leap

verb
\ 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

leap

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from leap

Verb

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of leap in a Sentence

Verb

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.

Noun

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There’s a vibe of Neo and Morpheus in The Matrix, but instead of trading martial arts moves or leaping off buildings, I’m transported to the center of a busy intersection inside a Walmart store during Black Friday. Patrick Sisson, Vox, "In Walmart’s virtual reality simulation, Black Friday never ends," 15 Nov. 2018 The bar has been lowered so that even a star leaping off a torn Achilles could clear it. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Facing a Harsh Free-Agency Reality, DeMarcus Cousins Embraces the Absurd," 3 July 2018 Among the night’s crowd was Aquaria’s mother, Geena, who leapt up with joy and was instantly swarmed by excited members of the audience when the winner was announced. Yohana Desta, HWD, "RuPaul’s Drag Race Winner Aquaria Knows Exactly How to Address Racism in the Show’s Fandom," 29 June 2018 One bone in particular, an incomplete distal left femur found in more than ten separate pieces, leapt out at them. Ryan P. Smith, Smithsonian, "Newly Unearthed Civil War Bones Speak Silently to the Grim Aftermath of Battle," 20 June 2018 Kim Heae Darm, a fan who leaped up and managed to snag a shirt sailing overhead, pressed it to her face and screamed with glee. Bloomberg.com, "South Korea’s ‘Garlic Girls’ a Global Sensation," 23 Feb. 2018 Eight decades after Action Comics #1 leapt off newsstands with its seductive, brilliant cover, our relationship with Superman has gotten complex. Dante A. Ciampaglia, Newsweek, "DC Comics Celebrates 'Action Comics' #1000 and 80 Years of Superman With Commemorative Book: Exclusive," 23 Jan. 2018 But as is so often the case with societal shifts, artists are leaping headfirst into the epistemological fray. James Vincent, The Verge, "What algorithmic art can teach us about artificial intelligence," 6 Nov. 2018 On Instagram, Audrey spilled the news to her followers along with a cute picture of herself running and Jeremy leaping into the air (presumably because he's super pumped about the podcast). Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Audrey and Jeremy Roloff Just Announced Big News About Their Careers," 27 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This is not the traditional kind of leap to make: Maybe this thing that’s typically used for this could actually be used for that. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "The Tank That's Tougher Than Wildfire," 13 Nov. 2018 Sounds like just the kind of leap worth taking before summer's end. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "The 10 Best Beauty Instagrams of the Week: Selena Gomez Nails Beach Waves (and More!)," 19 Aug. 2018 The island nation, which made the leap from colonial port to bustling metropolis, is widely seen as the smaller but wealthier of the two countries. Annabelle Liang, The Seattle Times, "Singapore, Malaysia move to cool airspace and sea disputes," 8 Jan. 2019 But much like iPhones, Apple Watches undergo minuscule innovations from year to year rather than huge leaps forward. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "If You Ever Wanted an Apple Watch, Today Is a Good Day," 4 Jan. 2019 Its attempts to reinvent this thing that can’t be reinvented tend to involve one baby step of progress and four bounding leaps toward the absurd. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "The absurd quest to make the “best” razor," 11 Dec. 2018 But there is something off about this leap of the 1976 script into 2018. Chloe Schama, Vogue, "A New Theatrical Adaptation of Network Is All About the Rage," 7 Dec. 2018 And that leap is an important one for the 910 residents of El Cercadillo. Mike Persak, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Marlins' Dan Straily using strikeouts to give back," 18 June 2018 Montecito High School seniors celebrated the leap to new opportunities at colleges, trade schools and jobs during their graduation ceremony held on the Ninth Street campus lawn June 6. Julie Gallant, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Montecito graduates look ahead to new options," 12 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of leap

Verb

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

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about leap

Dictionary Entries near leap

leant

lean-to

Lea oak

leap

leap at

leap day

leapfrog

Statistics for leap

Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for leap

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for leap

leap

verb

English Language Learners Definition of leap

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

leap

noun

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

leap

verb
\ 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

leap

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

the way words of a language are spelled

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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