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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 ?
Once a bolting horse knocked her down, and a moment later a lion, leaping in pursuit of another terror-stricken animal, brushed her so closely that she was again thrown from her feet.
If he could reach the bottom and cover half the distance to the tree that stood in the center of the gulch he would feel comparatively safe for then, even if Numa appeared, he felt that he could beat him either to the cliff or to the tree, but to scale the first thirty feet of the cliff rapidly enough to elude the leaping beast would require a running start of at least twenty feet as there were no very good hand- or footholds close to the bottom--he had had to run up the first twenty feet like a squirrel running up a tree that other time he had beaten an infuriated Numa to it.
Green warriors were leaping to the backs of their restive, squealing thoats.
The black, in defence, aimed a kick at Jerry, who, leaping in instead of away--another inheritance from Terrence--avoided the bare foot and printed a further red series of parallel lines on the dark leg.
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.