Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The front area from the waist to the knees of a seated person.
  • n. The portion of a garment that covers the lap.
  • n. A hanging or flaplike part, especially of a garment.
  • n. An area of responsibility, interest, or control: an opportunity that dropped in his lap.
  • idiom the lap of luxury Conditions of great affluence or material comfort: an heiress living in the lap of luxury.
  • transitive v. To place or lay (something) so as to overlap another: lapped the roof tiles so that water would run off.
  • transitive v. To lie partly over or on: each shingle lapping the next; shadows that lapped the wall.
  • transitive v. To fold (something) over onto itself: a cloth edge that had been lapped and sewn to make a hem.
  • transitive v. To wrap or wind around (something); encircle.
  • transitive v. To envelop in something; swathe: models who were lapped in expensive furs.
  • transitive v. To join (pieces, as of wood) by means of a scarf or lap joint.
  • transitive v. Sports To get ahead of (an opponent) in a race by one or more complete circuits of the course, as in running, or by two or more lengths of pool in swimming.
  • transitive v. To convert (cotton or other fibers) into a sheet or layer.
  • transitive v. To polish (a surface) until smooth.
  • transitive v. To hone (two mating parts) against each other until closely fitted.
  • intransitive v. To lie partly on or over something; overlap.
  • intransitive v. To form a lap or fold.
  • intransitive v. To wind around or enfold something.
  • n. A part that overlaps.
  • n. The amount by which one part overlaps another.
  • n. One complete round or circuit, especially of a racetrack.
  • n. One complete length of a straight course, as of a swimming pool.
  • n. A segment or stage, as of a trip.
  • n. A length, as of rope, required to make one complete turn around something.
  • n. The act of lapping or encircling.
  • n. A continuous band or layer of cotton, flax, or other fiber.
  • n. A wheel, disk, or slab of leather or metal, either stationary or rotating, used for polishing and smoothing.
  • transitive v. To take in (a liquid or food) by lifting it with the tongue.
  • transitive v. To wash or slap against with soft liquid sounds: waves lapping the side of the boat.
  • intransitive v. To take in a liquid or food with the tongue.
  • intransitive v. To wash against something with soft liquid sounds.
  • n. The act or an instance of lapping.
  • n. The amount taken in by lapping.
  • n. The sound of lapping.
  • n. A watery food or drink.
  • lap up To receive eagerly or greedily: lapping up praise.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The loose part of a coat; the lower part of a garment that plays loosely; a skirt; an apron.
  • n. An edge; a border; a hem, as of cloth.
  • n. The part of the clothing that lies on the knees or thighs when one sits down; that part of the person thus covered; figuratively, a place of rearing and fostering; as, to be reared in the lap of luxury.
  • n. The upper legs of a seated person.
  • n. component that overlaps or covers any portion of the same or adjacent component.
  • v. to fold, wrap
  • v. to wrap around, enwrap, wrap up
  • v. to envelop, enfold
  • v. to wind around
  • v. To place or lay (something) so as to overlap another.
  • v. To polish, e.g., a surface, until smooth.
  • v. To lie partly on or over something; to overlap.
  • v. To overtake a straggler in a race by completing one more lap than them.
  • n. The act or process of lapping.
  • n. That part of any substance or fixture which extends over, or lies upon, or by the side of, a part of another; as, the lap of a board; also, the measure of such extension over or upon another thing.
  • n. The amount by which a slide valve at its half stroke overlaps a port in the seat, being equal to the distance the valve must move from its mid stroke position in order to begin to open the port. Used alone, lap refers to outside lap. See Outside lap (below).
  • n. The state or condition of being in part extended over or by the side of something else; or the extent of the overlapping; as, the second boat got a lap of half its length on the leader.
  • n. One circuit around a race track, or one traversal down and then back the length of a pool; as, to run twenty laps; to win by three laps, to swim two laps.
  • n. In card playing and other games, the points won in excess of the number necessary to complete a game; — so called when they are counted in the score of the following game.
  • n. A sheet, layer, or bat, of cotton fiber prepared for the carding machine.
  • n. A piece of brass, lead, or other soft metal, used to hold a cutting or polishing powder in cutting glass, gems, and the like, or in polishing cutlery, etc. It is usually in the form of wheel or disk, which revolves on a vertical axis.
  • v. To slurp up a liquid (like water) as a dog.
  • v. To wash against a surface with a splashing sound; to swash

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The loose part of a coat; the lower part of a garment that plays loosely; a skirt; an apron.
  • n. An edge; a border; a hem, as of cloth.
  • n. The part of the clothing that lies on the knees or thighs when one sits down; that part of the person thus covered; figuratively, a place of rearing and fostering.
  • n. That part of any substance or fixture which extends over, or lies upon, or by the side of, a part of another; ; also, the measure of such extension over or upon another thing.
  • n. The amount by which a slide valve at its half stroke overlaps a port in the seat, being equal to the distance the valve must move from its mid stroke position in order to begin to open the port. Used alone, lap refers to outside lap. See Outside lap (below).
  • n. The state or condition of being in part extended over or by the side of something else; or the extent of the overlapping.
  • n. One circuit around a race track, esp. when the distance is a small fraction of a mile
  • n. In card playing and other games, the points won in excess of the number necessary to complete a game; -- so called when they are counted in the score of the following game.
  • n. A sheet, layer, or bat, of cotton fiber prepared for the carding machine.
  • n. A piece of brass, lead, or other soft metal, used to hold a cutting or polishing powder in cutting glass, gems, and the like, or in polishing cutlery, etc. It is usually in the form of wheel or disk, which revolves on a vertical axis.
  • n. The act of lapping with, or as with, the tongue.
  • n. The sound of lapping.
  • intransitive v. To be turned or folded; to lie partly upon or by the side of something, or of one another
  • intransitive v. To take up drink or food with the tongue; to drink or feed by licking up something.
  • intransitive v. To make a sound like that produced by taking up drink with the tongue.
  • transitive v. To rest or recline in a lap, or as in a lap.
  • transitive v. To cut or polish with a lap, as glass, gems, cutlery, etc. See 1st Lap, 10.
  • transitive v. To fold; to bend and lay over or on something.
  • transitive v. To wrap or wind around something.
  • transitive v. To infold; to hold as in one's lap; to cherish.
  • transitive v. To lay or place over anything so as to partly or wholly cover it; ; to lay together one partly over another; ; also, to be partly over, or by the side of (something).
  • transitive v. To lay together one over another, as fleeces or slivers for further working.
  • transitive v. To take into the mouth with the tongue; to lick up with a quick motion of the tongue.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To lick up (a liquid, as water, milk, or liquid food); take into the mouth with the tongue.
  • To flow against or upon with a sound as of licking up; ripple against; lick or wash.
  • To lick up a liquid; drink by licking.
  • To make a sound like that produced by taking up water with the tongue.
  • To wrap or twist round.
  • To wrap or infold; involve.
  • To fold; bend and lay one part or fold of over another: as, to lap a piece of cloth.
  • To lay in such a way as to cover a part of something underneath; cause to overlap: as, to lap shingles or slates on a roof.
  • To feign; invent.
  • To cut or polish with a lap: as, to lap a gem. See lap, n., 5.
  • To extend over a part of something else; overlap.
  • n. A lick; a lapping; a motion or sound resembling that of lapping.
  • n. That which is licked up, as porridge. Compare cat-lap.
  • n. A flap or loosely hanging part of a thing; a loose border or fold.
  • n. The loose part of a coat; the skirt of a garment; a lappet.
  • n. The front part of the skirt of a garment: that part of the clothing that lies loosely on the thighs and knees when a person sits down; especially, this part of the clothing, or an apron, as used to hold or contain something.
  • n. The part of the body covered by the front part of the skirts of one's garments or by an apron, especially when in a sitting posture: often used with special reference to nursing or cherishing: as, to hold a child in one's lap.
  • n. In textile manufacturing See lapping, 3.
  • n. Figuratively, anything which supports and cherishes; any retreat in which something rests or reposes; shelter; abode: as, the lap of earth; the lap of luxury.
  • n. A covering.
  • n. The part of one body which lies on and covers part of another; the amount or extent of such covering: as, the lap of a slate in roofing.
  • n. In the steam-engine, the space over which a slide-valve travels after the closing of the steam-passage to or from the cylinder.
  • n. A thick roll or sheet of cotton, wool, or the like, in various stages of manufacture.
  • n. A wheel or disk of lead, copper, wood, leather, or other substance, which, being charged with polishing- or cutting-powder, is used in cutting gems, glass, etc., or in polishing gems and cutlery.
  • n. In gun-making, a lead casting made to fit the bore of a rifle, with which the rifling is smoothed and polished.
  • n. In euchre, a lapping of the count from one game to the next; the carrying of a surplus of points at the end of a game over to the score of the next game: done by agreement, not as a regular feature of the game.
  • n. A course or round, as in running; a lapping or roundabout run.
  • n. In walking-matches and similar contests, a single round of the course along which competitors have to go a certain number of times in order to complete a specified distance.
  • n. An obsolete or dialectal (Scotch) preterit of leap.
  • n. The tops of trees left in the woods in logging. Also lapwood.
  • n. The act of winding or being wound round a drum; the length of rope necessary to go round it once; also, the length of silk, tape, wire, or the like, necessary to go round anything once.
  • n. The failure of the valve, when in mid-position, to cut off the exhaust from either end of the cylinder.
  • n. The distance by which the valve, when in mid-position, fails to cut off the exhaust, or the distance the valve would have to travel from mid-position before the exhaust would be closed.
  • n. A projection on the valve reaching beyond the outside edge of the steam-port when the valve is in its mid-position. It is designed to close the port before the end of the stroke of the piston, thus utilizing the expansive force of the steam.
  • n. Same as outside lap. See lap, 3.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. take up with the tongue
  • n. the upper side of the thighs of a seated person
  • n. an area of control or responsibility
  • n. the part of a piece of clothing that covers the thighs
  • n. touching with the tongue
  • v. wash or flow against
  • v. pass the tongue over
  • n. movement once around a course
  • n. a flap that lies over another part
  • v. lie partly over or alongside of something or of one another
  • v. move with or cause to move with a whistling or hissing sound

Etymologies

Middle English lappe, lappet, lap, from Old English læppa, lappet.
Middle English lappen, from lappe, lap, lappet; see lap1.
Middle English lapen, from Old English lapian.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English læppa (skirt or flap of a garment), from Proto-Germanic *lapp-, confer Middle Dutch lappe, Old High German lappa, German Lappen, Old Norse leppr ("lock of hair"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English lappen ("to fold, wrap") from earlier Middle English wlappen ("to fold, wrap"), from Old English *wlappan, wlæppan, wlappian "to wrap" from Proto-Germanic *wrappan-, *wlappan- (“to wrap, fold, roll up, turn”), from Proto-Indo-European *werb- (“to bend, turn”). Cognate with Middle Dutch lappen ("to wrap up, embrace"), Danish dial. vravle "to wind", Old Italian goluppare "to wrap, fold up" (from Germanic). More at envelop, develop (Wiktionary)
From Old English lapian, from Proto Germanic *lapajanan, akin to Old High German laffen (to lick), Old Norse lepja, Danish labe, Old Saxon lepil, German Löffel (spoon). Cognate with Latin lambere ("lick"). French lamper is a loanword from German. Compare Danish leffe, dialect German läffeln. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • _lip, lap, lip, lap_ you hear is made by their tails.

    The Call Of The South 1908

  • Anyway, the title lap was run, and afterward Lewis brought back some sand he had scooped up from the pit, and the flag he had carried and other memorabilia, and handed them over to be auctioned off for the Wendy foundation. ""

    Touching Down

  • In his lap is a wonderful little house dog named Kingsley, property of one Attackerman.

    Matthew Yglesias » Pictures

  • Sitting open on his lap is a wooden box, which he is gazing into intently, as though inside the box is the key to all his worldly hopes and dreams.

    Strangeways – Behind the Scenes – 02 | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

  • It will happen for you too as long as you know you have to make the effort - fate, or love just falling into your lap is a fallacy.

    mroctober: So, it's another year

  • As I am drip drying this huge paw pushes its way into the sheets and on my lap is a 100 pound street dog (who I would later find out was named "Besos", his favorite activity).

    Hey Alex!

  • Don't misunderstand me, dear Jenny; I know that the little child lying in your lap is also flesh and blood of mine, but, when I think of you as a mother, I cannot help feeling myself out in the cold like poor old Joseph.

    Jenny: A Novel

  • And after trying to deal with all the horrible crap dropped in his lap from the nightmare of EIGHT years of Bush/Cheney and republican majorities he should be very happy with 48%.

    CNN Poll: Obama approval under 50 percent

  • If you are injured by another party of course you should be compensated, but 8 million dollars for spilling a hot cup of coffee in your lap is ridiculous.

    Curbing medical lawsuits: What Obama really means

  • The driver of the pickup had just avoided death as a moose flying up the bonnet into your lap is usually fatal.

    How Far Would You Go To Defend Your Dog?

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