slap on the wrist, relatively mild criticism or censure: He got away with a slap on the wrist.

Origin of slap

First recorded in 1625–35, slap is from the Low German word slapp, slappe; of expressive orig.

Related forms

slap·per, noun

Synonym study

1. See blow1.

Definition for slap (2 of 2)


[ slap ]
/ slæp /


a gap or opening, as in a fence, wall, cloud bank, or line of troops.
a mountain pass.
a wound or gash.

verb (used with object), slapped, slap·ping.

to make a gap or opening in; breach.

Origin of slap

1325–75; Middle English slop < Middle Dutch or Middle Low German; cognate with German Schlupf hiding place Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for slap

British Dictionary definitions for slap


/ (slæp) /


verb slaps, slapping or slapped

adverb informal

exactly; directlyslap on time
forcibly or abruptlyto fall slap on the floor

Derived Forms

slapper, noun

Word Origin for slap

C17: from Low German slapp, German Schlappe, of imitative origin
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