\ 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

His fourth and final catch of the day was a 20-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter, after which Brown leapt into the first row of stands behind the end zone, then performed a series of elaborate handshakes with teammates. BostonGlobe.com, "Most read on BostonGlobe.com," 15 Sep. 2019 Ekeler had flashy moments, going 35 yards with a short pass, catching all six targets and leaping into the pile for a touchdown. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Mistake-filled Chargers loss seems oh-so-familiar," 15 Sep. 2019 The Top Comedians chart sees a brand new leader in Lil’ Duval, who leaps from No. Kevin Rutherford, The Hollywood Reporter, "Social Climbers Charts: Dwayne Johnson Retakes Top Actors Lead, Lil’ Duval Scores First Top Comedians No. 1," 14 Sep. 2019 Bolton reportedly was trying to hold back Trump from leaping into a peace agreement with the Taliban, and his pressure was said to be behind the scrapping of a meeting at Camp David to announce the deal. Ron Kampeas, sun-sentinel.com, "What does John Bolton’s departure mean for Israel?," 11 Sep. 2019 One of the highlights of Jacobs’ debut was a goal line leap into the end zone — his first of two red-zone rushing touchdowns. Phil Thompson, chicagotribune.com, "Fantasy football Week 2 lineups: Start Odell Beckham Jr. and sit David Montgomery," 10 Sep. 2019 The company bought satellite-TV provider DirecTV for $67 billion in 2015, leaping into first place among U.S. pay-TV companies. Scott Deveau, Fortune, "‘There Will Be a Fight’: AT&T Stock Soars As Activist Investor Looks to Shake Things Up," 9 Sep. 2019 Shiv, who has been working as a political strategist for a Bernie Sanders doppelgänger opposed to everything her father believes in, is angling for her chance to leave politics behind and leap into the family business. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "How Succession Skewers the Rich," 9 Sep. 2019 Jac Collinsworth went for a more aggressive on-screen entrance, leaping into former Clemson lineman Eric Mac Lain on The Huddle Friday. Jacob Feldman, SI.com, "How Three College Football TV Debuts Fared During Week 1," 3 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The video shows Wells start to walk away from Starlard, then return with a flying leap, kicking the older man in the chest and knocking him to the ground. Pauline Repard, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Guilty plea in beating death of man near Petco Park," 13 Sep. 2019 The Portland State Vikings kick off the 2019 college football season Saturday against another team looking to make a big leap from last season: the Arkansas Razorbacks. oregonlive, "Portland State Vikings football vs. Arkansas Razorbacks: Preview, time, TV channel, how to watch live stream," 29 Aug. 2019 Chinese property developer Country Garden made this year's biggest leap, rising 176 places to No. 177. Fortune, "China’s wobbly giants," 27 July 2019 Apollo was a glorious rush—one giant leap, as Neil put it. Buzz Aldrin, Popular Mechanics, "Why I Walked on the Moon," 20 July 2019 With only one point separating Orlando City and playoff contention, the team will touch down in Portland, Ore., with its mind set on making the leap into a top-seven position. Julia Poe, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City pushes through bumps, bruises while managing heavy schedule," 17 July 2019 So there was an opening for a team to make a leap, even if few but Ujiri noticed it. Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, "Raptors showing wisdom of being bold," 8 June 2019 The leap from traditional security camera systems to those powered by machine vision, like automatic license plate readers, is as vast as the difference between an analog library and the modern internet. Los Angeles Times, "Neighbors are using these smart cameras to track strangers’ cars — and yours," 13 Sep. 2019 Inevitably, when books are adapted into films, there are aspects of the story that never make the leap from the page to the big screen. Adam Rathe, Town & Country, "To Prepare for The Goldfinch, Willa Fitzgerald Eavesdropped on the Streets of the Upper East Side," 12 Sep. 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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Dictionary Entries near leap



Lea oak


leap at

leap day


Statistics for leap

Last Updated

8 Oct 2019

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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

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