[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. flipbook,
  2. flipchart,
  3. flippancy,
  4. flippant,
  5. flippantly,
  6. flipping,
  7. flippy,
  8. flirt,
  9. flirtable,
  10. flirtation

Origin of flipper

First recorded in 1815–25; flip1 + -er1


[ 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


/ (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


/ (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

Word Origin and History for flipper
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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.