\ 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

Synonyms: Noun

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The episode bore a disquieting similarity to the 2017 attack on the bridge, in which a van careered onto the sidewalk, mowing down pedestrians, before three attackers leaped from the vehicle and struck people with knives. Mark Landler, New York Times, "Stabbings Around London Bridge Kill 2 in ‘Terrorist Incident’," 29 Nov. 2019 The play came after Stubblefield scrambled for 13 yards on third-and-28, and featured Jackson leaping over everyone on fourth-and-15, securing the ball, then walking in as defenders fell around him. Jason Mcdaniel, Houston Chronicle, "Shadow Creek surges past Foster to advance in playoffs," 29 Nov. 2019 In summer, go white-water rafting, or ride the chairlift for 8,000 feet and then leap off the mountain with your paragliding instructor. Erika Mailman, Washington Post, "Play where you stay: Great hotels for active vacations," 28 Nov. 2019 Jackson took a handoff from Campbell and leapt over the pile and just across the goal line for the go-ahead touchdown. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Alabama 200: See top 10 sports moments in Alabama history," 27 Nov. 2019 Video posted to the department’s Facebook page shows an armed person wearing a ski mask, red jacket and gloves leap over the convenience store’s counter, holding the weapon at the back of a clerk’s head. Josh Snyder, Arkansas Online, "Teen to be tried as adult in east Arkansas gas station robbery; man, 36, also arrested," 26 Nov. 2019 Visitors can fall — not leap – into the pool, and cannons mounted over the pit occasionally fire marshmallow volleys. Phillip Valys, sun-sentinel.com, "Candytopia: a wonderland of farting unicorn pigs, gummy Cardi B and a marshmallow swimming pool," 26 Nov. 2019 And spending $10,000 on 10 lords-a-leaping for a Christmas gift? Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "Here's What to Know About the '12 Days of Christmas' Meaning," 20 Nov. 2019 Disney unveiled new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker footage on Instagram that includes a shot of Rey confronting Darth Vader’s mask, leaping out of a ship’s hangar, a closer look at those Stormtrooper desert bikes, and more. James Hibberd, EW.com, "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," 19 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The plot prioritized female self-reliance over romance; it was credited as a leap forward for Disney princess stories. Gabe Cohn, New York Times, "How to Follow Up ‘Frozen’? With Melancholy and a Power Ballad," 29 Nov. 2019 For dairy farmers who aren’t willing to take a risky leap into three-a-day milking, science is working hard to improve productivity within the time considered reasonable for a dairy cow to spend being milked each day. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "We Should Explain Why This Cow Is Wearing a VR Headset," 26 Nov. 2019 Atlanta reclaimed the lead on Qadree Ollison's 1-yard leap into the end zone, but the Bucs took control with a dominating second quarter. Paul Newberry, orlandosentinel.com, "Tampa Bay DL Vita Vea hauls in TD catch during Bucs’ win over Falcons," 24 Nov. 2019 Juniors Donavon Barnett and Jaylen Carson are expected to take big leaps this year with their consistency and scoring. Matthew Glenesk, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana high school basketball: Crispus Attucks 2019-20 roster, schedule," 22 Nov. 2019 Some of Webber’s writing has large intervallic leaps that unfold slowly, setting up sturdy scaffolding under which swift and tight patterns tick away, like some other fizzy ecosystem existing in the shade of the bigger structure. John Adamian, courant.com, "Anna Webber’s Septet playing at Firehouse 12," 17 Nov. 2019 Carr, who twice in his career has fumbled while diving for the pylon with the ball in one hand, finished his 3-yard touchdown run with a leap and two-armed reach in the Raiders’ 17-10 win over the Bengals. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Raiders’ Derek Carr sharp with arm and feet in win over Bengals," 17 Nov. 2019 The Athletic’s Jeff Rueter listed 18 players in the USL who may be primed for a leap to the highest rung of the American soccer ladder: the MLS. Hayes Gardner, The Courier-Journal, "From Lesotho to Louisville: LouCity FC midfielder Napo Matsoso finds 2nd home in Kentucky," 16 Nov. 2019 This period of time has been largely unexplored in wider Star Wars lore, but the events that transpired might help explain some of the storytelling leaps made by the latest trilogy. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Mandalorian Is a Flashy but Flimsy Star Wars Story," 12 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for leap

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for leap

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Leap.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leap. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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More Definitions for leap


How to pronounce leap (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leap

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leap

Spanish Central: Translation of leap

Nglish: Translation of leap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of leap for Arabic Speakers

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