Word of the Day: lap

 
 
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Word Reference
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Word of the Day
 
December 16, 2015
 
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lap (noun, verb) sound LISTEN icon
 
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The cat and dog are in the old man's lap.
 
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The most common meaning of lap is the part of the body between the waist and the knees, when someone is sitting. Lap can also be the part of clothing that covers that part of the body. But lap also means 'a complete circle around a race track,' or 'a stage in a long trip.' As a verb, lap means 'to go at least one lap in front of an opponent when racing.'
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Example sentences
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My cat always sits on my lap when I watch TV.
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Jenny accidentally spilled some juice on the lap of her dress.
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The gym teacher made us run eight laps today; everyone was so tired!
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It took us three days to get to California and we had to hitchhike for the last lap.
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The South African runner lapped everyone else and won the race.
 
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Words often used with lap
 

in the lap of luxury: This means that someone is living comfortably and without a care, usually because they are wealthy. Example: "Susan lives in the lap of luxury and even has a personal chef."

in someone's lap: This means that something is someone's responsibility. Example: "John couldn't deal with the problem and dropped it in Mark's lap."

fall into someone's lap: This means that something happens to someone without an effort. Example: "Jessie was extremely beautiful and men just fell into her lap" or "I was very lucky; almost as soon as I left college, a great job fell into my lap."

 
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Multi-word forms
 
lap up (phrasal verb): to receive something eagerly and with much enthusiasm. Example "It was her first live show and she lapped up the compliments."
Origin
 
Lap dates back to before 900 and comes from the Middle English word lappe, which in turn evolved from the Old English word læppa. It is similar to the Dutch word lap and the German word lappen, as well as the Old Norse word leppr, meaning 'rag' or 'patch.'
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Additional information
 
Lap has other specific meanings that you can check out in the full definition!
 
See full definition
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Learn more about lap in our forums
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In other languages
 
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