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Related to leaping: limping, galloping


v. leaped or leapt (lĕpt, lēpt), leap·ing, leaps
a. To propel oneself quickly upward or a long way; spring or jump: The goat leaped over the wall. The salmon leapt across the barrier.
b. To move quickly or suddenly: leaped out of his chair to answer the door.
a. To change quickly or abruptly from one condition or subject to another: always leaping to conclusions.
b. To act quickly or impulsively: leaped at the opportunity to travel.
c. To enter eagerly into an activity; plunge: leapt into the project with both feet.
1. To propel oneself over: I couldn't leap the brook.
2. To cause to leap: She leapt her horse over the hurdle.
a. The act of leaping; a jump.
b. A place jumped over or from.
c. The distance cleared in a leap.
2. An abrupt or precipitous passage, shift, or transition: a leap from rags to riches.
Phrasal Verb:
leap out
To be readily noticed: The sign leapt out at us from the window.
by leaps and bounds
Very quickly: growing by leaps and bounds.
leap in the dark
An act whose consequences cannot be predicted.
leap of faith
The act or an instance of believing or trusting in something intangible or incapable of being proved.

[Middle English lepen, from Old English hlēapan.]

leap′er n.




  1. (The flashlight) leaped about like a will-o’-the-wisp —Brian Moore
  2. Leaped from his chair as a runner leaps crouching, from the mark —Frank Swinnerton

    See Also: RISING

  3. Leaped like a fawn —Pat Conroy
  4. Leaped like a high jumper —Frank Conroy
  5. (Goats) leaped … like arrows speeding from the bow —Willa Cather
  6. Leaped like a spring released —John Updike
  7. Leaped … like a startled frog —Théophile Gautier
  8. Leaped up like a little singed cat —O. Henry
  9. Leaps like a buck in air —Caroline Finkelstein
  10. Leaps like a flash —Maxwell Anderson and Laurence Stallings

    This is a line from the Anderson/Stallings play, What Price Glory.

  11. (The pulse in his palm) leapt like a trout in a brook —Eudora Welty
  12. Leaping through the air like a man released from gravity —Ed Bradley, about basketball star Michael Jordan, “Sixty Minutes,” February 15, 1987
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.Leaping - a light, self-propelled movement upwards or forwardsleaping - a light, self-propelled movement upwards or forwards
jumping, jump - the act of jumping; propelling yourself off the ground; "he advanced in a series of jumps"; "the jumping was unexpected"
capriole, caper - a playful leap or hop
pounce - the act of pouncing
References in classic literature ?
I did once, but I can never hunt again, for I got hurt leaping a confounded five-barred gate, so there are no more horses and hounds for me," said Frank with a sigh that made Beth hate herself for her innocent blunder.
And then, when the storm of twigs, leaves and dirt, caused by the leaping, threshing thing ceased for a moment, the onlookers saw something that filled them with terror.
Out in the stream the sandbars glittered like glass, and the light trembled in the willow thickets as if little flames were leaping among them.
But when it cuts the ragged hole, after a bound or two, there is, commonly, a stagnation of further leaping, be it Indian or be it deer
It came dangerously, for one night the river, leaping the feeble barrier of Devil's Ford, swept away houses and banks, scattered with unconscious irony the laboriously collected heaps of gravel left for hydraulic machinery, and spread out a vast and silent lake across the submerged flat.
But thank heaven, at that moment the landlord came into the room light in hand, and leaping from the bed I ran up to him.
And for years afterwards, perhaps, ships shun the place; leaping over it as silly sheep leap over a vacuum, because their leader originally leaped there when a stick was held.