- to spring through the air from one point or position to another; jump: to leap over a ditch.
- to move or act quickly or suddenly: to leap aside; She leaped at the opportunity.
- to pass, come, rise, etc., as if with a jump: to leap to a conclusion; an idea that immediately leaped to mind.
- to jump over: to leap a fence.
- to pass over as if by a jump.
- to cause to leap: to leap a horse.
- a spring, jump, or bound; a light, springing movement.
- the distance covered in a leap; distance jumped.
- a place leaped or to be leaped over or from.
- a sudden or abrupt transition: a successful leap from piano class to concert hall.
- a sudden and decisive increase: a leap in the company's profits.
- by leaps and bounds, very rapidly: We are progressing by leaps and bounds.
- leap in the dark, an action of which the consequences are unknown: The experiment was a leap in the dark.
- leap of faith, an act or instance of accepting or trusting in something that cannot readily be seen or proved.
Origin of leap
SynonymsSee more synonyms for leap on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for leap
Peter Christopherson made the leap to life on the bandstand and became a pioneer in the industrial music genre.The Golden Age of Rock Album Covers
December 5, 2014
Another common prank was to spin the cannon in the direction of the major, causing him to leap out of the way.Stonewall Jackson, VMI’s Most Embattled Professor
S. C. Gwynne
November 29, 2014
It was a small step in learning to stick to my guns, but a leap in my comprehension of phonetics.‘Sesame Street’ Is Middle-Aged and Awesome
November 10, 2014
But in this case the leap from the known to the unknown is extreme.Can Anyone Make Space Safe for Civilians?
November 4, 2014
Obviously, Sister Cristina had a change of heart—or a leap of faith.What Does a Pop-Star Nun Sing? Madonna’s ‘Like A Virgin,’ Of Course
Barbie Latza Nadeau
October 21, 2014
Again we take a leap of about twenty years, and alight in the midst of the Revolution.Old News
He had but to say to me, 'Leap into the water,' and I would not have stopped to pull off my coat.Night and Morning, Complete
He was throwing back the robe to leap from the sleigh when the figure reached him.Tiverton Tales
Kirkwood rose, balancing himself against the leap and sway of the boat.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
Tired and weighted, she dared not try the leap; she skirted around.Johnny Bear
E. T. Seton
- (intr) to jump suddenly from one place to another
- (intr often foll by at) to move or react quickly
- (tr) to jump over
- to come into prominence rapidlythe thought leapt into his mind
- (tr) to cause (an animal, esp a horse) to jump a barrier
- the act of jumping
- a spot from which a leap was or may be made
- the distance of a leap
- an abrupt change or increase
- Also called (US and Canadian): skip music a relatively large melodic interval, esp in a solo part
- a leap in the dark an action performed without knowledge of the consequences
- by leaps and bounds with unexpectedly rapid progress
Word Origin and History for leap
c.1200, from Old English hleapan "to jump, run, leap" (class VII strong verb; past tense hleop, past participle hleapen), from Proto-Germanic *khlaupan (cf. Old Saxon hlopan, Old Norse hlaupa, Old Frisian hlapa, Dutch lopen, Old High German hlouffan, German laufen "to run," Gothic us-hlaupan "to jump up"), of uncertain origin, with no known cognates beyond Germanic. Leap-frog, the children's game, is attested by that name from 1590s; figurative use by 1704.
First loke and aftirward lepe [proverb recorded from mid-15c.]
Related: Leaped; leaping.
c.1200, from Old English hliep, hlyp (West Saxon), *hlep (Mercian, Northumbrian) "a leap, bound, spring, sudden movement; thing to leap from;" common Germanic (cf. Old Frisian hlep, Dutch loop, Old High German hlouf, German lauf); from the root of leap (v.). Leaps has been paired with bounds since at least 1720.
Idioms and Phrases with leap
In addition to the idioms beginning with leap
- leap in the dark
- leap of faith
- by leaps and bounds
- look before you leap
- quantum leap
Also see underjump.