\ 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 This has created a measurable gap between retailer and consumer—one that only retailers have the power to close. Jason Grunberg, Forbes, 18 May 2022 The problems, some say, are the uncontrollable nature of the internet, the gap between official and unofficial messages, and the nature of these platforms. The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 May 2022 There is a partisan gap — people who score high on the conspiracy scale tend more often to be Republicans and also tend to identify as evangelical Christians. David Lautersenior Editor, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2022 Despite the furious pace of hiring, there was still a yawning gap between job openings and the pool of available workers—a sign that demand for labor is far outstripping supply. Gwynn Guilford, WSJ, 11 May 2022 His three-run double widened Avon’s gap on the scoreboard Wednesday vs. Amherst, sending the Eagles on their way to one more win against a Southwestern Conference baseball foe. Matt Goul, cleveland, 11 May 2022 That’s a 20-point gap on the question of legality, and that matters at election time, because those groups of voters don’t turn out in the same numbers. Dante Chinni, NBC News, 8 May 2022 This promotion of local talent was seen as a stop-gap measure. Vogue, 29 Apr. 2022 The ultimate goal of pay transparency laws is to help reduce a persistent pay gap between men and women—particularly women of color. Jeff Green, Fortune, 28 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Conversely, if the numbers disappoint, the stock can easily gap down. Adam Sarhan, Forbes, 20 Apr. 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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Statistics for gap

Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gap.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 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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