air : to do a flip He flipped off the diving board.
3a : to change from one state, position, subject, etc., to another The job market flipped from hot to cold. The commercial flipped back and forth between scenes of country life and city life.
b : to change or move through channels, pages, etc. He sat on the couch flipping through the channels. flip to another station flip through the pages of a magazine
c : to cooperate in the prosecution of a criminal case against an associate Before sentencing, two more members defected…. And, soon after receiving his 45-year sentence in May 1989, Leonetti flipped, too.— Marguerite Del Giudice

4 slang

a : to lose one's mind or composure often used with out The patient flipped out in manic behavior.She flipped out when she heard about her son's accident.
b : to become very enthusiastic
flip the script
: to achieve an outcome or adopt an approach that is opposite to or completely different from what has happened or been done previously Now, having won three of the last nine majors, Mickelson has flipped the script on Woods.— Alan Shipnuck … the chance to flip the script, to go from 0-6 with a chance to finish the second half of the year 5-1, is motivating Nebraska players this week.— Steve Batterson If you let your inner critic do all the talking, of course she's going to chip away at your self-esteem. Make a conscious choice to flip the script for the next week and see how dramatically it alters your outlook.— Petra Guglielmetti



Definition of flip (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a mixed drink usually consisting of a sweetened spiced liquor with beaten eggs
2 : an act or instance of flipping
3 : the motion used in flipping
4 : a somersault especially in the air
5 : a holder for a collectible coin made of vinyl or cardboard with a plastic window and often having a sleeve in which to place an identifying insert



Definition of flip (Entry 3 of 3)

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Synonyms & Antonyms for flip

Synonyms: Verb

leaf, riffle, skim, thumb

Synonyms: Adjective

cute, facetious, flippant, pert, smart, smart-aleck, smart-alecky, smart-ass, smart-assed, smarty-pants, wise, wiseass

Antonyms: Adjective

earnest, sincere

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Examples of flip in a Sentence


She was sitting in the waiting room, flipping the pages of a magazine. His car flipped over on the interstate.


the flip of a coin She turned on the lights with the flip of a switch.


made some flip comment about the marriage between the old man and the considerably younger woman
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But ballet flats are a slightly more sophisticated alternative to the sneakers and flip-flops—and just as comfortable. Avery Matera, Glamour, "The Exact Shoes to Wear With Every Pair of Jeans You Own," 4 Apr. 2019 While her on-screen character managed to covertly flip-flop from Miley Stewart, brunette pre-teen, to blonde mega-star Hannah, Cyrus's latest beauty change up was hard to miss. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Miley Cyrus Just Got a Very Hannah Montana Makeover," 29 Mar. 2019 Back in the pre-Golden Era of Television, people used to sit in front of the TV and flip channels for hours, dissatisfied with the offerings of infomercials and TLC reality shows. refinery29.com, "Meet Your Next Big Obsession: Korean Dramas," 6 July 2018 But Wild Nights with Emily, a new movie starring Molly Shannon as the titular poet, wants to flip that image on its head. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Watch Molly Shannon Play Emily Dickinson as a Funny, Passionate Lesbian in Wild Nights with Emily," 7 Mar. 2019 Democrats likely need to flip Georgia’s seat to retake the Senate, and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has tried to recruit Abrams to run. Tamar Hallerman, The Seattle Times, "‘Terrified’ Stacey Abrams prepares to counterpunch Trump’s State of Union," 5 Feb. 2019 But, as the evening danced on, our candidates started flipping seats blue and my heart began to soar. Marie Claire, "One Week Post-Midterms Here's What We Know," 13 Nov. 2018 Democrats need to flip 23 Republican-controlled to retake the House from the GOP in November. Gregg Re, Fox News, "California's key primaries: Trump-backed John Cox outpaces Villaraigosa for governor, Feinstein takes top spot in Senate contest," 2 Oct. 2018 That's enough to flip the plastic over a barrier and into a separate stream. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Bikes, bowling balls, and the delicate balancing act that is modern recycling," 31 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Bring on the flip-flops, green grass, blooming flowers, and singing birds. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "35 Spring Instagram Captions for All of Your Sunny Photos," 26 Mar. 2019 Even if the full curve does flip, investors shouldn’t confuse cause for effect: Inverted yield curves don’t cause recessions, nor provide new information about the economy. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "Inverted Yield Curves Aren’t a Crystal Ball," 4 Dec. 2018 An onlooker recorded the incident that showed the man doing a back flip. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "Man accidentally shot by FBI agent's weapon said he believed it was an 'idiot' with 'a firecracker'," 2 Oct. 2018 The next time Butera takes off his helmet to do the flip, fans will see a little flash of color. Pete Grathoff, kansascity, "Royals' Drew Butera keeps promise to boy who battled cancer, dyes his hair pink | The Kansas City Star," 18 May 2018 The spin state is now prepared by Alice (who is also in a box), who uses a coin flip to select either spin sideways (tails) or spin down (heads). Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Quantum observers with knowledge of quantum mechanics break reality," 19 Sep. 2018 Considerable research has suggested that a team’s success in one-run situations comes down to randomness more than skill, like a coin flip turning up heads 10 times in a row. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Baseball’s Luckiest Team Doesn’t Think It’s Luck," 3 July 2018 Forty years ago, if a game was level after 120 minutes, the winner was decided by luck: a simple coin-flip. The Economist, "A practical guide to the most nail-biting part of the World Cup," 21 June 2018 The coin used for the pre-game coin flip was one specially made for Thursday's game with Stoneman Douglas' school logo on one side and the names of the 17 killed on the other along with the words #NeverAgain - March For Our Lives. Manny Navarro, miamiherald, "Douglas' football team plays first game since school shooting. Here's what happened | Miami Herald," 25 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The Gaines' real estate firm, Magnolia Realty, helps families buy, sell, and even flip homes in several big cities in Texas through a team of 100+ real estate agents. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Wish You Could Have Been Featured on a 'Fixer Upper' Episode? Here's the Next Best Thing," 12 June 2018 Trump on the campaign trail called the unemployment rate phony, so these claims are flip-flops. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "Anatomy of a Trump rally: 76 percent of claims are false, misleading or lacking evidence," 10 July 2018 Additional elements from the campaign include throwback flip phones, a vintage pink convertible and flashy accessories. Lisa Lockwood | Wwd, latimes.com, "Paris Hilton codesigns collection with Boohoo.com," 11 June 2018 One under the cookline prep table next to a flip top cooler. David J. Neal, miamiherald, "What's that on your doughnut? Flies, rodents, roaches, poop shut down these restaurants," 14 May 2018 Virginia Democrats see flip opportunities in several House races in Virginia, with GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock at the top of the list because Clinton won the district by 10 points. Eliza Collins, USA TODAY, "What to expect for June 12th primary in Nevada, Maine, South Carolina, Virginia, North Dakota," 12 June 2018 In The Beer Olympics: Company Cross Functional Team Building Event, for example, each team plays a round robin of games (darts, beer pong, flip cup, giant Jenga, cornhole) and the team with most points wins and receives a prize. azcentral, "Top Companies to Work for in Arizona-Medium Companies," 7 June 2018 Each Monday in Didi’s class, the students make a weekend report that goes onto a flip chart. Vanessa Hua, San Francisco Chronicle, "Small talk for first-graders that’s based on real life," 30 May 2018 As some educators worry liberal arts education on college campuses is going the way of the flip cell phone, Emory University wants to ramp up its offerings in those fields. Eric Stirgus, ajc, "Emory to ramp up liberal arts education," 23 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flip.' 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 flip


1616, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1695, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1823, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for flip

Verb, Noun, and Adjective

probably imitative

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Statistics for flip

Last Updated

10 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flip

The first known use of flip was in 1616

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More Definitions for flip



English Language Learners Definition of flip

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to turn (something) over by throwing it up in the air with a quick movement
: to cause (something) to turn or turn over quickly
: to move (something) with a quick light movement



English Language Learners Definition of flip (Entry 2 of 3)

: the act of flipping something : a quick turn, toss, or movement
: an athletic movement in which someone jumps in the air and rolls forward or backward : a somersault in the air



English Language Learners Definition of flip (Entry 3 of 3)

informal : not serious


\ ˈflip How to pronounce flip (audio) \
flipped; flipping

Kids Definition of flip

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move or turn by or as if by tossing flip a coin flip a switch



Kids Definition of flip (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a quick turn, toss, or movement the flip of a coin
2 : a somersault in the air

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More from Merriam-Webster on flip

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flip

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flip

Spanish Central: Translation of flip

Nglish: Translation of flip for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flip for Arabic Speakers

Comments on flip

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


likely to have or produce good results

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