a broad, flat limb, as of a seal or whale, especially adapted for swimming.
Also called fin. one of a pair of paddlelike devices, usually of rubber, worn on the feet as an aid in scuba diving and swimming.
Theater. a narrow flat hinged or attached at right angles to a larger flat.
Slang. the hand.
someone or something that flips.

1815–25; flip1 + -er1

Dictionary.com Unabridged


3 [flip]
adjective, flipper, flippest. Informal.
flippant; pert.

1840–50; adj. use of flip1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
flip (flɪp)
vb , flips, flipping, flipped
1.  to throw (something light or small) carelessly or briskly; toss: he flipped me an envelope
2.  to throw or flick (an object such as a coin) so that it turns or spins in the air
3.  to propel by a sudden movement of the finger; flick: to flip a crumb across the room
4.  (foll by through) to read or look at (a book, newspaper, etc) quickly, idly, or incompletely
5.  (intr) (of small objects) to move or bounce jerkily
6.  (intr) to make a snapping movement or noise with the finger and thumb
7.  slang (intr) to fly into a rage or an emotional outburst (also in the phrases flip one's lid, flip one's top)
8.  slang (intr) to become ecstatic or very excited: he flipped over the jazz group
9.  a snap or tap, usually with the fingers
10.  a rapid jerk
11.  a somersault, esp one performed in the air, as in a dive, rather than from a standing position
12.  same as nog
13.  informal impertinent, flippant, or pert
[C16: probably of imitative origin; see fillip]

flipper (ˈflɪpə)
1.  the flat broad limb of seals, whales, penguins, and other aquatic animals, specialized for swimming
2.  (often plural) Also called: fin either of a pair of rubber paddle-like devices worn on the feet as an aid in swimming, esp underwater
3.  cricket a ball bowled with topspin imparted by the action of the bowler's wrist

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1590s, possibly imitative; or a contraction of fillip (q.v.), which also is held to be imitative. Sense of "get excited" is first recorded 1950; flip one's lid "lose one's head, go wild" is from 1951. For flip (adj.) "glib," see flippant. Related:
Flipped. Flipping (adj.) as euphemism for fucking is British slang first recorded 1911 in D.H. Lawrence.

sailors' hot drink usually containing beer, brandy and sugar, 1695, from flip (v.), so called from notion of it being "whipped up" or beaten.

"limb used to swim with," 1822, from the verb. Sense of "rubber fin for underwater swimming" is from 1945. Slang meaning "the hand" dates from 1836. Related: Flippers.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
flipper   (flĭp'ər)  Pronunciation Key 
A wide, flat limb adapted for swimming, found on aquatic animals such as whales, seals, and sea turtles. Flippers evolved from legs.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
On the other hand, the slender bones of the skull and flipper suggest a more
  graceful profile.
The bumps on a whale's flipper help form vortices that generate more lift, more
Cook the flipper with bone in to lend extra goodness.
The bumps on a humpback's flipper prevent the beast from stalling as it turns.
Related Words
Images for flipper
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