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

Students unhappy with their gaokao results can wait a year to retake the test, as almost 1.5 million did last year, or take a gap year to prepare for the next cycle of American admissions. New York Times, "For Survivors of a 9-Hour Chinese Exam, a Door Opens to America," 13 June 2018 Students considering a gap year should check with their school to see whether such awards can be deferred since there is no uniform policy among colleges. Cheryl Winokur Munk, WSJ, "Taking a Gap Year? Fill Out the Financial-Aid Forms Anyway," 4 Jan. 2019 Meet an alpaca While taking a gap year between high school and college in 2015 to work and travel through South America, Kris Cody bought an alpaca-wool sweater woven by a Peruvian woman. Barbara Haislip, WSJ, "When Entrepreneurs Get Creative in Raising Funds," 25 Nov. 2018 In addition to spilling about the art of nature peeing, Amandla also discussed the decision to make a recent gap year a more permanent decision. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Amandla Stenberg Learned How to Pee in the Woods From Jennifer Lawrence," 11 Oct. 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of gap year

1978, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gap year

Dictionary Entries near gap year

gapped scale



gap year




Statistics for gap year

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gap year

The first known use of gap year was in 1978

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 sum of money that is sent as a payment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!