a small lap, flap, or loosely hanging part, especially of a garment or headdress.
a projecting, lobelike structure in certain invertebrate animals.
Ornithology. a wattle or other fleshy process on a bird's head.
  1. a rack or bar containing needles, situated at the front of the reed, and used in the production of figured patterns.
  2. an ornamented fabric produced by lappet weaving.

Origin of lappet

First recorded in 1565–75; lap1 + -et
Related formslap·pet·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lappet

Historical Examples of lappet

  • If the subject is only moderately interesting he pulls a sleeve or a lappet of a coat.


    George A. Birmingham

  • She went up to him, put her hand on the lappet of his coat and shook her head.

    The Vicar of Bullhampton

    Anthony Trollope

  • The skirt is put on and gathered just under the edge of the lappet.

  • That which moved the lappet was something in the pocket that was struggling to get out.

    A Book of Ghosts

    Sabine Baring-Gould

  • The President took him familiarly by the lappet of his coat, and drew him to the bay-window.


    Armando Palacio Valds

British Dictionary definitions for lappet



a small hanging flap or piece of lace, etc, such as one dangling from a headdress
zoology a lobelike hanging structure, such as the wattle on a bird's head
Derived Formslappeted, adjective

Word Origin for lappet

C16: from lap 1 + -et
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 lappet

"a small flap," 1570s; earlier "lobe of a body part" (early 15c.), from Middle English lappe "lap" (see lap (n.)) + -et, diminutive suffix.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper