flipper

[flip-er]
noun
1.
a broad, flat limb, as of a seal or whale, especially adapted for swimming.
2.
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.
3.
Theater. a narrow flat hinged or attached at right angles to a larger flat.
4.
Slang. the hand.
5.
someone or something that flips.

Origin:
1815–25; flip1 + -er1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
flipper (ˈflɪpə)
 
n
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
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

flipper
"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 for flippers
He also wears dark green flippers on his feet, rather than boots.
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