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trip Syllabification: trip

Definition of trip in English:

verb (trips, tripping, tripped)

1 [no object] Catch one’s foot on something and stumble or fall: he tripped over his cat she tripped up during the penultimate lap
More example sentences
  • Marcy stumbled backwards and tripped over her own foot, falling on her bottom with a thud and nearly toppling over the edge of the rock again.
  • But because of my precarious balance I stumbled back, tripped over my own feet and landed on someone's lap.
  • Completely taken by surprise, Vincent tripped over the foot and stumbled, falling headlong for the floor.
stumble, lose one's footing, catch one's foot, slip, lose one's balance, fall, fall down, tumble, topple, take a spill, wipe out
1.1 [with object] Cause (someone) to do this: she shot out her foot to trip him up
More example sentences
  • Though this was kind of a good thing, meaning that she wouldn't be falling over and tripping the other people that were also in the car.
  • Well anyway, Mandy and I were both running after the ball, and I guess I tripped her or she fell on her own, but she went down.
  • He laughed at every fall, and tripped him when he tried to get up.
1.2 (trip up) Make a mistake: taxpayers often trip up by not declaring taxable income
More example sentences
  • The only time the film trips up is in casting the Scottish comedian Billy Connolly as an Irishman, his grating Scots accent unsuccessfully modulated to try and make it resemble an Irish brogue.
  • And although Heroin trips up on its own determined sleaziness, the album as a whole is a not-unappealing blend of suspenders, silliness and Siouxsie Sioux.
  • But he trips up with his attacks on the sex lives of people.
make a mistake, miscalculate, make a blunder, blunder, go wrong, make an error, err
informal slip up, screw up, make a boo-boo, goof up, mess up, fluff
1.3 [with object] (trip someone up) Detect or expose someone in an error, blunder, or inconsistency: the man was determined to trip him up on his economics
More example sentences
  • His prospects of victory were not helped when bosses decided on Monday that the vote would take the form of a secret ballot, allowing his rivals a chance to trip him up without being caught red-handed.
  • Initially careful not to catch himself out, or say something that might subsequently trip him up, the Biarritz-based Scot pauses for a second.
  • This could be a year where a lack of diplomacy trips him up, however, especially with Mercury's retrograde motions, when the slightest slip of the tongue can cause legal wrangling.
catch out, trick, outwit, outsmart;
throw off balance, disconcert, unsettle, discountenance, discomfit, throw, wrong-foot
2 [no object] Walk, run, or dance with quick light steps: they tripped up the terrace steps
More example sentences
  • For the whole day, I ate small bits of food, skipped, tripped, danced and pranced to my next destination, Penepia.
  • Kim bounded up the steps first, tripping into the hall.
  • Kari restrained herself from running to the counter, and compromised by walk/hopping and tripping.
skip, run, dance, prance, bound, spring, scamper
2.1(Of words) flow lightly and easily: a name that trips off the tongue the guest list tripped from her lips
More example sentences
  • Competitiveness is not a word that trips off the tongue lightly but that's no excuse for the government to all but ignore this vital factor in our economic success.
  • I don't use the word ‘ranger’: that is an American word tripping off people's tongues.
  • The slogan trips off the tongue as easily as it did in 1971 when it was first yodelled by Jimmy Savile in a British public information film encouraging viewers to fasten their safety belts.
3 [with object] Activate (a mechanism), especially by contact with a switch, catch, or other electrical device: an intruder trips the alarm
More example sentences
  • The lift reached the ground floor safely, but the extra weight tripped a brake and cut the power supply.
  • If a single atom of the substance decays, it will activate a relay mechanism which trips a hammer.
  • When the stop switch is tripped, floor-mounted clamps lock down the pins on the body shell.
set off, activate, trigger;
turn on
3.1 [no object] (Of part of an electric circuit) disconnect automatically as a safety measure: the plugs will trip as soon as any change in current is detected
More example sentences
  • If the equipment is wired incorrectly, operators using a device with a single-pole circuit breaker are at risk of electric shock when it trips.
  • In another place, an overloaded circuit breaker tripped, plunging a corridor into sudden darkness.
  • In case of an overload or a short on that circuit, the breaker trips and automatically shuts off power to that circuit.
4 [with object] Nautical Release and raise (an anchor) from the seabed by means of a buoyed line attached to the anchor’s crown.
Example sentences
  • During the hustle of everyone getting underway someone tripped the anchor that we used to stabilize our dinghy.
  • The whole of us then commenced heaving the brig short, sending the whale-boat to take her in tow, after we had tripped the anchor.
  • The weight of the chain keeps the pull on the anchor parallel to the bottom, which keeps the forces of wind and tide from tripping the anchor.
4.1Turn (a yard or other object) from a horizontal to a vertical position for lowering.
Example sentences
  • For running in high seas we put a large square sail forward, tripping the yard along the foremast, much like a spinnaker boom.
  • Should the ship be rolling heavily, care is to be taken that a turn or two of the parrel-lashing be kept fast till perfectly ready for tripping the yard.
  • When this is hauled on, it trips the yard and unrigs the lower yard arm.
5 [no object] informal Experience hallucinations induced by taking a psychedelic drug, especially LSD: they prance around tripping out on their hallucinogens
More example sentences
  • She thinks little of seeking vengeance for wrongs, tripping out on magic mushrooms and, in an especially lovely moment of controlled atmosphere, engaging in a spot of Ouija board shenanigans.
  • A friend and I were tripping on an unspecified drug, laughing our heads off, and channel surfing.
  • Well to make a long story short she was killed by a drug addict who was tripping on acid.
5.1 (be tripping) North American Be behaving in an irrational or crazy way: you’re tripping if you think I’m hanging around I would like to know if I’m the one who’s trippin' or if it’s him
More example sentences
  • He's trippin' even worse than you and me.
  • Christine was seriously trippin' but sometimes people just don't handle panic well.
  • Why she gotta be trippin'?
6 [no object] Go on a short journey: when tripping through the Yukon, take some time to explore our museums
More example sentences
  • You have to be very careful when tripping through New Mexico.
  • There are certain tenets when tripping through Mexico.


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1An act of going to a place and returning; a journey or excursion, especially for pleasure: Sally’s gone on a school trip a trip to the North Pole a quick trip to the store
More example sentences
  • She had the pleasure of taking several trips to Mexico to visit family members.
  • A pleasure trip or an outing rejuvenates your energy and relationships today.
  • It also has a splendid harbour full of boats offering fishing trips, pleasure cruises and diving excursions.
excursion, outing, jaunt;
vacation, visit, tour, journey, expedition, voyage;
drive, run, day out, day trip, road trip, cruise, junket, spin
rare peregrination
2A stumble or fall due to catching one’s foot on something.
Example sentences
  • More than 10% of head injuries requiring hospitalisation amongst children come from simple trips and falls when just running around.
  • Other topics on the agenda are reducing slips, trips and falls and back injury, preventing at-work road accidents and managing asbestos in buildings.
  • The majority of genuine damages claims were for slips, trips and falls.
stumble, slip, misstep, false step;
fall, tumble, spill
2.1 archaic A mistake: an occasional trip in the performance
3 informal A hallucinatory experience caused by taking a psychedelic drug, especially LSD: acid trips
More example sentences
  • It was a nice article about Walter's hallucinations and drug trips.
  • I've seen the mandalas and lights and patterns of delirium and drug trips, watched the shamans in their trances during field research.
  • Much as he liked his acid trips, cocaine was not his thing.
3.1An exciting or stimulating experience: it was a trip seeing him again
More example sentences
  • Watching their family dynamic the past few years has been quite a trip.
  • Well, it's been quite a trip so far, and I am about to start my fifth year of this stuff, and I've had enough.
  • It's been quite a trip, this three day event.
3.2A self-indulgent attitude or activity: politics was a sixties trip
More example sentences
  • A manager on an ego trip will see a forceful employee as an opportunity to wield her power and influence.
  • We are, in every sense, ‘just wasting time’ going on an ego trip instead of trying to just love the person, which would lead to our own happiness.
  • All I can say is the city is on a power trip and they need to come down to earth and see the simpler stuff in life.
4A device that activates or disconnects a mechanism, circuit, etc.
Example sentences
  • The generation of a trip signal is withheld when the rate of rise is greater than the limit value.
  • Remove fuse or trip circuit breaker to off for the room or outlet you are replacing.
  • Power is supplied continuously to the trip unit during motor overload or short circuit conditions.
5 archaic A light, lively movement of a person’s feet: yonder comes Dalinda; I know her by her trip
More example sentences
  • Yonder comes Dalinda; I know her by her Trip.


trip the light fantastic
humorous Dance, in particular engage in ballroom dancing.
[From “Trip it as you go / On the light fantastic toe” (Milton's L'Allegro)]
Example sentences
  • They enjoyed a four-course dinner, charity auction and a dance band so they could trip the light fantastic.
  • They are great fans of this style of dancing and trip the light fantastic each Thursday night to keep in practice.
  • She tap-dances and trips the light fantastic in a couple of big-production numbers, wearing a Gloria Swanson-style wig and fabulous frocks.


Middle English: from Old French triper, from Middle Dutch trippen 'to skip, hop'.

  • The early Dutch word trippen ‘to skip, hop’ is the source of trip. The English word was initially used to describe not only stumbling by catching your foot on something, but also dancing and nimble movement. The noun meant ‘a light lively movement’ before it became ‘a short journey’, originally a sailor's term for a short sea journey. The sense ‘hallucinatory experience caused by taking a drug’ was first recorded in the late 1950s. See also fantastic

Words that rhyme with trip

blip, chip, clip, dip, drip, equip, flip, grip, gyp, hip, kip, lip, nip, outstrip, pip, quip, rip, scrip, ship, sip, skip, slip, snip, strip, tip, toodle-pip, whip, yip, zip
Definition of trip in:
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