\ 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 cougar seems to leap from the new wildlife work, surrounded by monarch butterflies and native plants. Los Angeles Times, "May events: Mother’s Day hikes, L.A. River events, plus a new P-22 mural," 6 May 2021 Elise Stefanik, one of the youngest women ever elected to Congress, is set to leap into the GOP leadership after raising her profile as a prominent defender of President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial. Siobhan Hughes, WSJ, "How Elise Stefanik Rose to Cusp of GOP Leadership," 5 May 2021 Protocols call for emergency medical services to leap into action even as law enforcement speeds to the scene at the moment 911 receives its first call about an active shooter event, Streib said. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, "FedEx shooting just another night for busy Indianapolis hospitals used to gun violence," 19 Apr. 2021 Château Lassègue: Expect a wine with a brilliant color and pure aromatics that leap out from the glass, offering a panoply of fresh red fruit, and evoking notes of rose and violet. Rachel King, Fortune, "The best wines for Thanksgiving," 21 Nov. 2020 Most of the figures are streaming blood — bright red splashes that leap out from the chaotic mosaic of weapons and body parts. New York Times, "The 25 Most Influential Works of American Protest Art Since World War II," 15 Oct. 2020 Democrats and Republicans leap to their feet to applaud Reagan’s win. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, "The Trump Administration Is Over, but the Trump Crisis Is Not," 22 Apr. 2021 Williams’ production in his rookie season — 9.7 points and 4.7 rebounds per game with 48% shooting and an encouraging 38.7% from 3-point range while usually guarding the other team’s best player — might not leap off the page to outsiders. Jamal Collier, chicagotribune.com, "Patrick Williams is pleased with the strides he’s making for the Chicago Bulls — whether he makes the All-Rookie team or not," 11 Apr. 2021 Don’t leap blindly into a new situation without having a sound strategy. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for March 26, 2021: Virgo, skip happy hour; Sagittarius, share deep thoughts, hopes," 26 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That is a leap from about $200 million spread over 65 deals in 2011. Jing Yang, WSJ, "Grab’s Huge SPAC Merger Heralds Asia’s Next Tech Boom," 7 May 2021 In a way, this stylistic evolution was not such a leap; many traditional objects had embodied the burnished gleam of Art Deco, with its reliance on chaste lines and polished finishes. New York Times, "How Japonisme Forever Changed the Course of Western Design," 11 Feb. 2021 The mammoth undertaking is a leap forward in the fight against the coronavirus in India, second only to the United States in its total number of cases. Washington Post, "India is launching one of the world’s largest vaccination campaigns. But it’s unclear if one of the vaccines works.," 16 Jan. 2021 Today’s unveiling is a leap toward that first ride. Sarah Scoles, Science | AAAS, "Rocket-launching drone ready to take satellites into orbit," 3 Dec. 2020 The second-season finale, with its last-minute leap to Mars, turns the show into appointment viewing. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, "Um, We Should Talk About That Wild For All Mankind Finale," 23 Apr. 2021 Despite being relatively new to the event, her leap of 17-3¾ was the best effort in the competition by more than 21 inches and broke the meet record of 17-1¼. Joe Magill, cleveland, "Hathaway Brown’s Morgan Monesmith shatters Warrior Relays 1,600 record, Walsh’s Abby Knouff soars, University’s Michael Beros goes back-to-back and 3 other performances," 17 Apr. 2021 Similar to his cat-like vertical leap, the 6-foot-3 Phoenix native Washington jumped from a local Valley prep basketball star to one of the nation's top recruits during the 2020-21 season. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, "AZ Compass Prep boys basketball top recruit TyTy Washington reveals his top six colleges," 17 Apr. 2021 The slick, 60-second commercial shows a boy playing at dusk, toting his golf bag on his back, not another soul visible across the verdant course to witness his leap of joy. Susan Page, USA TODAY, "Exclusive: John Boehner says Donald Trump 'abused' his loyalists by lying to them," 11 Apr. 2021

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

9 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Leap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/leap. Accessed 12 May. 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

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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