leap in the dark


verb (used without object), leaped or leapt, leaping.
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.
verb (used with object), leaped or leapt, leaping.
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.

before 900; Middle English lepen, Old English hlēapan to leap, run; cognate with German laufen, Old Norse hlaupa, Gothic hlaupan

leaper, noun

1. bound. See jump.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
leap (liːp)
vb (often foll by at) , leaps, leaping, leapt, leaped
1.  (intr) to jump suddenly from one place to another
2.  to move or react quickly
3.  (tr) to jump over
4.  to come into prominence rapidly: the thought leapt into his mind
5.  (tr) to cause (an animal, esp a horse) to jump a barrier
6.  the act of jumping
7.  a spot from which a leap was or may be made
8.  the distance of a leap
9.  an abrupt change or increase
10.  music Also called (US and Canadian): skip a relatively large melodic interval, esp in a solo part
11.  a leap in the dark an action performed without knowledge of the consequences
12.  by leaps and bounds with unexpectedly rapid progress
[Old English hlēapan; related to Gothic hlaupan, German laufen]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. hleapan "to jump, run, leap" (class VII strong verb; past tense hleop, pp. hleapen), from P.Gmc. *khlaupan (cf. O.S. hlopan, O.N. hlaupa, O.Fris. hlapa, Du. lopen, Ger. laufen "to run," Goth. us-hlaupan "to jump up"), of uncertain origin, with no known cognates beyond Germanic. The noun is O.E.
hlyp (Anglian *hlep). Leap-frog, the children's game, is attested from 1590s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

leap in the dark

An act whose results cannot be predicted. For example, Given today's high divorce rate, he considered marriage a leap in the dark. [Late 1600s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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