\ 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

Both Noblesville and Westfield Washington Schools have made a similar change, voting to essentially flip school start times to allow middle and high schoolers to start later. Emma Kate Fittes, Indianapolis Star, "Carmel is considering changing school start times. Here's when students would start.," 14 June 2019 The webinar will cover how to flip properties and how to raise capital. Max Reyes, BostonGlobe.com, "Weekend agenda," 13 June 2019 Those all sound like reasons to believe someone else will host the U.S. Open trophy, but Koepka’s ability to flip the switch for major championships cannot be understated. Daniel Rapaport, SI.com, "Ranking the Top 100 Golfers at the 2019 U.S. Open," 11 June 2019 Lanz’s truck went into the grass median and flipped over, ejecting him from the vehicle, Montes said. David Harris, orlandosentinel.com, "Troopers investigating three fatal crashes in Osceola, Volusia counties," 11 June 2019 Appeal of One Half the Human Race, Women, Against the Pretension of the Other Half, Men, to Retain Them in Political, and thence in Civil and Domestic, Slavery—that the modern reader may feel the need to flip back and check the publication date. The New York Review of Books, "Judith Shulevitz," 3 Nov. 2018 Bake, gently flipping after 8 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through, 15 minutes total. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Crispy Fish with Herb Tartar Sauce and Snap Pea Salad," 20 May 2019 Florida had Vegas’ fourth-round pick (for Reilly Smith), but flipped it in the Mike Hoffman trade. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "2018 NHL Draft: How to watch and where the Panthers pick," 21 June 2018 But that pace wasn’t real, fueled by speculators who put almost nothing down, never planned to move into the houses and wanted to flip them. Catherine Reagor, azcentral, "Metro Phoenix homebuilding hits decade high," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Knox was definitively acquitted by Italy’s highest court in 2015, following a series of flip-flop rulings by the courts, including a lower court conviction, with a 26-year prison sentence, that was overruled in 2011. Fox News, "Amanda Knox sobs during speech on return to Italy, accuses media of building false story," 15 June 2019 Around the winter solstice in late December there’s a flip-flop. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, "Sky Watch: Here comes summer in the night skies — and a full moon," 15 June 2019 Daniel, now twelve, greeted us in orange flip-flops. Sarah Stillman, The New Yorker, "How Families Separated at the Border Could Make the Government Pay," 15 June 2019 Naturally, your flip flops are usually reserved for beach days, quick bodega runs, or getting a pedicure. Bianca Nieves, Teen Vogue, "Summer's Biggest (and Most Questionable) Trend Is Now $1 at Old Navy," 15 June 2019 Market editor Anny Choi swears by a pair of plain black flip-flops. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Let’s Hear It for the Return of the Non-Fashion Flip-Flop," 14 June 2019 But following Democratic front-runner Joe Biden’s flip-flop last week, none of the 20-plus Democrats running for president support the measure. John Mccormack, National Review, "Is the Hyde Amendment Safe After All?," 13 June 2019 Stores also are selling $1 flip flops for the whole family in a rainbow of solid colors. Doreen Christensen, sun-sentinel.com, "Free and $1 flip flops at Old Navy on Saturday," 13 June 2019 Pop quiz: What do $600 Manolo Blahniks and $10 flip flops have in common? Liz Krieger, Good Housekeeping, "Shoes Are Banned In My House — But I Have One Very Important Exception," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Ice Breakers Sugar-Free Mints Amazon customers are partial to the spicy-hot cinnamon, but these flip-top containers also dispense sour and fruity-minty options. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "The 8 Best Breath Mints to Carry Around With You All Day," 7 Dec. 2018 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

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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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

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