verb (used without object), leaped or leapt, leap·ing.
verb (used with object), leaped or leapt, leap·ing.
Origin of leap
Synonyms for leap
verb leaps, leaping, leapt or leaped
Word Origin for leap
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.
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.
by leaps and bounds
Rapidly, or in fast progress, as in The corn is growing by leaps and bounds, or School enrollment is increasing by leaps and bounds. This term is a redundancy, since leap and bound both mean “spring” or “jump,” but the two words have been paired since Shakespeare's time and are still so used.
In addition to the idioms beginning with leap
- leap in the dark
- leap of faith
- by leaps and bounds
- look before you leap
- quantum leap
Also see underjump.