Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: HUMAN

Sense: 1, 4-5
Origin: Old English læppa
Sense: 2-3
Date: 1800-1900
Origin: LAP2
Sense: 3
Origin: in the earlier meaning 'to run a single time round a track'

lap

1 noun
     
lap1 [countable]
1HBH the upper part of your legs when you are sitting down [= knee]
on somebody's lap
Shannon sat on her mother's lap.
in somebody's lap
His hands were folded in his lap.
2 a single journey around a race track:
Rubens Barrichello finished a lap ahead of his team-mate.
lap of honour British English /victory lap American English (=a lap to celebrate winning)
The entire team took a victory lap in front of their cheering fans.
3 American English a single journey from one end of a swimming pool to another
do/run/swim a lap
Every morning she swims 50 laps in the pool.
4

part of journey

a part of a long journey [= leg]
lap of
The last lap of their journey was by ship.
5

in the lap of luxury

having an easy and comfortable life with a lot of money, possessions etc:
She wasn't used to living in the lap of luxury.
6

in the lap of the gods

British English if the result of something is in the lap of the gods, you do not know what will happen because it depends on things you cannot control
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