\ 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 But the magic ended on that fateful play in Cincinnati in which Beckham tore the ACL trying to leap and tackle the defender who picked off Mayfield. cleveland, "Odell Beckham Jr.: A look back at his injury-shortened 2020 season as our Browns’ Bark Week on him begins," 23 Feb. 2021 Surely the cops will receive this letter, excitedly tear it open, then immediately leap into action to have David arrested. Jen Chaney, Vulture, "Okay, Let’s Talk About Behind Her Eyes’ Double Twist Ending," 19 Feb. 2021 Portland needed a 6-2 record in seeding games to leap past the Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot. oregonlive, "From coronavirus to Sabrina Ionescu to an unnamed Oregon-Oregon State football game: The top sports stories of 2020," 26 Dec. 2020 The poverty rate is expected to leap this year from 54% of the population of some 36 million to as high as 72%, according to World Bank projections. Eissa Ahmed, Star Tribune, "In multiple countries, alarm over hunger crisis rings louder," 20 Nov. 2020 The Titans led 21-7 midway through the second quarter when Swift lost a fumble trying to leap for a touchdown at the goal line. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Titans' Arthur Smith befuddles Detroit Lions, who are eliminated from playoffs, 46-25," 20 Dec. 2020 You might be impressed by advanced skaters who spin and leap all over your TikTok feed with nary an elbow pad in sight, but trust that their grace and stability is the result of years (years!) of falling down. Rachel Feltman, Popular Science, "Glide into a new roller skater’s heart with these cool gifts," 2 Dec. 2020 Practicing flight moves, the owlets would leap and flail, tumbling to lower branches, sometimes to the ground. Val Cunningham Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "Couple had a front row seat watching barred owlets grow up," 12 Jan. 2021 Policy ideas nevertheless leap to mind that would enhance these dynamics. WSJ, "Biden Is a Climate Dead End," 18 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The recent history of Trojan receivers making the leap to the NFL over the past decade has been largely triumphant. Ryan Kartje, Los Angeles Times, "USC wide receiver Amon-ra St. Brown declares for the NFL draft," 2 Jan. 2021 This can be especially important at dockside, where a dog may be anxious about taking the leap aboard. The Editors, Outdoor Life, "How to Keep Your Dog Safe on the Water," 22 Nov. 2020 There had been talk all preseason about the IU defense taking a leap in 2020, after playing so young in 2019. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "IU football: QB Michael Penix, aggressive defense shine," 2 Nov. 2020 Griffin, 58, is taking the biggest leap of the three candidates, running for the Supreme Court while her seat in civil court is up for grabs. John Simerman, NOLA.com, "Three vie for retiring Chief Justice Bernette Johnson's seat on the Louisiana Supreme Court," 9 Oct. 2020 For John Galliano, perhaps fashion’s greatest narrative spinner of all time, taking the leap into the new age of moving images is proving an absolute gift. Sarah Mower, Vogue, "“The Thought of Doing a Runway Show Now Is Just, Really?”—John Galliano Reveals His New Maison Margiela Video," 6 Oct. 2020 Thank you @Bloodpop for taking a leap of faith with me to produce a record that hides in nothing but the truth. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Lady Gaga Released the Music Video for Her Song ‘911,’ and It Has a Jaw-Dropping Twist," 18 Sep. 2020 Stiever emerged as a top-10 prospect in the organization, taking a leap forward in 2019 from Class A Kannapolis to advanced Class A Winston-Salem. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Cedarburg's Jonathan Stiever makes major-league impression with White Sox in first start above Class A," 18 Sep. 2020 If taking the leap to a totally new form of exercise stresses you out, simply add some spice to your morning jog or walk. Popular Science, "How to work out for your mental health," 18 Sep. 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

26 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Leap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leap. Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leap

Nglish: Translation of leap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of leap for Arabic Speakers

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