• synonyms


See more synonyms for gapping on Thesaurus.com
noun Linguistics.
  1. a rule of transformational grammar by which repeated instances of a verb are deleted from conjoined sentences, as in the deletion of brought from Mary brought the bread, John the cheese, and Bill the wine.
Show More

Origin of gapping


  1. a break or opening, as in a fence, wall, or military line; breach: We found a gap in the enemy's line of fortifications.
  2. an empty space or interval; interruption in continuity; hiatus: a momentary gap in a siren's wailing; a gap in his memory.
  3. a wide divergence or difference; disparity: the gap between expenses and income; the gap between ideals and actions.
  4. a difference or disparity in attitudes, perceptions, character, or development, or a lack of confidence or understanding, perceived as creating a problem: the technology gap; a communications gap.
  5. a deep, sloping ravine or cleft through a mountain ridge.
  6. Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. a mountain pass: the Cumberland Gap.
  7. Aeronautics. the distance between one supporting surface of an airplane and another above or below it.
Show More
verb (used with object), gapped, gap·ping.
  1. to make a gap, opening, or breach in.
Show More
verb (used without object), gapped, gap·ping.
  1. to come open or apart; form or show a gap.
Show More

Origin of gap

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


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for gapping

Historical Examples

  • "'T is more afraid I am of gapping the fine edge of your Excellency by contact with my own ruggedness," said Billy, obsequiously.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore

    Charles James Lever

  • He had but just reached this decision when he came upon a gapping hole in the hose.

  • They are very irregular, and the gapping does not go down too deeply into the cortex.

    Warren Commission (4 of 26): Hearings Vol. IV (of 15)

    The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

  • The upper end of it having apparently lost some tissue was gapping more than the lower portion of it.

    Warren Commission (4 of 26): Hearings Vol. IV (of 15)

    The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy

British Dictionary definitions for gapping


  1. (in transformational grammar) a rule that deletes repetitions of a verb, as in the sentence Bill voted for Smith, Sam for McKay, and Dave for Harris
  2. the act or practice of taking a gap year
Show More


  1. a break or opening in a wall, fence, etc
  2. a break in continuity; interruption; hiatusthere is a serious gap in the accounts
  3. a break in a line of hills or mountains affording a route through
  4. mainly US a gorge or ravine
  5. a divergence or difference; disparitythere is a gap between his version of the event and hers; the generation gap
  6. electronics
    1. a break in a magnetic circuit that increases the inductance and saturation point of the circuit
    2. See spark gap
  7. bridge a gap, close a gap, fill a gap or stop a gap to remedy a deficiency
Show More
verb gaps, gapping or gapped
  1. (tr) to make a breach or opening in
Show More
Derived Formsgapless, adjectivegappy, adjective

Word Origin

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



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.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

gapping in Medicine


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