gap year


Definition of gap year 

: a one-year hiatus from academic studies to allow for nonacademic activities

Examples of gap year in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Before now, the previous best year to die was 2010 when the estate tax took a gap year. Houston Chronicle, "Last year’s tax overhaul makes 2018 a great year to die," 2 Apr. 2018 To continue reading this story, TRY IT NOW Before now, the previous best year to die was 2010 when the estate tax took a gap year. Michael Taylor, San Antonio Express-News, "Last year’s tax overhaul makes 2018 a great year to die," 2 Apr. 2018 The concept attracted increased attention when Malia Obama took a gap year before enrolling at Harvard. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "Parkland’s David Hogg challenges students to remain activists, even if they don’t go to college," 30 Mar. 2018 With world championships in odd-numbered years and an Olympics every fourth even-numbered year, 2016 was essentially a gap year in cross-country racing — a year without either international event. Tara Parker-pope, New York Times, "At the Olympics, Motherhood Skis Away With a Gold and a Bronze," 24 Feb. 2018 Dear Amy: My beautiful, talented, intelligent and sensitive daughter just started college after taking a gap year. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Daughter struggles with self-esteem at college," 11 Jan. 2018 The programs attract travel- and experience-hungry people who don't want the career — or financial — setback of a gap year. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Companies help remote workers satisfy their wanderlust while keeping their job," 8 Dec. 2017 Malia was spotted on the Cambridge, Mass., campus in August moving in for her first year at the Ivy League school after spending a gap year traveling and interning at the Weinstein film company. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "President Obama cried while dropping off Malia at Harvard: 'Like open-heart surgery'," 27 Sep. 2017 At the time, Mr. Gilkes was taking a gap year before college and Mr. Stirling was working for an events company. Courtney Rubin, New York Times, "Psst! Prince Harry Parties Here. Also Pippa and J-Law.," 11 Oct. 2017

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

1978, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near gap year

gapped scale



gap year




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Time Traveler for gap year

The first known use of gap year was in 1978

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More Definitions for gap year

gap year


English Language Learners Definition of gap year

: a year that you spend traveling, working, etc., before continuing your studies

Comments on gap year

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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