from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To place or lay (something) so as to overlap another.
  • intransitive verb To lie partly over or on.
  • intransitive verb To fold (something) over onto itself.
  • intransitive verb To wrap or wind around (something); encircle.
  • intransitive verb To envelop in something; swathe.
  • intransitive verb To join (pieces, as of wood) by means of a scarf or lap joint.
  • intransitive verb 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 a pool in swimming.
  • intransitive verb To convert (cotton or other fibers) into a sheet or layer.
  • intransitive verb To polish (a surface) until smooth.
  • intransitive verb To hone (two mating parts) against each other until closely fitted.
  • intransitive verb To lie partly on or over something; overlap.
  • intransitive verb To form a lap or fold.
  • intransitive verb To wind around or enfold something.
  • noun A part that overlaps.
  • noun The amount by which one part overlaps another.
  • noun One complete round or circuit, especially of a racetrack.
  • noun One complete length of a straight course, as of a swimming pool.
  • noun A segment or stage, as of a trip.
  • noun A length, as of rope, required to make one complete turn around something.
  • noun The act of lapping or encircling.
  • noun A continuous band or layer of cotton, flax, or other fiber.
  • noun A wheel, disk, or slab of leather or metal, either stationary or rotating, used for polishing and smoothing.
  • intransitive verb To take in (a liquid or food) by lifting it with the tongue.
  • intransitive verb To wash or slap against with soft liquid sounds.
  • intransitive verb To take in a liquid or food with the tongue.
  • intransitive verb To wash against something with soft liquid sounds.
  • noun The act or an instance of lapping.
  • noun The amount taken in by lapping.
  • noun The sound of lapping.
  • noun A watery food or drink.
  • noun The front area from the waist to the knees of a seated person.
  • noun The portion of a garment that covers the lap.
  • noun A hanging or flaplike part, especially of a garment.
  • noun An area of responsibility, interest, or control.
  • idiom (the lap of luxury) Conditions of great affluence or material comfort.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A lick; a lapping; a motion or sound resembling that of lapping.
  • noun That which is licked up, as porridge. Compare cat-lap.
  • 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.
  • noun A flap or loosely hanging part of a thing; a loose border or fold.


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

[Middle English lappen, from lappe, lap, lappet; see lap.]

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

[Middle English lapen, from Old English lapian.]

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

[Middle English lappe, lappet, lap, from Old English læppa, lappet.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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


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

    The Call Of The South 1908 Louis Becke 1884

  • 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 2008

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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

    Matthew Yglesias » Pictures 2009

  • 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! 2003

  • 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 1921

  • 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 2009

  • 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 2009

  • 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? 2009


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  • Pal in reverse.

    November 3, 2007