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a. An opening in a solid structure or surface; a cleft or breach: wriggled through a gap in the fence; a large gap in the wall where the artillery shell had exploded.
b. A break in a line of defense.
2. An opening through mountains; a pass.
3. A space between objects or points; an aperture: a gap between his front teeth.
4. An interruption of continuity: a nine-minute gap in the recorded conversation; needed to fill in the gaps in her knowledge.
a. A conspicuous difference or imbalance; a disparity: a gap between revenue and spending; the widening gap between rich and poor.
b. A problematic situation resulting from such a disparity: the budget gap; the technology gap.
6. A spark gap.
v. gapped, gap·ping, gaps
1. To make an opening or openings in: a wall that was gapped.
2. To make or adjust a space between (objects or points) or in (a device): gap boards on a deck; gap a spark plug.
To be or become open: Her coat gapped open.

[Middle English, from Old Norse, chasm.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Grammar) (in transformational grammar) a rule that deletes repetitions of a verb, as in the sentence Bill voted for Smith, Sam for McKay, and Dave for Harris
2. (Education) the act or practice of taking a gap year
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
Two new conveyor models, the Gapper D and Gapper O, have joined the supplier's line of gapping solutions that create space between packages to improve throughput and accuracy during sortation.