[ gap ]
See synonyms for gap on
  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.

  1. a wide divergence or difference; disparity: the gap between expenses and income; the gap between ideals and actions.

  2. 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.

  3. a deep, sloping ravine or cleft through a mountain ridge.

  4. Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. a mountain pass: the Cumberland Gap.

  5. Aeronautics. the distance between one supporting surface of an airplane and another above or below it.

verb (used with object),gapped, gap·ping.
  1. to make a gap, opening, or breach in.

verb (used without object),gapped, gap·ping.
  1. to come open or apart; form or show a gap.

Origin of gap

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Old Norse: “chasm”; akin to Old Norse gapa “to open the mouth wide” (see gape )

Other words for gap

Other words from gap

  • gapless, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use gap in a sentence

  • Small gaps have doubtless been frequently passed over in the same manner.

    Man And His Ancestor | Charles Morris
  • As it happens, Jaffery has had to fill up little gaps, make bridges here and there.

    Jaffery | William J. Locke
  • Blind entrances, gaps, and ponderous suspensions multiply and vary infinitely.

    Toilers of the Sea | Victor Hugo
  • The line passes beside Magersfontein and through gaps in six ridges behind it, affording an excellent view of the whole position.

    The Relief of Mafeking | Filson Young
  • The other paths were more or less abrupt, and led down to the creek through gaps in the steep rocks.

    Toilers of the Sea | Victor Hugo

British Dictionary definitions for gap


/ (ɡæp) /

  1. a break or opening in a wall, fence, etc

  2. a break in continuity; interruption; hiatus: there is a serious gap in the accounts

  1. a break in a line of hills or mountains affording a route through

  2. mainly US a gorge or ravine

  3. a divergence or difference; disparity: there is a gap between his version of the event and hers; the generation gap

  4. electronics

    • a break in a magnetic circuit that increases the inductance and saturation point of the circuit

  5. bridge a gap, close a gap, fill a gap or stop a gap to remedy a deficiency

verbgaps, gapping or gapped
  1. (tr) to make a breach or opening in

Origin of gap

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

Derived forms of gap

  • gapless, adjective
  • gappy, adjective

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