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[leep] /lip/
verb (used without object), leaped or leapt, leaping.
to spring through the air from one point or position to another; jump:
to leap over a ditch.
to move or act quickly or suddenly:
to leap aside; She leaped at the opportunity.
to pass, come, rise, etc., as if with a jump:
to leap to a conclusion; an idea that immediately leaped to mind.
verb (used with object), leaped or leapt, leaping.
to jump over:
to leap a fence.
to pass over as if by a jump.
to cause to leap:
to leap a horse.
a spring, jump, or bound; a light, springing movement.
the distance covered in a leap; distance jumped.
a place leaped or to be leaped over or from.
a sudden or abrupt transition:
a successful leap from piano class to concert hall.
a sudden and decisive increase:
a leap in the company's profits.
by leaps and bounds, very rapidly:
We are progressing by leaps and bounds.
leap in the dark, an action of which the consequences are unknown:
The experiment was a leap in the dark.
leap of faith, an act or instance of accepting or trusting in something that cannot readily be seen or proved.
Origin of leap
before 900; Middle English lepen, Old English hlēapan to leap, run; cognate with German laufen, Old Norse hlaupa, Gothic hlaupan
Related forms
leaper, noun
1. bound. See jump. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for leaper
Historical Examples
  • And the real “angels” who are working hard, and in detail entirely repudiate the “bearing up” of the leaper from the pinnacle.

  • leaper the Locust cried, while Kiddie Katydid echoed the word.

    The Tale of Kiddie Katydid Arthur Scott Bailey
  • Salmon comes directly from the Latin salmo, a salmon, which literally meant the leaper, from salire—to leap.

    The Log of the Sun William Beebe
  • He aspired to be the best wrestler, runner and leaper in school.

  • Kiddie Katydid and leaper the Locust quarreled so loudly that they soon drew a crowd around them.

    The Tale of Kiddie Katydid Arthur Scott Bailey
  • "I don't believe I need to worry," leaper the Locust remarked carelessly.

    The Tale of Kiddie Katydid Arthur Scott Bailey
  • These can be easily knocked away, leaving yawning gaps defying any leaper.

    Life on a Mediaeval Barony William Stearns Davis
  • He knew now why leaper had struggled to escape from that mysterious messenger with the curious message.

    The Tale of Kiddie Katydid Arthur Scott Bailey
  • In spite of his lengthened horns, leaper the Locust hardly dared show himself while his cousins remained in the neighborhood.

    The Tale of Kiddie Katydid Arthur Scott Bailey
  • The horsewoman in question must take with her three trained horsestwo of the haute cole, and one leaper.

    Acrobats and Mountebanks Hugues Le Roux
British Dictionary definitions for leaper


verb leaps, leaping, leapt, leaped
(intransitive) to jump suddenly from one place to another
(intransitive) often foll by at. to move or react quickly
(transitive) to jump over
to come into prominence rapidly: the thought leapt into his mind
(transitive) to cause (an animal, esp a horse) to jump a barrier
the act of jumping
a spot from which a leap was or may be made
the distance of a leap
an abrupt change or increase
(music) Also called (US and Canadian) skip. a relatively large melodic interval, esp in a solo part
a leap in the dark, an action performed without knowledge of the consequences
by leaps and bounds, with unexpectedly rapid progress
Derived Forms
leaper, noun
Word Origin
Old English hlēapan; related to Gothic hlaupan, German laufen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for leaper



c.1200, from Old English hleapan "to jump, run, leap" (class VII strong verb; past tense hleop, past participle hleapen), from Proto-Germanic *khlaupan (cf. Old Saxon hlopan, Old Norse hlaupa, Old Frisian hlapa, Dutch lopen, Old High German hlouffan, German laufen "to run," Gothic us-hlaupan "to jump up"), of uncertain origin, with no known cognates beyond Germanic. Leap-frog, the children's game, is attested by that name from 1590s; figurative use by 1704.

First loke and aftirward lepe [proverb recorded from mid-15c.]
Related: Leaped; leaping.


c.1200, from Old English hliep, hlyp (West Saxon), *hlep (Mercian, Northumbrian) "a leap, bound, spring, sudden movement; thing to leap from;" common Germanic (cf. Old Frisian hlep, Dutch loop, Old High German hlouf, German lauf); from the root of leap (v.). Leaps has been paired with bounds since at least 1720.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with leaper
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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