Definition of flap in English:

flap

Syllabification: flap
Pronunciation: /flap
 
/

verb (flaps, flapping, flapped)

[with object]
  • 1(Of a bird) move (its wings) up and down when flying or preparing to fly: a pheasant flapped its wings [no object]: gulls flapped around uttering their strange cries
    More example sentences
    • Scientists have discovered that as each bird flaps its wings it creates uplift for the bird immediately following.
    • These tiny birds can flap their wings up to 70 times per second.
    • I've seen our power lines go down when a bird flaps its wings near them, so I'm thinking we may be in the dark tonight.
    Synonyms
    beat, flutter, agitate, wave, wag, swing
  • 1.1 [no object] (Of something attached at one point or loosely fastened) flutter or wave around: the tent bent with the gale, and the corners flapped furiously
    More example sentences
    • The sheets have been flapping furiously on the washing lines as if heralding the new front approaching from the west.
    • As the plants were locked away in a closed section next to the cafe, I strained my neck to see the price tags flapping furiously in the wind.
    • A thin breeze caught some strands of her short hair and sent some waves flapping in the wind.
    Synonyms
    flutter, fly, blow, swing, sway, ripple, stir
  • 1.2Wave (something) around or at something or someone: she flapped the duster angrily she began flapping her arms to drive away the permeating cold
    More example sentences
    • I was almost mauled by an easily excitable Olympic volunteer flapping her security pass around because I tried to take the quicker way out of the train station.
    • Do you stand there and keep flapping the tray about until the traymat dislodges itself?
  • 1.3Strike or attempt to strike (something) loosely with one’s hand, a cloth, or a broad implement, especially to drive it away.

noun

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  • 1A piece of something thin, such as cloth, paper, or metal, hinged or attached only on one side, that covers an opening or hangs down from something: the flap of the envelope he pushed through the tent flap
    More example sentences
    • It was a very large room, looking like a gym only a bit smaller, and there were several holes in the side of the wall that were covered up by metal flaps which looked like they could be opened.
    • The neck is covered by flaps attached to the vest.
    • He nodded to Hazel and she left, watching Katrina until the flaps of the tent covered her face.
    Synonyms
    fold, overlap, covering
  • 1.1A hinged or sliding section of an aircraft wing used to control lift: flaps are normally moved by the hydraulics a final approach at sixty knots with 45° of flap
    More example sentences
    • Another consideration is to minimize the drag devices: the landing gear, the flaps and the windmilling propeller.
    • The aircraft also have composite ailerons, spoilers, flaps, vertical tail skin and horizontal tail skin, but they have aluminum wings.
    • Agglomerations of wings and cowling, flaps, rudders and fuselage rise dramatically from narrow steel legs.
  • 1.2A large broad mushroom.
  • 1.3 Phonetics A type of consonant produced by allowing the tip of the tongue to strike the alveolar ridge very briefly.
  • 2A movement of a wing or an arm from side to side or up and down: the surviving bird made a few final despairing flaps
    More example sentences
    • Residents have enjoyed watching the young birds progress from falling to the ground after a couple flaps of their wings to confident flyers.
    • The Butterfly Effect derives its name from the chaos theory which suggests that the simple flap of a butterfly's wings has the potential to set off a tornado thousands of miles away.
    • He could feel the wind blowing his bangs backwards and could hear the soft flap of his headband.
    Synonyms
    flutter, fluttering, beat, beating, waving
  • 2.1 [in singular] The sound of something making a flapping movement: hear the coo of the dove, the flap of its wings
    More example sentences
    • Just as I was about to stand up, I felt a faint gust of wind on the nape of my neck and the accompanying sound of a leathery flap was barely audible.
    • The wings make an unmistakable flap as they beat the air, its sound like the steady methodical beat of a snare drum slowly drawing nearer.
  • 3 [in singular] informal A state of agitation; a panic: they’re in a flap over who’s going to take Henry’s lectures
    More example sentences
    • Size isn't important, or so the saying goes… but abseilers might think differently after a banner left them, and Rochdale Council, in a flap.
    • An injured cygnet had a rescue team in a flap as it took five days to catch in Chippenham.
    • I remember a Christmas, not too long ago, when I was in a flap because our new daughter-in-law was coming for Christmas Dinner and I wanted it to be perfect.
    Synonyms
    panic, fluster, state, dither, twitter, stew, tizzyfuss, commotion, stir, hubbub, storm, uproar; controversy, brouhaha, furor
    informal to-do, ballyhoo, hoo-ha

Derivatives

flappy

adjective
More example sentences
  • But now and again, I'd wake up to see 2 little dark shapes with little flappy wings gouging at my legs.
  • In particular, the sleeves were just the right width - not too narrow, not too flappy.
  • The only minus is that the sleeves are kind of flappy.

Origin

Middle English: probably imitative.

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