\ 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

For example, 595,271 votes could have very, very narrowly flipped Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Pennsylvania. Time, "The High-Risk Strategy That Could Hand Democrats the White House," 17 Sep. 2019 Bob Shoop flipped between watching three football games the night of Sept. 7: LSU–Texas, Penn State–Buffalo and BYU–Tennessee. Ross Dellenger, SI.com, "'Out of the Dark Ages': How LSU's Lethal New Spread Attack Was Built," 17 Sep. 2019 The committee recommends flipping the reporting lines, so that top engineers report primarily to Boeing’s chief engineer, and secondarily to business unit leaders. David Gelles, New York Times, "Boeing Board to Call for Safety Changes After 737 Max Crashes," 15 Sep. 2019 Helicopter footage showed a van with the Kid City daycare logo flipped upside down in the grass near an intersection in Alvin, Texas, just after 3:30 p.m., Houston’s KTRK-TV reported. Fox News, "Texas daycare van flips upside down with 9 children inside after driver blows red light: report," 11 Sep. 2019 The island nation’s defection whittled the number of countries that recognize Taiwan down to just 16 after Beijing flipped key allies, including the Dominican Republic and El Salvador, in recent years over objections from Washington. BostonGlobe.com, "Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare endorsed the switch in a Cabinet meeting on Monday, Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told reporters, according to Taiwan’s official Central News Agency.," 17 Sep. 2019 In 2018, Democrats kept the U.S. Senate seat and two House seats while flipping the state's third seat from red to blue. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Elizabeth Warren unveils anti-corruption bill," 16 Sep. 2019 Born in Ecuador, Mucarsel-Powell beat Carlos Curbelo, the Rubio ally, in 2018, flipping a key seat. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, "The Fight for the Latino Vote in Florida," 16 Sep. 2019 Newsom’s late efforts to strengthen the bill by adding eviction restrictions and tightening the rent cap flipped opposition among key interest groups. Matt Levin, The Mercury News, "Big rent hikes are about to be illegal in California. Here’s what you should know," 15 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But Yastrzemski immediately took off, Alfaro hesitated on the flip to Stanek, and Stanek couldn’t hold onto the ball as Yastrzemski slid headfirst across the plate. Ron Kroichick, SFChronicle.com, "Giants pitcher Johnny Cueto thrives again in victory over Marlins," 15 Sep. 2019 Henry gathered in the short flip from quarterback Marcus Mariota and sprinted down the left sideline as the Titans took a 22-13 lead over the Cleveland Browns with 1:57 left in third quarter on the first Sunday of the NFL's 2019 season. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Check out Derrick Henry’s 75-yard touchdown in Titans’ season-opener," 8 Sep. 2019 Facing Bader, Mahle induced a check-swing ground ball to first base but dropped the routine flip from Joey Votto and incidentally kicked the ball into foul territory. Bobby Nightengale, Cincinnati.com, "Eugenio Suárez breaks Cincinnati Reds record for most homers by 3rd baseman in loss at St. Louis," 1 Sep. 2019 The back flip means that independent repair shops will be offered official parts for out-of-warranty repairs at the same price offered to authorized service providers, such as Best Buy Inc, which perform warranty work. NBC News, "Apple to supply parts to independent repair shops for first time," 29 Aug. 2019 But notice there is a big difference between the twist and the flip in Simone's gymnastics move. Rhett Allain, WIRED, "The Twisty Physics of Simone Biles' Historic Triple-Double," 12 Aug. 2019 Instead of the cycle flipping between cold and very cold, the flip is between warm and cold. Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic, "West Antarctica is melting—and it’s our fault," 12 Aug. 2019 Before the flip of the switch, the guest and their family is treated to a VIP experience, hosted by a Market Street member. Jamie Swinnerton, Houston Chronicle, "Market Street looks for deserving child to turn on holiday lights," 11 Sep. 2019 In another flip of the term, Trump backers are co-opting it. Washington Post, "‘Squad’ jumped from pop culture to become the most politically polarizing word of the year," 27 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Sneakers, mules, heels or yes, even flip flops, are all a go when modernizing the look. Melissa Magsaysay, chicagotribune.com, "5 fall fashion trends to embrace — and make uniquely yours," 6 Sep. 2019 But today the wind patterns flip-flop between blowing eastward and westward. Annie Sneed, Scientific American, "The Reason Antarctica Is Melting: Shifting Winds, Driven by Global Warming," 16 Aug. 2019 Among the thread’s purported throwbacks to days of yore are flip phones, DVD players, screen savers, (and DVD player screen savers), Razor scooters, iPods, and iMacs — all of which, like . . Michael Andor Brodeur, BostonGlobe.com, "Not so distant memories, illegible letters, collective confusion, and more from the week online," 2 Aug. 2019 France and Manchester United midfielder Pogba may be a controversial figure on the pitch, but there is certainly nothing controversial about his bottle flip challenge attempt. SI.com, "Bottle Cap Challenge: 6 of the Best Efforts So Far From Across the Football World," 7 July 2019 So now some tech manufacturers are creating luxury foldable smartphones, more advanced than their ancestor the flip phone, that can unfold into tablets. Ahiza Garcia, CNN, "Why it's so hard to make a foldable smartphone," 26 June 2019 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

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

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).


to fake an opponent out of position

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