verb (used with object), gapped, gap·ping.

to make a gap, opening, or breach in.

verb (used without object), gapped, gap·ping.

to come open or apart; form or show a gap.

Origin of gap

1350–1400; Middle English < Old Norse gap chasm
Related formsgap·less, adjective

Synonyms for gap




a department in SE France. 2179 sq. mi. (5645 sq. km). Capital: Gap. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gap

Contemporary Examples of gap

Historical Examples of gap

  • The micaceous soapstone rocks on both sides of the trail are covered with petroglyphs, from which the gap takes its name.

  • We went on—the Blight thrilled, for she had heard much of our volunteer force at the Gap and had seen something already.

  • Just look out, Mrs. Fabian, and see if you can see a gap across the road.

    Polly and Her Friends Abroad

    Lillian Elizabeth Roy

  • The animal headed through a gap in an old fence and started across an adjoining pasture which contained a shallow muddy pond.

    Ticktock and Jim

    Keith Robertson

  • The following night he was in the Gap earlier, and with renewed determination.

    Nan of Music Mountain

    Frank H. Spearman

British Dictionary definitions for gap



a break or opening in a wall, fence, etc
a break in continuity; interruption; hiatusthere is a serious gap in the accounts
a break in a line of hills or mountains affording a route through
mainly US a gorge or ravine
a divergence or difference; disparitythere is a gap between his version of the event and hers; the generation gap
  1. a break in a magnetic circuit that increases the inductance and saturation point of the circuit
  2. See spark gap
bridge a gap, close a gap, fill a gap or stop a gap to remedy a deficiency

verb gaps, gapping or gapped

(tr) to make a breach or opening in
Derived Formsgapless, adjectivegappy, adjective

Word Origin for gap

C14: from Old Norse gap chasm; related to gapa to gape, Swedish gap, Danish gab open mouth, opening



a department of SE France in Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. Capital: Gap. Pop: 126 810 (2003 est). Area: 5643 sq km (2201 sq miles)
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 gap

early 14c. (mid-13c. in place names), from Old Norse gap "chasm," related to gapa "to gape," from PIE *ghai- "to yawn, gape" (see yawn (v.)). Originally "hole in a wall or hedge;" broader sense is 16c. In U.S., common in place names in reference to a break or pass in a long mountain chain (especially one that water flows through). As a verb from 1847.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for gap




An opening in a structure or surface; a cleft or breach.
An interval or discontinuity in any series or sequence.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.