\ ˈlēp How to pronounce leap (audio) \
leaped or leapt\ ˈlēpt How to pronounce leap (audio) also  ˈlept How to pronounce leap (audio) \; leaping\ ˈlē-​piŋ How to pronounce leap (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 leap (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 last Virginian to leap directly from local government to the lieutenant governorship was now-Sen. Laura Vozzella, Washington Post, "Norfolk City Council member Andria McClellan to run for Virginia lieutenant governor," 1 Dec. 2020 That will put an end to zone celebrations in which Packers players leap into throngs of fans. Jill Martin, CNN, "Green Bay Packers putting indefinite hold on fans at Lambeau Field after Covid cases increase," 7 Oct. 2020 Listed at just 6-foot-1, unable to leap tall buildings at a single bound, the University of Louisville’s new point guard is nonetheless a rebounding savant. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "When it comes to rebounding, size is not an issue for Louisville basketball's Carlik Jones," 28 Nov. 2020 Kellen Mond just tried to do the Brees leap at the 6-yard line. Hannah Underwood, Dallas News, "National reaction to No. 5 Texas A&M’s win over LSU: Aggies earn ‘ugly’ win in first game back after delays," 28 Nov. 2020 Staffers who normally would leap at the chance to set foot in the Oval Office now try to avoid it for fear of crossing a temperamental president who has been angrily demanding answers from aides as to how to further contest the election. Jill Colvin, Star Tribune, "Week offers snapshot of how Trump, Biden approach presidency," 21 Nov. 2020 The delays have allowed rivals Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor to leap ahead in chip manufacturing. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Why Apple is dumping Intel—and what we might get out of it," 9 Nov. 2020 Instead of trying to leap straight to a fully self-driving service, the company started with a basic lane-keeping system and has gradually added capabilities over the last four years. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "“Oh Jeeeesus”: Drivers react to Tesla’s full self-driving beta release," 30 Oct. 2020 California’s stern messaging about serving the neediest first hasn’t stopped the rich from trying to leap ahead of teachers, farmworkers and firefighters. Laura J. Nelson, oregonlive, "Wealthy patients scramble for COVID-19 vaccine: ‘If I donate $25,000 ... would that help me?’," 18 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But even acknowledging the necessity of those prickly moments is an important leap in the development of a 20-year-old budding superstar. Scott Kushner, NOLA.com, "Kushner: Zion Williamson 'a lot more comfortable now,' knows it's all about winning," 10 Dec. 2020 But the fact is for Democrats to talk about the cases of these individual people, and to say that their lives might be at stake is not an irrational leap. Emma Colton, Washington Examiner, "Law scholar Jonathan Turley takes on Chris Wallace regarding Amy Coney Barrett and the Affordable Care Act," 12 Oct. 2020 Skarsgård, on foot and unarmed, chases a suspect who makes an unsuccessful leap from a balcony and falls to his death. Christopher Orr, The Atlantic, "Why British Police Shows Are Better," 11 Oct. 2020 At 6-foot-6, 206 pounds, Moute a Bidias boasts a 7-2 wingspan and an impressive vertical leap. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "How Roger Moute a Bidias went from Cal bench to Warriors’ minicamp," 9 Oct. 2020 Investors were hoping Tesla's technology would mark an even bigger leap forward and propel the company's soaring stock to greater heights. CBS News, "Tesla CEO Elon Musk boasts 500 miles on a single charge at Battery Day event," 23 Sep. 2020 More than 1,000 Oregon employees worked to develop the chip since 2016, an especially big technical leap made possible by the intense collaboration among Hillsboro engineers. oregonlive, "Intel’s Tiger Lake processor, designed and built in Oregon, aims to make up lost ground in chip market," 2 Sep. 2020 The first point is fairly well documented, but the second assertion involves less of a slide and more of an enormous leap of faith. Eugenia Cheng, Wired, "How to Undo Gender Stereotypes in Math—With Math!," 25 Aug. 2020 Regardless, Yehia’s adoration of Amr is unabashed—and Chahine evokes the power of their relationship in an exquisite leap of cinematic memory. The New Yorker, "What to Stream: “Alexandria: Again and Forever,” a Masterpiece Hiding on Netflix," 22 Aug. 2020

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

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Leap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leap. Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on leap

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