flip·​per | \ˈfli-pər \

Definition of flipper 

1a : a broad flat limb (as of a seal or cetacean) adapted for swimming

b : a flat rubber shoe with the front expanded into a paddle used in skin diving

2 : one that flips

Examples of flipper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

On Opendoor’s website, there’s a section devoted to explaining why the company isn’t a home flipper. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "These startups make selling your house as easy as possible," 12 Apr. 2018 Unlike today’s flipper-heavy lineup, the early HGTV decorating shows such as Decorating with Style rarely, if ever, involved whole-scale wall-destroying renovations. Kate Wagner, Curbed, "We need a new kind of HGTV," 30 May 2018 One of the biggest advancements inspired by marine mammals are flippers based on dolphin anatomy. Matthew Berger, Smithsonian, "Dolphins Have a Mysterious Network of Veins That Could Be Key to Preventing the Bends," 26 May 2018 The turtle, named Champ by aquarium officials, is missing its front left flipper. Alex Park, Houston Chronicle, "Critically endangered sea turtle species now at Texas State Aquarium," 5 July 2018 Steve Wilson had watched his three buddies each put on a wetsuit top, a mask and flippers and then disappear into the water inside a cave in rural Arkansas. Lindsey Bever, ajc, "The dramatic and tragic rescue of explorers trapped in a cave — 53 years ago in America," 10 July 2018 Steve Wilson had watched his three buddies each put on a wet suit top, a mask and flippers and then disappear into the water inside a cave in rural Arkansas. Lindsey Bever, Washington Post, "‘The verge of panic the entire time’: A survivor remembers diving to escape a flooded cave," 9 July 2018 After the hatchlings got the feel of sand under their flippers, Mr. Agung directed the crowd to walk forward, pick up a turtle and carry it to the surf. New York Times, "Saving Turtles in Bali, Egg by Precious Egg," 7 July 2018 As part of her treatment, Sharkie received 24/7 care that included medicine and antibiotics, physical therapy and treatment for her wounds on her body and right pectoral flipper. Gabrielle Russon, OrlandoSentinel.com, "SeaWorld: Good news animal story — 'Sharkie' the dolphin set free," 2 July 2018

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

1822, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for flipper

Last Updated

29 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flipper

The first known use of flipper was in 1822

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More Definitions for flipper



English Language Learners Definition of flipper

: one of two flat body parts that stick out from the side of a seal, whale, etc., and are used by the animal for swimming

: a flat rubber shoe that has a very wide front and that is used for swimming


flip·​per | \ˈfli-pər \

Kids Definition of flipper

1 : a broad flat limb (as of a seal or whale) used for swimming

2 : a flat rubber shoe with the front widened into a paddle for use in swimming

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Comments on flipper

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


playful or foolish behavior

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