gap

1 of 2

noun

1
a
: a break in a barrier (such as a wall, hedge, or line of military defense)
b
: an assailable position
2
a
: a mountain pass
b
: ravine
3
4
a
: 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
gappy adjective

gap

2 of 2

verb

gapped; gapping

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Ohtani hit the ball on the nose, sending a 98-mph line drive to center field but well within the reach of Jacob Young, who ran toward the gap in left-center for the inning-ending catch. Houston Mitchell, Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr. 2024 Clark’s comparatively low salary is just one high-profile example of the persisting gender pay gap in America. Bysasha Rogelberg, Fortune, 16 Apr. 2024 An even greater concern is that the gaps in comprehensive care for eating disorders invite experimental, potentially harmful treatments and leave patients vulnerable. Cole Kazdin, TIME, 16 Apr. 2024 But in today's highly partisan and polarized political environment, the gap between the two major parties makes the uniparty claim tough to swallow, even though Democrats and Republicans do arguably share a few commonalities. Geoffrey Skelley, ABC News, 16 Apr. 2024 Even given the gap between the brush head and the base, the Wave Toothbrush is IPX7 waterproof, so it can be submerged in water up to a meter deep (3.3 feet) for 30 minutes without taking damage. PCMAG, 16 Apr. 2024 And while polls show Trump slightly ahead in key places, an NPR/PBS/Marist poll shows that if Trump is convicted of a crime, Biden opens a 6-point lead, particularly because a gap would close among independent voters. Ximena Bustillo, NPR, 13 Apr. 2024 Construction industry experts say the US needs to allow more legal immigrants to enter to fill a crucial labor gap. Ramishah Maruf, CNN, 4 Apr. 2024 But where photographers had struggled to capture the nuances and fiery hues of the sun’s corona, Butler succeeded by taking meticulous shorthand notes during the eclipses, then filling in the gaps later, a bit like a paint by numbers kit. Elissaveta M. Brandon, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Apr. 2024
Verb
Conversely, if the numbers disappoint, the stock can easily gap down. Adam Sarhan, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 The stock is prone to big moves after reporting earnings and can easily gap up if the numbers are strong. Adam Sarhan, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 If the stock gaps up that will be bullish and can easily trigger another leg higher. Adam Sarhan, Forbes, 18 Apr. 2023 These lend themselves to gap financing or seed financing situations. Patrick Frater, Variety, 4 Dec. 2023 But the panel gaps aside, production-ready versions of the Cybertruck aren’t without their defenders. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, 29 Nov. 2023 To gap or not to gap After the final Apollo crewed flight in 1975, the US space agency had no capability to fly astronauts into space until the advent of the Space Shuttle in 1981. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 21 Nov. 2023 Some customers did report having to exchange the bra for a better size in order to prevent any compression or gapping that lead to the flanges falling out. Jasmine Gomez, Women's Health, 18 Aug. 2023 In that, gap analysis – linking routes to destinations – will be a major focus, but the ultimate goal will be bringing all the areas together to benefit the region. Bran Strickland | , al, 10 July 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gap.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

Verb

derivative of gap entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1879, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near gap

Cite this Entry

“Gap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gap. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

gap

noun
ˈgap
1
: a break in a barrier
2
a
: a mountain pass
b
: ravine
3
: a space or separation : a break in continuity
gaps in your story
a gap where the tooth had been
4
: a wide difference (as in amount, character, or attitude)
a wage gap

Medical Definition

gap

noun
: a break in continuity especially of structure : hiatus

More from Merriam-Webster on gap

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