flip

1
[ flip ]
/ flɪp /

verb (used with object), flipped, flip·ping.

verb (used without object), flipped, flip·ping.

noun

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Idioms for flip

    flip one's lid/wig, Slang. lid(def 8).

Origin of flip

1
1585–95; 1955–60 for def 10; see fillip
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does flip out mean?

Flip out means to have an extremely emotional reaction to something, especially in a very outward and perhaps out-of-control way.

Flip out is used very informally. Flipping out most often happens due to anger or excitement.

When you flip out when you’re angry, it usually means you lose your temper and end up shouting at someone, as in I’ve been really on edge and flipping out at the smallest things. 

When you flip out when you’re excited, it means you get wild with excitement, such as by screaming and jumping up and down, as in She’s gonna flip out when I tell her I got tickets to the BTS concert. 

You can also flip out when you’re nervous or apprehensive, as in I’m kind of flipping out about my test tomorrow. In this case, though, the flipping out tends to be less outward, and the slang term freak out is perhaps more likely to be used. (Freak out is a very close synonym of flip out.)

In all of these cases, the word flip can be used by itself to mean the same thing, as in My mom’s going to flip when she sees what we did to the car. 

Less commonly, the term flip-out (or flipout) can be used as a noun meaning an instance of someone flipping out, as in My professor just had an epic flip-out when she caught someone cheating. More common terms that mean the same thing are freak-out and meltdown.

Where does flip out come from?

Flip out is a relatively recent slang term. The first records of its use come from around the mid-1900s.

If we say that someone has flipped out, it means they’ve really lost it—meaning their temper or their composure. The term implies a loss of control or rationality that can come with extreme emotions. It also implies that such a loss of control is displayed in an outward way, such as by shouting, screaming, or gesturing wildly. This can be good or bad. You might flip out at someone who has annoyed you one too many times, or you might flip out when someone gives you an unexpected gift.

There are many slang terms that mean the same thing, like freak out, flip one’s lid, and wig out. Like flip out, all three of these terms can refer to both positive and negative reactions. Other synonyms that only refer to negative reactions (especially anger) include lose one’s cool, fly off the handle, and go off the deep end.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to flip out?

  • flips out (verb)
  • flipped out (verb)
  • flipping out (verb)
  • flip-outs (plural noun)
  • flipouts (plural noun)

What are some synonyms for flip out?

What are some words that share a root or word element with flip out

 

What are some words that often get used in discussing flip out?

How is flip out used in real life?

Flip out is most commonly used in informal conversation. It can refer to both positive and negative reactions.

 

 

Try using flip out!

Which of the following terms is LEAST likely to be used to describe someone who is flipping out?

A. out-of-control
B. level-headed
C. irrational
D. loud

British Dictionary definitions for flip-out

flip
/ (flɪp) /

verb flips, flipping or flipped

noun

adjective

informal impertinent, flippant, or pert

Word Origin for flip

C16: probably of imitative origin; see fillip
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