\ ˈlēp How to pronounce leap (audio) \
leaped or leapt\ ˈlēpt How to pronounce leapt (audio) also  ˈlept How to pronounce leapt (audio) \; leaping\ ˈlē-​piŋ How to pronounce leaping (audio) \

Definition of leap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to spring free from or as if from the ground : jump leap over a fence a fish leaps out of the water
2a : to pass abruptly from one state or topic to another the difficult leap from college to the workplace
b : to act precipitately leaped at the chance

transitive verb

: to pass over by leaping leaped the wall



Definition of leap (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : an act of leaping : spring, bound
b(1) : a place leaped over or from
(2) : the distance covered by a leap
2a : a sudden passage or transition a great leap forward
b : a choice made in an area of ultimate concern a leap of faith
by leaps and bounds
: with extraordinary rapidity a town growing by leaps and bounds

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Other Words from leap


leaper \ ˈlē-​pər How to pronounce leaper (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for leap

Synonyms: Verb

bound, hop, jump, spring, vault

Synonyms: Noun

bound, hop, jump, spring, vault

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Examples of leap in a Sentence


The cat suddenly leaped into the air. Fish were leaping out of the water. He leaped off the bridge. The boys leaped over the stream. The horse leaped the stone wall. When the alarm went off, she leapt out of bed.


She made a graceful leap into the air. He ran and took a flying leap over the stream. He won the high jump with a leap of six feet. the leap from childhood to adulthood She has shown great leaps in ability. Technology has taken a great leap forward. It required a leap of the imagination to picture how the project would look when it was completed.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Two masked men leaped from a black car and unleashed a barrage of bullets at another vehicle in broad daylight at a strip mall in Fairfax County’s Rose Hill on July 2 , surveillance video shows. Justin Jouvenal, Washington Post, "Fairfax County police have linked a shooting spree to gangs and a recording studio. That has angered some black residents.," 12 July 2019 Most horror stories surprise the audience with terrifying monsters that leap from the shadows. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "In season 3, Stranger Things’ celebration of ’80s pop culture becomes a political ideology," 8 July 2019 Raikoke's ash cloud was no exception, with hundreds of lightning bolts leaping from the supercharged ash above. Matthew Cappucci, Anchorage Daily News, "This North Pacific volcano just erupted after nearly a century of silence. Astronauts captured the breathtaking scene.," 27 June 2019 When a riverboat whistle interrupted the howl of a violent thunderstorm on the night of April 9, 1849, the citizens of St. Paul leapt from their beds and crowded what is now Lambert’s Landing to greet the steamer. Nick Woltman, Twin Cities, "St. Paul owes its existence to the Mississippi River," 22 June 2019 In last year’s midterm — after Trump warned that thousands of Central Americans were storming toward the southern border in a caravan — turnout of Latino voters leaped from 6.8 million in 2014 to 11.7 million, Pew found. Seema Mehta, latimes.com, "Trump’s threat to deport millions of immigrants risks backlash in 2020," 21 June 2019 During four minutes of a ride down a river in a motor skiff, scores of silvery fish—as big and sturdy as lengths of firewood—erupt leaping from the water. Richard Adams Carey, WSJ, "‘Overrun’ Review: Too Many Fish to Fry," 12 May 2019 Everything was a riot of color and pattern, with a certain joie de vivre leaping from every image. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "Every Inch of This House Is Designed to Inspire You," 10 Apr. 2019 The trainees want to be among the Air Force’s elite Special Warfare troops, those who leap from airplanes on rescue missions or embed with front-line troops to direct air strikes. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force Is Changing How Special Ops Fighters Are Trained," 12 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Like any good leap of faith, sometimes a drink before the jump is a good idea. Fortune, "This Michelin-Starred Restaurateur Traded Fine Dining for Ben Franklin’s Favorite Milk Cocktail," 13 July 2019 Pundits 50 years ago widely agreed that Armstrong’s giant leap was exactly what the country needed. oregonlive.com, "Moon landing inspired Americans 50 years ago, but they still worried about space battle with Soviets," 13 July 2019 Still, scientists have seen an encouraging leap in the past 15 years. Washington Post, "Rare sea turtles smash nesting records in Georgia, Carolinas," 13 July 2019 Anderson combined sprinter’s speed with a Florida record 38½-inch vertical leap and the strength to finish second in the shot put at the high school state meet. Will Larkin, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 57, Neal Anderson," 11 July 2019 Even the leap to a new generation in 2001 with the Game Boy Advance preserved all of the Game Boy Color’s functionality. Sam Byford, The Verge, "A brief history of cutdown game consoles," 11 July 2019 This is where Bill de Blasio, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez leap to their feet and cheer. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Conservative Pride of The Lion King," 11 July 2019 Like pho, bun bo Hue’s broth has a beef base, but the flavor of lemongrass leaps to the fore. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "Go to Hue Gourmet for Vietnamese cuisine you can't find anywhere else in metro Phoenix," 10 July 2019 This package of bills represents the largest leap forward for housing in California in many years. Derecka Mehrens, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Cupertino illustrates why California must act to solve housing crisis," 10 July 2019

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for leap

Verb and Noun

Middle English lepen, from Old English hlēapan; akin to Old High German hlouffan to run

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Learn More about leap

Dictionary Entries near leap



Lea oak


leap at

leap day


Statistics for leap

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for leap

The first known use of leap was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for leap



English Language Learners Definition of leap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to jump from a surface
: to jump over (something)
: to move quickly



English Language Learners Definition of leap (Entry 2 of 2)

: a long or high jump
: the distance that a person or animal jumps
: a great and sudden change, increase, or improvement


\ ˈlēp How to pronounce leap (audio) \
leaped or leapt\ ˈlēpt , ˈlept \; leaping\ ˈlē-​piŋ \

Kids Definition of leap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to jump or cause to jump from a surface Fish leaped out of the water.
2 : to move, act, or pass quickly He leaped out of bed.

Other Words from leap

leaper \ ˈlē-​pər \ noun



Kids Definition of leap (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of springing up or over : jump
2 : a place that is jumped over or from … Lizzie took the leap, stumbled … and fell.— Anna Sewell, Black Beauty
3 : the distance that is jumped a five foot leap

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More from Merriam-Webster on leap

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leap

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leap

Spanish Central: Translation of leap

Nglish: Translation of leap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of leap for Arabic Speakers

Comments on leap

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


something desired as essential

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