Definition of leap in English:


Syllabification: leap
Pronunciation: /lēp

verb (past or past participle leaped /lēpt/ or leapt /lept/)

[no object]
  • 1Jump or spring a long way, to a great height, or with great force: I leaped across the threshold figurative Fabia’s heart leapt excitedly
    More example sentences
    • He scanned the crowd and his heart leapt excitedly when he spotted her.
    • His heart leaped and he jumped out of his bed, ran across his room and slammed his door.
    • On the night Joe died, they found the ladders partly pulled down, despite them normally being pushed up at a height only accessible by leaping up a nearby wall.
  • 1.1Move quickly and suddenly: Polly leapt to her feet
    More example sentences
    • With that, he had leapt quickly forward and landed a quick punch to Cyrus's side that Cyrus couldn't quite follow.
    • The surprised lord quickly leapt forward to catch his wife before she hurt her herself.
    • Quickly I leapt to my feet and grabbed her before she even thought of doing something stupid.
  • 1.2 [with object] Jump across or over: a coyote leaped the fence
    More example sentences
    • He then leapt a fence and galloped over the hill deep into the field.
    • We heard raucous laughter and audible thuds as people leapt the fence into the yard.
    • The woman was sometimes caught or confronted on properties or in her victim's homes but always made a getaway, once through a hole in a hedge and on another occasion by leaping a fence.
  • 1.3Make a sudden rush to do something; act eagerly and suddenly: it was time for me to leap into action
    More example sentences
    • Although some bird-lovers have leapt to their defence, there is an undeniably anti-social element among the pigeon fraternity.
    • But friends and colleagues leapt to his defence, insisting they had issued a public thank you for his rescue.
    • It's that sad old bunch of ex-something-or-others who have leapt to her defence in recent days.
    rush, hurry, hastenform hastily, reach hurriedly; hurry to, hasten to, jump to, rush to
  • 1.4 (leap at) Accept (an opportunity) eagerly: they leapt at the opportunity to combine fun with fund-raising
    More example sentences
    • When asked by one of its key suppliers to develop their website, staff leapt at the chance.
    • When the university approached Uncle Sam about the idea of an alumni center, he leaped at the opportunity.
    • She leaped at the opportunity and became one of only two women investment bankers on a staff of 150.
    accept eagerly, grasp (with both hands), grab, take advantage of, seize (on), jump at
  • 1.5(Of a price or figure) increase dramatically: sales leaped 40 percent during the Christmas season
    More example sentences
    • The money will help first-time buyers who have watched the asking prices of houses leap 14 per cent in the past 12 months.
    • High-end home prices have leapt 56 per cent in the past nine months.
    • Petrol stations in some cities are rationing diesel, with prices leaping on the black market, according to official reports.
    increase rapidly, soar, rocket, skyrocket, shoot up, escalate
  • 1.6 (leap out) (Especially of writing) be conspicuous; stand out: amid the notes, a couple of items leap out
    More example sentences
    • There wasn't one that leapt out at me like with the A and B sets, and the CD didn't help too much.


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  • 1A forceful jump or quick movement: she came downstairs in a series of flying leaps
    More example sentences
    • In a quick leap, he had jumped from the veranda and had sped off into the field after me.
    • In one quick, strong leap, her horse jumped, high, long & hard.
    • But secondly, this increasing resolution of the project is visible as a series of jumps or leaps.
  • 1.1A dramatic increase in price, amount, etc.: a leap of 75 percent in two years
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    • It said a huge leap in coal prices and higher freight charges offset an increase in local power sales.
    • This article on energy policy shows that fuel shortages and price leaps are almost entirely created by government meddling.
    • When the whole chain works in sync, there can be a dramatic leap in the speed and efficiency of product development…
    sudden rise, surge, upsurge, upswing, upturn
  • 1.2A sudden, abrupt change or transition: it doesn’t take a great leap of imagination to recognize that you have held an important leadership role
    More example sentences
    • Science has made monumental leaps forward in technology.
    • Who else in the online fanfic-writing community has taken such a bold leap of imagination while remaining completely true to the spirit of the film series?
    • It wasn't such a leap from Super Ball to Super Bowl.
  • 1.3(In place names) a thing to be leaped over or from: Lover’s Leap
    More example sentences
    • If you've been to Lover's Leap, you'll understand what I'm talking about.


a leap in the dark

A daring step or enterprise whose consequences are unpredictable.
More example sentences
  • All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without the benefit of experience.
  • The proposed re-denomination looks like a leap in the dark, and an exercise in futility that the nation can ill afford now.
  • But the plan does seem like a leap in the dark - radical measures taken because they might work, not because there is solid reason to believe that they will work.

by (or in) leaps and bounds

With startlingly rapid progress: productivity improved in leaps and bounds
More example sentences
  • Air travel is growing in leaps and bounds, and airlines and nations are investing in new aircraft to accommodate that growth.
  • His career has already progressed in leaps and bounds and, after just four seasons of first-class cricket, he has gathered 138 wickets in 32 matches at an inexpensive 19.48 runs apiece.
  • ‘They focus on the limited - service, midscale segment, which is a great value proposition and is growing by leaps and bounds,’ he says.
rapidly, swiftly, quickly, speedily

leap to the eye (or to mind)

Be immediately apparent: one dire question leaped to our minds
More example sentences
  • The first thing that leaps to the eye from the Convention is the historical moment in which it was signed.
  • This makes the details leap to the eye and I'm looking forward to getting the base colors on.
  • This context of no context makes anything leap to the eye, as if its identity shines out of it.

leap to conclusions



More example sentences
  • They are good leapers and tree climbers.
  • A sap-sucking bug that coats plants with wads of foamy spit has been crowned the insect world's greatest leaper.


Old English hlēapan (verb), hlȳp (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch lopen, German laufen (verb), and Dutch loop, German Lauf (noun), all meaning 'run', also to lope.

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