\ ˈgap How to pronounce gap (audio) \

Definition of gap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a break in a barrier (such as a wall, hedge, or line of military defense)
b : an assailable position
2a : a mountain pass
b : ravine
3 : spark gap
4a : a separation in space
b : an incomplete or deficient area a gap in her knowledge
5 : a break in continuity : hiatus
6 : a break in the vascular cylinder of a plant where a vascular trace departs from the central cylinder
7 : lack of balance : disparity the gap between imports and exports
8 : a wide difference in character or attitude the generation gap
9 : a problem caused by some disparity a communication gap credibility gap


gapped; gapping

Definition of gap (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make an opening in
2 : to adjust the space between the electrodes of (a spark plug)

intransitive verb

: to fall or stand open

Other Words from gap


gappy \ ˈga-​pē How to pronounce gap (audio) \ adjective

Examples of gap in a Sentence

Noun The child had a gap between her two front teeth. The gap between the lead runner and the rest of the field continued to widen. The sheep got through a gap in the fence. There are unexplained gaps in his story. The class filled in the gaps in my knowledge of biology. She had taken several years off to raise a family, so there was a large gap in her work history. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Grier, 47, officially became the Sharks’ GM on July 4, and less than 10 days later dished fan favorite Brent Burns, the gap-toothed behemoth back liner, to the Hurricanes in order to gain vital salary-cap space (approximately $5.3 million). Kevin Paul Dupont,, 30 July 2022 John Schreiber retired pinch-hitter Andres Gimenez, but Straw doubled into the gap in right center to make it 6-6. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 27 July 2022 Helton urged Toglia, 6 feet 5 and 226 pounds, to keep his weight back and hit the outside fastball to the opposite field gap. Dom Amore, Hartford Courant, 26 July 2022 Inflation will add to the already considerable wealth gap in our nation. Jack Kelly, Forbes, 24 July 2022 Muncy bounced into a fielder’s choice, but then Thompson sent a run-scoring double into the right-center gap for his 13th RBI in 25 games with the Dodgers. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 24 July 2022 These corporate storytellers are stepping into a gap created by long-term cultural changes. Adam Kirsch, WSJ, 22 July 2022 But Norman closed some of the gap before 300 meters and overtook James in the home stretch. oregonlive, 22 July 2022 Three of those went to Elison, resulting in the 10-vote gap. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 21 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Even modest selling causes prices to gap lower and transaction sizes to shrink as buyers disappear. Billy Bambrough, Forbes, 19 May 2022 The snug extended cuffs protect your wrists from thorns and scratches and won’t gap open. Blair Braverman, Outside Online, 10 May 2021 If the stock can gap up tomorrow that will be very bullish and suggest higher prices will likely follow. Adam Sarhan, Forbes, 4 Nov. 2021 As the laps ticked away, Power was able to gap Grosjean during the sprint to the finish and cruise to his fifth career victory on the IMS road course and sixth career win at IMS overall. Rob Peeters, The Indianapolis Star, 15 Aug. 2021 The stock is prone to big moves after reporting earnings and can easily gap up if the numbers are strong. Adam Sarhan, Forbes, 8 June 2021 Conversely, if the numbers disappoint, the stock can easily gap down. Adam Sarhan, Forbes, 18 May 2021 The stock is prone to big moves after reporting earnings and can easily gap up if the numbers are strong. Adam Sarhan, Forbes, 18 May 2021 Conversely, if the numbers disappoint, the stock can easily gap down. Adam Sarhan, Forbes, 6 May 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gap.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of gap


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1879, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for gap


Middle English gap, gappe, borrowed from Old Norse gap "chasm, outcry," noun derivative of gapa "to gape entry 1"


derivative of gap entry 1

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Time Traveler for gap

Time Traveler

The first known use of gap was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gap.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for gap


\ ˈgap How to pronounce gap (audio) \

Kids Definition of gap

1 : an opening made by a break or rupture She squeezed through a gap in the fence.
2 : an opening between mountains
3 : a hole or space where something is missing There are some gaps in his story.


\ ˈgap How to pronounce gap (audio) \

Medical Definition of gap

: a break in continuity especially of structure : hiatus

More from Merriam-Webster on gap

Nglish: Translation of gap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gap for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about gap


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