Language: Old English
Origin: hleapan


1 verb
leap1 past tense and past participle leapt especially British English, leaped especially American English


a) [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to jump high into the air or to jump in order to land in a different place:
She leapt over the fence.
The smaller animals can easily leap from tree to tree.
b) [transitive] literary to jump over something:
Brenda leaped the gate and ran across the field.

move fast

[intransitive always + adverb/preposition] to move very quickly and with a lot of energy:
I leapt up the stairs three at a time.
He leapt out of bed.
She leapt to her feet (=stood up quickly) and started shouting.


[intransitive] to increase quickly and by a large amount [≠ tumble]
leap to
Profits leapt to £376m.
He leapt 27 places to second spot.

leap at the chance/opportunity

to accept an opportunity very eagerly:
I leapt at the chance of studying abroad.

leap to somebody's defence

British English leap to somebody's defense American English to quickly defend someone:
When her younger brother was being bullied she leapt to his defence.


[intransitive] literary if your heart leaps, you feel a sudden surprise, happiness, or excitement:
My heart leaped when I saw Paul at the airport.

➔ look before you leap

at look1 (12)

leap out at somebody

phrasal verb
if a word or phrase in a piece of writing leaps out at you, you notice it particularly, because it is interesting, important etc [= jump out at]

Dictionary results for "leap"
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