\ 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 Carlson, a rookie out of Princeton, caught the first pass of his career, a leaping 8-yard touchdown catch from Baker Mayfield, returning a two-score cushion to the Browns late in the game. Scott Patsko, cleveland, "The Browns’ backup plan worked against the Steelers: Quick Thoughts," 15 Nov. 2019 Fernando Mendoza fired a pass in double coverage and receiver Xzavier Henderson made a leaping catch and broke free down the right sideline for a 43-yard touchdown with one second left to play prior to halftime. Alex Kushel, sun-sentinel.com, "Visiting Miami Columbus manhandles Atlantic," 1 Nov. 2019 But Wilkerson made a leaping catch before nearly tumbling into the seats adjacent to the visitors’ bullpen. BostonGlobe.com, "It was hard not to wonder whether it was the final time Betts will play for the Sox.," 29 Sep. 2019 The Mustangs started their winning drive at their own six but converted three third downs, one on a leaping catch along the sideline by Trevor Woods. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Beata field goal delivers victory for Katy Taylor football," 28 Sep. 2019 Chad Pinder made a leaping catch of Ryan O’Hearn’s line drive that was a half-inch from the grass and scoring Soler for what would have been the game’s first run. Shayna Rubin, The Mercury News, "Athletics walk off in the 11th inning to claim series against Kansas City Royals," 18 Sep. 2019 Neither team threatened to score until Martin Prado sent a fifth-inning drive deep to center, where Kevin Pillar made a leaping catch on a ball that needed another foot or two to leave the yard. Henry Schulman, SFChronicle.com, "Giants fall weakly again as one mistake costs Bumgarner a shot at milestone Oracle win," 14 Sep. 2019 Baez also robbed Wilson Ramos of a hit and an RBI with a leaping catch of a line drive with Michael Conforto on third base in the second inning. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, "Javier Baez and Yu Darvish step up as the Cubs snap their 3-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory against the Mets," 27 Aug. 2019 Close call: Grisham collided with the steel railing lining the top of the wall down the left-field line after attempting to make a leaping catch against it on a foul ball in the first inning. Todd Rosiak, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Brewers 6, Twins 5: Trent Grisham's homer in the eighth decides it," 14 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun When technology took a leap forward in the early 1900s, shifting the economy from agriculture to manufacturing, the United States responded by making high school universal and compulsory. Susan Lund, Quartz, "Will robots take your job before you even graduate?," 5 Nov. 2019 Propelled by a strong, second-place finish in the Pac-12 Championships, the Oregon Ducks took a big leap forward in the national cross country rankings released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. oregonlive, "Oregon Ducks move up in the men’s national cross country rankings," 5 Nov. 2019 Now, the billionaire real estate developer is making that kind of leap possible for others, with a landmark $100 million gift to U-Va. Susan Svrluga, Washington Post, "$100 million gift to U-Va. dedicated to students whose parents didn’t go to college," 12 Oct. 2019 As the clock continued past midnight, the UUP's David Trimble took a leap of faith that sealed the deal. Nic Robertson, CNN, "Boris Johnson's Brexit talks teeter on brink of collapse. Here's how a Nobel prize-winner could help him," 9 Oct. 2019 Some will say two years is too fast to make this kind of leap, but Esten noted time wasn’t on the Tommies’ side, and this wasn’t a decision the administration took lightly. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "St. Thomas invited to join Summit League in Division I athletics," 4 Oct. 2019 The important part is that Rodriguez — in a lost season for the Red Sox — took a huge leap forward that bodes well for the future. BostonGlobe.com, "The Red Sox players flung sunflower seeds in Eduardo Rodriguez’s direction and he didn’t bother to move.," 30 Sep. 2019 The Buzz: No quarterback has made as big of a leap in development this season as Burrow, who is thriving in Joe Brady’s new passing system at LSU. Matt Murschel, orlandosentinel.com, "Heisman Watch: Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts, Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa early Heisman favorites," 20 Sep. 2019 Today, with relations under strain after Trump imposed billions of dollars in tariffs on imports from China, labeling the country a manipulator is less of a leap. Scott Lanman, Fortune, "Why the U.S. Labeled China a Currency Manipulator," 6 Aug. 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

19 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Leap.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leaped. Accessed 21 November 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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