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leap·​frog ˈlēp-ˌfrȯg How to pronounce leapfrog (audio)
: a game in which one player bends down and is vaulted over by another player


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leapfrogged; leapfrogging

intransitive verb

: to leap or progress in or as if in leapfrog

transitive verb

: to go ahead of (each other) in turn
specifically : to advance (two military units) by keeping one unit in action while moving the other unit past it to a position farther in front
: to evade by or as if by a bypass

Examples of leapfrog in a Sentence

Verb Skipping his last two years of high school, he leapfrogged his classmates and went to college. This year's technologies are leapfrogging last year's designs.
Recent Examples on the Web
Gonna be playing leapfrog with the team below for the next two months. Gabe Lacques, The Enquirer, 31 July 2023 Drugmakers play a game of leapfrog, trying to get in front of the evolutionary maneuvers that bacteria use to protect themselves from drugs. Maryn McKenna, Scientific American, 19 May 2021 Monument Realty played leapfrog — again. Dallas News, 9 Nov. 2022 Some countries are highly digitized and made the leapfrog of digital transformation, like Sweden, Estonia, or Lithuania. Uri Levine, Forbes, 8 Mar. 2023 With this network, India has shown on a previously unseen scale how rapid technological innovation can have a leapfrog effect for developing nations, spurring economic growth even as physical infrastructure lags. Hari Kumar, New York Times, 1 Mar. 2023 Gene flow predicated on linguistic affiliation at such a remove seems implausible, so the most parsimonious explanation is that the Munda languages arrived in India from Southeast Asia as part of a leapfrog folk wandering. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 28 Oct. 2010 This to me indicates some sort of leapfrog dynamic. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 20 Dec. 2010 How businesses run there—with an appetite for leapfrog growth, with digital and green serving for good—is a model that the rest of the world should follow. Rachel Ooi, Forbes, 25 July 2022
Coupled with the Rangers’ 14-1 loss vs. the Houston Astros on Tuesday, the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Oakland Athletics 7-1 later that evening to leapfrog Texas in the American League standings and slide into the league’s sixth playoff seed. Shawn McFarland, Dallas News, 6 Sep. 2023 With the addition of Grimsley, Alabama’s class jumps 11 spots on the 247Sports team ranking from 29th to 18th overall, leapfrogging three Southeastern Conference teams. Nick Alvarez | Nalvarez@al.com, al, 1 July 2023 That meant leapfrogging the base-level XL for the XLT, which is the entry point to the FX4 Off-Road package. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, 26 May 2023 The changes begin at No. 5, where Florida State leapfrogs into the top five on the heels of its convincing victory against then-No. 5 LSU. USA TODAY, 5 Sep. 2023 In 2020 the private funds industry leapfrogged over the commercial bank sector, with nearly $3 trillion more in gross investment assets. Rachel Shin, Fortune, 8 Aug. 2023 The result leapfrogged Orange County over San Diego into fourth place in the Western Conference, a key factor considering that the top four finishers in each conference are guaranteed at least one home playoff game. Ivan Carter, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Aug. 2023 African nations, for example, can benefit greatly from leapfrogging to a clean energy future and yet over the last 20 years, only 2% of global renewable energy investments were made in Africa. Gina McCarthy, Time, 16 Aug. 2023 To keep things simple, the leapfrogging Marines wouldn’t even plug into the F-35’s centralized Autonomic Logistics Information System, O’Brien said. David Axe, Forbes, 17 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'leapfrog.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1599, in the meaning defined above


1872, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of leapfrog was in 1599

Dictionary Entries Near leapfrog

Cite this Entry

“Leapfrog.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leapfrog. Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a game in which the first player bends down and another leaps over

More from Merriam-Webster on leapfrog

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