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[leep] /lip/
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.
Origin of leap
before 900; Middle English lepen, Old English hlēapan to leap, run; cognate with German laufen, Old Norse hlaupa, Gothic hlaupan
Related forms
leaper, noun
1. bound. See jump. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for leap
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was idle; a magic seems to shield a captive's leap for life.

    The Cavalier George Washington Cable
  • Again we take a leap of about twenty years, and alight in the midst of the Revolution.

    Old News Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • So that if a chestnut was a fiver, and it beat a tenner, it became at one leap a fifteener.

    Dr. Jolliffe's Boys Lewis Hough
  • 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 Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Elise's heart gave a leap: these very herbs were for Valmond!

British Dictionary definitions for leap


verb leaps, leaping, leapt, leaped
(intransitive) to jump suddenly from one place to another
(intransitive) often foll by at. to move or react quickly
(transitive) to jump over
to come into prominence rapidly: the thought leapt into his mind
(transitive) 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
(music) Also called (US and Canadian) skip. 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
Derived Forms
leaper, noun
Word Origin
Old English hlēapan; related to Gothic hlaupan, German laufen
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
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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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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leap in Technology

Language for the Expression of Associative Procedures.
ALGOL-based formalism for sets and associative retrieval, for TX-2. Became part of SAIL.
"An ALGOL-based Associative Language", J.A. Feldman et al, CACM 12(8):439-449 (Aug 1969).

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Idioms and Phrases with leap
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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