\ 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

bound, hop, jump, spring, vault

Synonyms: Noun

bound, hop, jump, spring, vault

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Examples of leap in a Sentence


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.


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 Metropolitan Police force said that two officers were trying to pull over a van in east London when a man leapt out and stabbed one police officer several times. Washington Post, "London police officer seriously hurt in machete attack," 8 Aug. 2019 Receiver Ryan Grant made a leaping catch with the second-team offense and massive right tackle Trent Brown cleared a running lane on another play by pushing a Rams linebacker to the ground. Matt Kawahara, SFChronicle.com, "Raiders’ offense has flashes — and lulls — in practice with Rams," 7 Aug. 2019 The driver — who will later be convicted of dangerous driving — leaps out and flees. Carina Chocano, New York Times, "When Gender Reveal Videos Go Spectacularly, Cathartically Wrong," 1 Aug. 2019 Barbara Ridlon swung her car into the parking lot, leaped out, and raced headlong toward the man who was pounding his wife for having the temerity to defy him and buy a pair of shoes. Kevin Cullen, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston’s Barbara Ridlon was all cop, and that’s high praise," 1 Aug. 2019 Seahawk and Super Stallion helicopters leap and land like gigantic insects, feeding on the mother ship. Sam Kiley, CNN, "On the ship that downed a military drone, one small mistake could cause a war with Iran," 19 July 2019 Aldrin leaped up the ladder, and then, the first man on the moon became the second to leave it. Jeffrey Kluger, CBS News, "To the Moon! A chronicle of mankind's greatest adventure," 14 July 2019 My older sister and I, who shared a bedroom, leapt out of bed and ran to the flagstone entry of our ranch-style house to join our parents, who’d also been shaken awake. Robin Abcarian, latimes.com, "Every California family has an earthquake story. Mine is embarrassing but true," 9 July 2019 Two batters after Mancini singled to lead off the sixth, Pedro Severino hit a deep fly to center, but Bradley leaped at the wall and got his glove on it. Nathan Ruiz, baltimoresun.com, "Red Sox hit six homers, blast Orioles, 13-2, to open series," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The ability to deliver medical care remotely is growing by leaps and bounds. Marie Fishpaw, National Review, "A Health Plan for President Trump," 1 Aug. 2019 Indeed, in this day and age redundancies are multiplying by fits and starts and leaps and bounds. Richard Lederer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Redundancies are now the junk food of our language," 20 July 2019 While that may paint the picture that investing in soccer in Colorado has been a fool’s errand, the Rapids franchise has also appreciated by leaps and bounds. Mark Goodman, The Denver Post, "Backpass: Is there a path to pro women’s soccer in Colorado?," 12 July 2019 Megan's support appears to have helped Brian make leaps and bounds in his own life. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Immediately after World Cup win, Megan Rapinoe wishes Brian a happy birthday. Who is he?," 8 July 2019 Look to the most difficult teams the USWNT faced ahead of the final: France and England, federations without long histories of success that both have recently grown their women’s domestic leagues by leaps and bounds. Maggie Mertens, The Atlantic, "The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Deserves More Than a Trophy," 7 July 2019 The budget of the religious directorate, the agency responsible for the conduct of sermons in the country’s mosques, has grown by leaps and bounds, overtaking several ministries in the process. P.z. | Istanbul, The Economist, "In Turkey, demography is a brake on Islamisation," 1 July 2019 But despite what every article since the launch of Virtù has told you, that was never his best work to begin with, and his food has grown leaps and bounds in the several years since. Dominic Armato, azcentral, "The best restaurants in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley," 1 July 2019 Your understanding of problems and people grows by leaps and bounds. BostonGlobe.com, "Horoscope for Monday, June 17," 17 June 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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Learn More about leap

Dictionary Entries near leap



Lea oak


leap at

leap day


Statistics for leap

Last Updated

13 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for leap

The first known use of leap was before the 12th century

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with leap

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for leap

Spanish Central: Translation of leap

Nglish: Translation of leap for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of leap for Arabic Speakers

Comments on leap

What made you want to look up leap? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not constant or steady

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