Definition of flop in English:

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Pronunciation: /fläp/

verb (flops, flopping, flopped)

1 [no object] Fall, move, or hang in a heavy, loose, and ungainly way: black hair flopped across his forehead
More example sentences
  • I looked up to see Brody onstage, his dishevelled dark brown hair flopping across his forehead and both hands hanging onto the microphone.
  • His black hair is flopping into his eyes and I can see an earring in his ear.
  • His dark brown, nearly black hair flopped over one eyebrow as he smiled crookedly, a smile girls back in Sanorn had once loved.
hang (down), dangle, droop, sag, loll
1.1Sit or lie down heavily or suddenly in a specified place, especially when very tired: Liz flopped down into the armchair
More example sentences
  • Leeann squealed, suddenly flopping into a seat next to them.
  • There was some brief talk of adjourning to the bar, but we were too tired, and so flopped under the tightly-tucked blankets and sheets instead.
  • That concluded the nights broadcast and Danni exhaled heavily, flopping back onto the bed.
1.2 informal Rest or sleep in a specified place: I’m going to flop here for the night
More example sentences
  • By the time we'd finished we pretty much all felt we'd had enough to last a month and ended up flopped in the lounge watching the Dating Channel on Sky.
  • Of course, we all had far too much to eat, and ended up flopped on the settee feeling full but satisfied for the rest of the night.
  • He flopped underneath a clump of trees and slept exhausted.
1.3 informal, chiefly Basketball Deliberately fall or stumble in order to give the appearance of being fouled by an opponent: nearly everyone watching the game in Chicago believed James flopped (as noun flopping) the league introduced a system to penalize flopping
More example sentences
  • Golden State's Thompson stoked the tensions before the series when he accused the Clippers' player of flopping.
  • Flopping had become a mysterious plague, forcing players' legs to buckle and their arms to flail in the air at the slightest hint of contact.
  • Flopping rules are different in the postseason because players aren't warned.
2 [no object] informal (Of a performer or show) be completely unsuccessful; fail totally: prime-time dramas that flopped in the US market
More example sentences
  • Renamed A Kingdom for a Cow, the show flopped and instantly disappeared.
  • I think he knew Dunaway was going to get most of the attention - and, if the show flopped, most of the blame.
  • But a good many, if not most, of his shows flop, for reasons I can't comprehend, when I consider quality alone.
be unsuccessful, fail, not work, fall flat, founder, misfire, backfire, be a disappointment, do badly, lose money, be a disaster
informal bomb, tank, flame out, come a cropper, bite the dust, blow up in someone's face


1A heavy, loose, and ungainly movement, or a sound made by it: they hit the ground with a flop
More example sentences
  • Suddenly, with a sickening slush and smell, the contents came free, sliding to the ground with a dull flop.
  • They dropped a rope ladder that fell with a flop all the way to the ground.
  • If she kept him far enough away, she thought grimly, ignoring the flops of her stomach every time she heard a step, she had a slightly larger chance of surviving.
1.1 informal, chiefly US short for flophouse.
Example sentences
  • Do you have a flop for the night?
  • He hadn't been out of the flop in three weeks except to go to a corner store and buy food.
  • At the flops, the bums all eat the same thing.
2 informal A total failure: the play had been a flop
More example sentences
  • It pulls out all the stops to try to wipe her slate clean, to obliterate the flops and the failures of recent years.
  • You have some scenarios where it doesn't work out and then again, you have some players who stay in school for four years, come into the NBA and are a total flop.
  • She had boyfriends and lovers, but later admitted: ‘I've been a total flop with men.’
informal washout, also-ran, dog, lemon, nonstarter, clinker, turkey, busted flush


Early 17th century: variant of flap.

  • flab from [1950s]:

    Flab was formed in the 1950s from the late 17th-century flabby, itself a form of flappy (late 16th century) from Middle English flap, which probably, along with its further variant flop (early 17th century), imitates the sound of something flapping. The slang use be in a flap about something dates from the early 20th century. Flabbergast, first mentioned in 1772 as a new piece of fashionable slang and probably an arbitrary invention, may have been modelled on flabby. Flaccid (early 17th century) comes from flaccus, the Latin for ‘flabby’.

Words that rhyme with flop

atop, bop, chop, clop, cop, crop, dop, drop, Dunlop, estop, fop, glop, hop, intercrop, knop, kop, lop, mop, op, plop, pop, prop, screw-top, shop, slop, sop, stop, strop, swap, tiptop, top, underprop, whop

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: flop

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