Definition of flip-flop in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈflip fläp/


Image of flip-flop
1A light sandal, typically of plastic or rubber, with a thong between the big and second toe.
Example sentences
  • Since I don't recommend wearing leather, suede, or any kind of dressy shoe to the beach, plastic or rubber flip-flops are the perfect solution.
  • Many people go barefoot, or wear flip-flops or plastic sandals.
  • All you should need to take is a pair of very flimsy flip-flops or sandals for the beach, a pair of trainers or canvas shoes to wander around in and a pair of evening shoes for nights out.
2North American A backward handspring.
Example sentences
  • Equally renowned was her power on balance beam, where she tumbled a very high back layout to two feet, and dismounted with two flip-flops to a full-twisting double back.
  • Her routine included a full-twisting flip-flop and triple twist dismount.
  • The three-time Olympian fell on her mount (front salto on) and later on a flip-flop.
3 informal An abrupt reversal of policy: his flip-flop on taxes
More example sentences
  • We have seen an incredible flip-flop on the nuclear policy by this Party.
  • Every time he was asked, he was not quite sure, or he did a flip-flop on policy.
  • It was important that they were allowed to slug it out over the so-called flip-flop on that legislation.
4 Electronics A switching circuit that works by changing from one stable state to another, or through an unstable state back to its stable state, in response to a triggering pulse.
Example sentences
  • I built a flip-flop circuit, flipped the switch, watched the relay click on and remain on.
  • In state 0, when the flip-flop receives an input pulse, it flips to state 1 but does nothing else.
  • When this flip-flop is triggered, it provides an output to the pulse generator to start the experiment in synchrony with the video signal.


[no object]
1 [with adverbial of direction] Move with a flapping sound or motion: she flip-flopped off the porch in battered sneakers
More example sentences
  • Twenty minutes later, they are flip-flopping on the deck.
  • Almost in a trance, I flip-flopped into the place, paid the fee, took off my clothes, went in and sat on a stool, washed myself ever so carefully, repeated the routine, then slipped into the bath.
  • He's wearing a Northern Arizona baseball cap backward as he flip-flops by in his thongs clutching a Dean Koontz book.
2North American informal Make an abrupt reversal of policy: the candidate flip-flopped on a number of issues
More example sentences
  • Homeowners, watching the value of their flats tumble, complain that Tung flip-flopped on his housing policy - without telling the public.
  • They pounded the point that he has allegedly flip-flopped on numerous policy issues in his political career.
  • I haven't flip-flopped on anything, I just said I wasn't going to rehash the primary and we're now in a general election and between these two candidates, I think the choice is clear.


Mid 17th century (in the general sense 'something that flaps or flops'): imitative reduplication of flop.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: flip-flop

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