[ flip-er ]
/ ˈflɪp ər /


a broad, flat limb, as of a seal or whale, especially adapted for swimming.
Also called fin. one of a pair of paddlelike devices, usually of rubber, worn on the feet as an aid in scuba diving and swimming.
Theater. a narrow flat hinged or attached at right angles to a larger flat.
Slang. the hand.
someone or something that flips.

Origin of flipper

First recorded in 1815–25; flip1 + -er1

Definition for flipper (2 of 2)

[ flip ]
/ flɪp /

adjective, flip·per, flip·pest. Informal.

flippant; pert.

Origin of flip

First recorded in 1840–50; adj. use of flip1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flipper

British Dictionary definitions for flipper (1 of 2)

/ (ˈflɪpə) /


the flat broad limb of seals, whales, penguins, and other aquatic animals, specialized for swimming
Also called: fin (often plural) either of a pair of rubber paddle-like devices worn on the feet as an aid in swimming, esp underwater
cricket a ball bowled with backspin imparted by the action of the bowler's wrist

British Dictionary definitions for flipper (2 of 2)

/ (flɪp) /

verb flips, flipping or flipped



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

Science definitions for flipper

[ flĭpər ]

A wide, flat limb adapted for swimming, found on aquatic animals such as whales, seals, and sea turtles. Flippers evolved from legs.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.