Main definitions of lap in English

: lap1lap2lap3

lap1

noun

  • 1usually one's lapThe flat area between the waist and knees of a seated person:

    ‘come and sit on my lap’
    • ‘Evan was seated on her lap using his fingers to eat.’
    • ‘Oliver was already seated on my lap and Troy climbed up and sat next to Caleb.’
    • ‘Cowed by their mother's earlier outburst, they were silently gazing into their laps, hands on knees.’
    • ‘She was seated on his lap as he sat by the window, looking out at the sunset.’
    • ‘She turns, raising her face to see me, her hand falling slowly to her lap, lower lip trembling.’
    • ‘When the time for sleep came, heads fell on thighs and into laps, feet rested on arms and heads, bodies sprawled everywhere.’
    • ‘His head lies on her lap with his arms wrapped around her waist.’
    • ‘I can remember sitting in their laps, their arms around my waist, their hands resting on my thigh.’
    • ‘I smiled a little and moved my hands from my lap to the hand sitting on his knee.’
    • ‘The lower portion of the belt should be flat across the lap and as low as possible on the hip so that the impact is spread across the hip-bones rather than the abdomen.’
    • ‘I was sitting on his lap, with his arms around my waist and my hands on top of his.’
    • ‘Jenny had to sit on Karina's lap in the front seat.’
    • ‘She put both hands flat on her lap, then reached them up again to mend the damage she'd done to her hair.’
    • ‘Lower your torso to your lap, hanging your arms over your legs for 30 seconds.’
    • ‘There are too many youngsters sitting on an adult's lap in the front seat or standing up in the rear of the car between the front seats.’
    • ‘So after much weeping moaning and gnashing of teeth I was finally forced to suffer the indignity of sitting on Santa's lap or rather knee.’
    • ‘They sat in a circle, their sketch books on their laps or bended knees, though none of them seemed to be paying attention to their work.’
    • ‘I turned towards Alex and sat down on his lap with my knees on either side of his body, facing him.’
    • ‘But at this very moment, her knee was on my lap, shoulder right in front of my chest.’
    • ‘Georgie is lying with her head and shoulders on Gabe's lap and her legs raised and resting on the wall of the stage.’
    knee, knees, thighs
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The part of an item of clothing, especially a skirt or dress, covering the lap:
      ‘she stood up and brushed the crumbs from the lap of her dress’
      • ‘A tear rolled down Sandra's cheek and plopped down into the lap of her black mid-length velveteen dress.’
      • ‘She straightened herself in her spot and spread her hands on the lap of the silk gown.’
      • ‘Evelyn sat, tears streaming down her cheeks and forming a damp pool on the lap of her gown.’
      • ‘Her hands were clasped together in the taut lap of her green dress; her face was broad and serene below her bleached, spiked hair.’
  • 2archaic A hanging flap on a garment or a saddle.

Phrases

  • fall (or drop) into someone's lap

    • (of something desirable) be acquired by or happen to someone without any effort being made on their part:

      ‘women fall at his feet, power falls into his lap’
      • ‘But because I'm an opportunist, I just take whatever falls into my lap.’
      • ‘The point is that nothing will just fall into your lap.’
      • ‘I was looking for a women writer of the past to promote (with a text out of copyright), and this book fell into my lap.’
      • ‘If you're attractive and a good liar, everything goes your way and you never have to do a single thing for it; everything just falls into your lap, people will do anything for you and let you get away with murder.’
      • ‘Well, you know, it was just fell into my lap, really.’
      • ‘It's a failing of me as a journalist that I didn't do some simple things at the very start, when the story was falling into my lap, that would have made this easier, but live and learn.’
      • ‘Having a hit is what Aimee really wants and it fell into my lap.’
      • ‘So much money, it just fell into my lap all at once.’
      • ‘Nothing I have fell into my lap like a lottery prize. It was hard, lonely work - I hit a lot of dead ends, and I took a lot of wrong turns.’
      • ‘Or a story falls into Clark 's lap and he must not only save the day, but do so in such a way as to make the victims of the evil plot made good by the end of the episode.’
  • in someone's lap

    • As someone's responsibility:

      ‘she dumped the problem in my lap’
      • ‘Then the site coordinators wouldn't have this dumped in their lap.’
      • ‘Some tools help create code, some help debug code and some help reverse engineer code that's been dumped in your lap.’
      • ‘That's just a timid bureaucrat trying to unload a problem that got dumped in his lap.’
      • ‘Too often, we just get in the habit of taking on all the work that gets dropped in our lap, but that isn't always the wisest or most efficient way to get the job done.’
      • ‘But listen: what could be worse than having something like this drop in your lap and nobody cares?’
      • ‘Sitting on a tractor in the middle of winter with three inches of snow in your lap must be one of those times when you wonder if you really want to run your own business.’
      • ‘This is a classic form of advertising that makes a lot of sense; something falls in your lap and you have no choice but to take notice.’
      • ‘They do come and dump their problems in your lap and expect you to solve them.’
      • ‘Furthermore, this type of reporting, linked to a lack of reporting the opposition views, clearly lays the responsibility in your lap.’
      • ‘Apparently, in our attempt to do proper and legal business with them, they decided to dump their scams in our lap.’
  • in the lap of the gods

    • (of the success of a plan or event) depending on factors that one cannot control; open to chance.

      • ‘It's in the lap of the gods at the moment but hopefully he will be with us on Saturday.’
      • ‘The club had been investigating the possibility of bringing in covers to protect the pitch from the elements tonight, but if this is not possible the match would be in the lap of the gods.’
      • ‘However much rehearsal she may have done, she knows that the final few per cent of inspiration's in the lap of the gods, and it's that which gives the event its compulsive thrill.’
      • ‘It's all in the lap of the gods and we shall sit back and wait patiently, enjoying the summer and improving our shining hours as best we may.’
      • ‘At this stage who plays and who doesn't is all in the lap of the gods.’
      • ‘And it is for those two reasons that Ellen admits her next record attempt planned for November is firmly in the lap of the gods.’
      • ‘We are in the lap of the gods as to when the air space is opened.’
      • ‘He will still be in the swimming pool or on the bikes so there will certainly be enough for him to do, but we're in the lap of the gods with it a little bit and we're just hoping he'll be alright.’
      • ‘Whatever happens now is in the lap of the gods and the council.’
      • ‘Whether it will lead to anything is in the lap of the gods.’
      out of one's hands, beyond one's control, in the hands of fate, open to chance, not one's responsibility
      View synonyms
  • in the lap of luxury

    • In conditions of great comfort and wealth:

      ‘Katie was living in the lap of luxury in Paris’
      • ‘It was one of the few times I've lived in the lap of luxury and felt totally comfortable.’
      • ‘Some might argue that there are many ‘visible minorities’ who are very well-placed and living in the lap of luxury.’
      • ‘These directors seem to get away with ruining people's lives and are able to still live in the lap of luxury without their assets being frozen or sold off.’
      • ‘Everyone seems to agree that there were no beatings, and while they weren't exactly living in the lap of luxury (or Florida white-collar prisons), we have to remember that these were not nice men.’
      • ‘Secondly, I would obviously grant the Dictator a huge pay rise, and thirdly I would abolish elections and stay in power until I retired to live in the lap of luxury with my squandered millions.’
      • ‘This child is not in the lap of luxury, but so what?’
      • ‘Even better, being meta-efficient in one's spending habits doesn't preclude anyone from living in the lap of luxury now and again.’
      • ‘The people that we deal with for taking drugs do not live in the lap of luxury, they live in squalor and filth.’
      • ‘Here you get to experience the many wonderful facets of the island and indeed stay in the lap of luxury and you can also join one of their excellent daily whalewatching trips.’
      • ‘These anti-globalisation protesters were breaking windows against world injustice, protesting against the fact that millions die starving while others live in the lap of luxury.’
      lead a very comfortable life, be very rich, want for nothing, live off the fat of the land
      live the life of riley
      be on the pig's back
      live high on the hog
      View synonyms

Origin

Old English læppa, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch lap, German Lappen piece of cloth. The word originally denoted a fold or flap of a garment (compare with lapel), later specifically one that could be used as a pocket or pouch, or the front of a skirt when held up to carry something ( Middle English), hence the area between the waist and knees as a place where a child could be nursed or an object held.

Pronunciation:

lap

/lap/

Main definitions of lap in English

: lap1lap2lap3

lap2

noun

  • 1One circuit of a track during a race:

    ‘heavy rain stopped the race after 18 laps’
    [as modifier] ‘a lap record’
    • ‘The only exception is the Daytona 500, which uses two qualifying races and qualifying laps to determine the starting grid.’
    • ‘Various classes of competitors take 10 laps around the dirt track to qualify for the 20 lap trophy races.’
    • ‘Still the same are five-point bonuses for leading a lap and leading the most laps of a race.’
    • ‘But in the final laps of a close race, friends and family fade to black against the overpowering compulsion to win.’
    • ‘The champion might not be known until the final lap of the final race.’
    • ‘No fully rational man would try to pass there, particularly on the final lap of the final race of the season.’
    • ‘Last summer, the former army sergeant was forced to again race over two laps rather than the metric mile at the World Championships due to a lack of training after picking up a calf injury.’
    • ‘Despite starting from the back of the grid, they dominated every race and broke the lap record.’
    • ‘He has three top-five finishes and has led laps in seven races.’
    • ‘Unfortunately it wasn't to be as he spun off the track on the sixth lap of the race.’
    • ‘Basically, rule No.1 will be to stay out of trouble and stay in line until about the last 75 laps of the race.’
    • ‘Identifying an adjustment that works in testing might carry a car from 15th after a pit stop to fifth in only a few laps during the race.’
    • ‘The Stewart household has an old videotape, which contains just the final three laps of a track race in 1970.’
    • ‘Last year, he topped practice and qualifying, won all three races and broke the lap record.’
    • ‘If a crash extends a race with additional yellow-flag laps and a car runs into fuel trouble waiting for the green flag to drop, well, that's racing.’
    • ‘He also holds the track record for most laps led by a race winner, 162.’
    • ‘The actual test involved the women driving five laps around the race track, initially with an instructor then on their own.’
    • ‘The closed circuit races have more laps to them and the rallies are typically a bit longer.’
    • ‘The race finished with five laps of a challenging circuit that included one short, but difficult, climb.’
    • ‘The No.20 car consistently has gained points - leading a lap in 14 races and leading the most laps in four.’
    circuit, leg, stretch, tour, circle, revolution, round, part, portion, segment, section, stage, phase, step, loop
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A stage in a swim consisting of two lengths of a pool:
      ‘everyone did ten laps of the pool’
      • ‘When she got down to the pool, Liam was underwater, doing a few laps down the length of the pool.’
      • ‘Jason got in the pool and proceeded to swim some laps.’
      • ‘Lucas finished his last lap of the pool late on Wednesday night.’
      • ‘I didn't hesitate and a moment later I was swimming laps in the pool.’
      • ‘When it finished, I started swimming laps around the pool, just for something to do.’
      • ‘He was swimming laps in the pool, trying to burn off his nervousness.’
      • ‘It also had an eight-lane pool were people swam laps and dove on the diving board.’
      • ‘I dove in and swam a couple of laps before diving a few times off the diving board.’
      • ‘On these days, I'll take long evening walks with my husband or swim a few easy laps in the pool to unwind.’
      • ‘To prove my point, I slid under the water and swam a lap across the pool.’
      • ‘If swimming some laps at the local pool isn't hardcore enough for you, there's no better time to join a gym and replace that hour on the couch with an hour on the treadmill.’
      • ‘As the two women charged down the pool on the second lap with Quann clearly in the lead, the crowd rose to its feet and beseeched her for a world record.’
      • ‘They all started swimming their laps around the pool.’
      • ‘He swam 27 laps in a pool most mornings, because he liked to do things that were divisible by three.’
      • ‘After weights, he would do twenty laps in his pool (which was, luckily, heated) and then eat a light lunch.’
      • ‘When you are in the pool, swim a few laps instead of just floating.’
      • ‘As for the younger members, they should be able to swim one full lap in the pool before they join.’
      • ‘During her free period she ditched all her clubs and swam laps in the pool, she thought it would help clear her head but she didn't succeed.’
      • ‘After that, it is time for the advanced learners to progress to swimming laps around the pool.’
      • ‘Swimmers are asked to swim as many laps as possible in 30 minutes.’
    2. 1.2 A part of a journey or other undertaking:
      ‘we caught a cab for the last lap of our journey’
      • ‘All talk of the war being over was nonsense, and here were the trucks to take them on the first lap of their journey to death.’
      • ‘The final lap of my walk took me up to a viewpoint called the Battlements and on a clear day I could see Darwen Moors.’
      • ‘The Brahmaputra, in the last lap of its journey to the Bay of Bengal, bifurcates into a number of channels in the district.’
      • ‘We motored down from Kochi, but had to cover the last lap of the journey by motor boat along a narrow canal.’
      • ‘But the final lap of the journey makes it all worthwhile.’
      • ‘Next morning we had time for a quick dip in the ocean after breakfast before setting out on what was really the last lap of the journey.’
      • ‘It appeared as though their singing paved the way for the last lap of her earthly journey.’
  • 2An overlapping or projecting part:

    ‘cut to the depth and width of the lap’
    1. 2.1[mass noun] The amount by which one thing overlaps a part of another:
      ‘they have sufficient lap to act compositely’
    2. 2.2Metallurgy A defect formed in rolling when a projecting part is accidentally folded over and pressed against the surface of the metal.
  • 3A single turn of rope, thread, or cable round a drum or reel.

    1. 3.1 A layer or sheet of cotton or wool, wound on a roller during manufacture.
  • 4(in a lapping machine) a rotating disc with a coating of fine abrasive for polishing.

    1. 4.1 A polishing tool of a special shape, coated or impregnated with an abrasive.
      • ‘The individual faces are then ground and polished on a lap using diamond powder as an abrasive.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Overtake (a competitor in a race) to become one or more laps ahead:

    ‘she lapped all of her rivals in the 3,000 metres’
    • ‘In the second session, the car felt much better - my biggest drama in the darkness was lapping some of the slower cars.’
    • ‘On that occasion, he lapped David Davies of Great Britain.’
    • ‘After running very consistently, the Sauber drivers Heidfeld and Raikkonen came in 6th and 7th, although lapped by the flying world champion.’
    • ‘He still was lapping him, but Carter was actually third, a good distance between him and mass of students behind him.’
    • ‘Both athletes were lapped, but recorded personal bests.’
    • ‘At the back of the pack Sunderland are so far off the pace and in danger of being lapped, while West Bromwich Albion also look close to collapse as they stagger towards the finishing line.’
    • ‘If riders were lapped, they were required to pull out of the race.’
    • ‘Traffic is going to be an issue with the DPs and we'll be lapping the slower cars in GT pretty quickly.’
    • ‘At one point I thought she was going to be the first person to be lapped in a 100m race.’
    • ‘Lewin was struggling for grip in the latter laps and could mount no further chase of the flying leader, and was himself lapped on the final tour.’
    • ‘Didier was ninth after a few laps but then got stuck behind Donoso, who had already been lapped.’
    • ‘Every time she lapped Nicki and Jen, who were running with each other, she made sure they knew exactly how many laps behind her they were.’
    • ‘‘Three times when a faster car was lapping us, Jonny followed into the gap made by the faster car, so I really had to defend hard,’ said Jordan.’
    • ‘Of the others, one runner miscounted his circuits and ran one lap too few, and the other gave up after being lapped by all four Harriers competitors.’
    • ‘If a slow car is in jeopardy of getting lapped by the leader, a flip of the switch can drop a piece of metal on the track that consequently will force a caution flag.’
    • ‘If not, during the race I lapped Rubens, so I guess the Bridgestone weren't that competitive at the end, compared with the Michelin.’
    • ‘Evil Laura won't slow down, and near the end of the race I am intent on lapping Lauren.’
    • ‘Any riders who are lapped are removed from the race.’
    • ‘He was back and ready for the Championship race however and finished sixth of nine in a group of airplanes that had been lapped by the four leaders.’
    • ‘It was when she was lapping me that I started to get really frustrated.’
    overtake, overhaul, outstrip, outdistance, leave behind, pass, go past, get ahead of, pull ahead of
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[no object] (of a competitor in a race) complete a lap, especially in a specified time:
      ‘Mansell lapped two tenths of a second faster than anyone else’
      • ‘Franchitti lapped the one-mile oval in 22.878 seconds, an average of 162.392 mph, to be an unlucky 13th quickest more than half-a-second off the pace of provisional pole-sitter, Brazilian Helio Castroneves.’
      • ‘Miguel, who had not driven the car before Friday's free practice, lapped competitively throughout the third stint to maintain the teams overall position.’
      • ‘Maldonado scored some very fast laps and took a good advantage, lapping 2/3 tenths faster than all the other drivers.’
      • ‘As the laps unwound, the pack split into two groups and the leaders were lapping slower competitors by the ninth lap.’
      • ‘Harvey also drove the car of his team mate Steve Clark and lapped in 1m10.145s.’
      • ‘Mika, celebrating his 100th grand prix start, lapped in 1m18.234 and I was just marginally slower at 1:18.292.’
      • ‘But the red cars were certainly not sandbagging; Schumacher lapped faster than he had in qualifying when he set the fastest time on lap 29.’
      • ‘If more than one rider laps the field, a common occurrence, then the winner is the one with the most points.’
      • ‘Fildes, meanwhile, made a fine start to his Porsche racing, lapping in a comfortable fourth place.’
      • ‘The top three drivers all lapped under the existing lap record for Snetterton, set by American Pat Long in August 2003.’
      • ‘Harvey (Team RPM) posted the best time in the dry session lapping in 1m10.502s.’
      • ‘Meira, the first driver to make a qualifying attempt, lapped the 1.33-mile oval in 23.2874 seconds, 200.967 mph.’
      • ‘The 28-year-old from Bathgate lapped the two-mile oval in 32.427 seconds, an average of 222.037 mph - but found himself 0.6 sec off provisional pole position.’
      • ‘With the competitors lapping once every three minutes and racing in total for over an hour there is plenty of spectacular action.’
      • ‘McCormick started the three-hour race and got straight into his stride, lapping faster than ever during his 75-minute stint.’
      • ‘With these frustrating issues behind them both drivers lapped competitively for the remainder of the race bringing the car home in 14th place.’
      • ‘The championship leader headed a pack of very closely matched cars as Damien Faulkner, Tim Harvey and Jason Templeman all lapped within six tenths of a second of Westbrook's fastest time.’
      • ‘The two Renaults found the perfect mix of tyres and chassis set-up, and suddenly Webber's time was history as Monaco winner Trulli lapped in 1:56.232.’
      • ‘The Scot, 29, just nine points behind second-placed Bruno Junqueira in the series, lapped the two-mile oval in 31.384 seconds, an average of 232.743 mph.’
      • ‘Jarvis finished fifth in round ten and second in the first race, six seconds behind Storckenfeldt who was lapping a second a lap quicker at some points.’
  • 2lap someone/thing inliterary Wrap or enfold someone or something in (something soft):

    ‘he was lapped in blankets’
    • ‘The dead woman rose for a moment of agony while she was lapped in the flame, and her bitter scream of pain was drowned in the thundercrash.’
    wrap, swathe, cover, envelop, enfold, encase, wind, swaddle, twist, surround
    View synonyms
  • 3[no object] Project beyond or overlap something:

    ‘the water lapped over the edges’
    • ‘Contour feathers lapped over the transmitter, concealing its presence and preserving the bird's hydrodynamic profile as much as possible.’
    • ‘Refit the skirting boards with the uncut board placed snugly in the corner and the shaped board lapped over it.’
  • 4Polish (metal, glass, or a gem) with a lapping machine:

    ‘the honing and lapping of ring gauges’
    • ‘One of the reasons why this is more likely to happen when lapping flip chips is the small surface area.’
    • ‘It featured broach cut rifling, was lapped by hand, and was made from 4140 carbon steel.’
    • ‘These are shaped to the desired contours and are usually made of hardened tool steel ground and lapped to a mirror finish.’
    • ‘Trimmed rock chips are first free lapped according to the standard process route up to Step 3.’
    • ‘When perfection in single sided lapping and double sided lapping are imperative, contact Precision Disc Grinding.’
    • ‘Metal flashings that once were soldered are now lapped and ‘sealed.’’

Origin

Middle English (as a verb in the sense ‘coil, fold, or wrap’): from lap. Sense 1 of the noun and verb date from the mid 19th century.

Pronunciation:

lap

/lap/

Main definitions of lap in English

: lap1lap2lap3

lap3

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1(of an animal) take up (liquid) with quick movements of the tongue:

    ‘the cat was lapping up a saucer of milk’
    • ‘Unlike most dogs, she doesn't use her tongue to lap up the liquid.’
    • ‘If you can make out a soft purr, or a meow, or maybe the gentle sound of milk being lapped up from a dish, do not assume that your ears are deceiving you.’
    • ‘It didn't take long to follow the trail of flowers and water to find the culprit: my kitty Arthur, who was lapping up the water, as nonchalant as could be!’
    • ‘On its own, it is rather disturbing and baffling, in particular the clip where a tiny man is licking the camera lens, which turns into a cat lapping up a saucer of milk.’
    • ‘We see him fall to the ground, still holding the hose, from which a small dog starts lapping in a slo-mo sequence, adding humor to the tragedy.’
    • ‘‘Here you go, sweetheart,’ she swooned as the kitten hastily lapped up the milk with its little pink tongue.’
    • ‘‘I heard one of my dogs lapping water out of a tree when we was up back of my cabin last week,’ he drawled.’
    • ‘She squeezed a finger into the frightening hole in her cranium to stop the bleeding in traditional dyke plugging fashion, leaned over and began lapping up the liquid like a thirsty feline would with a saucer of milk.’
    • ‘Adele looks him over like a cat lapping up cream, obviously finding little fault with his appearance.’
    • ‘Flying foxes have a long bristly tongue that's great for lapping up juicy fruit, and for licking and grooming themselves and their friends!’
    • ‘As his muzzle touched the water, his tongue lapped at it, his ears pricked up, and his eyes opened weakly.’
    • ‘The scrub jay drinks by lapping up the water and then tilting his head back in order to swallow, while the mourning dove dips his beak deep into the water and sips away.’
    • ‘Sa Joe explained that if a person dreamed of a cat lapping a plate of milk then the sheet would provide a number representing a cat, another number for a plate and a number for milk.’
    • ‘He moves over to the spoon and begins lapping up the heavenly liquid.’
    • ‘All the dogs I saw growing up spent their hot Oklahoma summer days lazing under a shade tree, lapping up cool water and scratching themselves.’
    • ‘A famous art collector is walking through the city when he notices a mangy cat lapping milk from a saucer in the doorway of a store, and he does a double take.’
    • ‘Once back in her native Harrogate, the problem was solved with Brooke once again lapping up the local tap water.’
    • ‘When he got enough, he lapped the water with his tongue, feeling a bit cooler.’
    drink, lick up, sip, sup, swallow, slurp, gulp, swill, suck
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1lap something up Accept something eagerly and with obvious pleasure:
      ‘she's lapping up the attention’
      • ‘There is the general indie guitarist moping from the two axe grinders flanking the vocalist, and generally, everybody laps it up.’
      • ‘It has now emerged that foreign institutional investors have been quietly selling GTB shares in substantial numbers and the Indian retail investor has been lapping them up.’
      • ‘Such colonial efforts were lapped up in England.’
      • ‘I've listened to them both a few times now and I've been lapping it up.’
      • ‘My fans, young and old, male and female, straight and gay, are all lapping it up.’
      • ‘Pedants may complain that this bears scant relation to the legendary title character but kids will lap it up and adults will find plenty to enjoy.’
      • ‘Since then, artists have reveled in symbol-laden dream scenarios, and audiences looking for clues to the human experience have lapped them up eagerly.’
      • ‘Winemakers are trying to offload much of their inventory overseas and foreign markets by and large are lapping it up.’
      • ‘The right wing US Bible belt has also had its say and branded the show ‘depraved’, but one thing's for sure, the majority of the American public are lapping it up.’
      • ‘Oh, but won't my readers be lapping this stuff up!’
      • ‘Ok, I now know that a fair amount of his traffic comes from the US where he spends an increasing amount of his time and where his views are lapped up by a more conservative audience.’
      • ‘I'd barely heard of this crew until a few weeks ago, and now I'm lapping their stuff up.’
      • ‘The kids are bowing and blowing kisses and lapping it up and us volunteers are melting into the background and letting them have their moment.’
      • ‘The audience laps it up as further confirmation of how awful the war is and that the real threat to democracy is the Americans' abuse of human rights.’
      • ‘With high-tech businesses this became much easier to achieve when technology mania swept through the stockmarkets and shares in such businesses were lapped up by private investors.’
      • ‘His first display in March was an instant success with celebrities lapping it up.’
      • ‘I wasn't enjoying it in the weeks leading up to going on a plane last year, but now that the prospect of getting in a thin metal tube and hurtling through the sky is slim, I'm lapping it up.’
      • ‘According to the critics, readers were lapping the book up as a kind of classy pornography.’
      • ‘The majority of the audience were lapping it up - they knew all the words and were singing along, cheering and calling out.’
      • ‘Those two million words were lapped up by the young and restless, the old and tired, and the middle-aged and lagging.’
      relish, revel in, savour, delight in, luxuriate in, bask in, wallow in, glory in, enjoy, indulge in
      View synonyms
  • 2(of water) wash against (something) with a gentle rippling sound:

    ‘the waves lapped the shore’
    [no object] ‘the sound of the river lapping against the banks’
    • ‘The sun is shining, the birds are twittering, palm fronds are waving lazily in the breeze and waves are lapping the shoreline.’
    • ‘But the sound of Neptune's fateful waves lapping the nearby shore is masterly.’
    • ‘All that is left is to sit back, relax and enjoy the cadence of the waves lapping the shore and the sounds of music and laughter from the lively streets of Soufriere.’
    • ‘The scenery is magnificent throughout and the pristine waters lapping these shores contain a rich store of life.’
    • ‘It was something that would not have been attempted prior to the drainage project when the waters of the lake lapped the roadside at Pontoon.’
    • ‘A few hours later, the sun is setting as gentle aquamarine surf laps a few feet from the reclining beach chairs.’
    • ‘Their photographs confirm it was frequent to find nests in deeply flooded reedbeds with water lapping the nest edges.’
    • ‘The sound of lake water lapping on the shore was a constant reminder of the fact that we were on an island.’
    • ‘As I paused to peer down at the boat, I saw two huge goldfish surface from the slow green water then dive creating ripples that lapped the banks where straggly willows stooped heavy with catkins.’
    • ‘To the west, the indigo-blue waters of Pamlico Sound lap grassy marshes thick with egrets and blue herons.’
    • ‘I remembered the young soldier on the cliff top standing with me in silence as we looked down at the peaceful waves lapping the shore beneath us.’
    • ‘Some residents of Lincoln Street were stranded in their own homes as water lapped doors at the front and back of their homes yesterday.’
    • ‘Later, another slave hears ‘the earth whispering, the water lapping the bank with a black tongue’.’
    • ‘As water lapped the front of his pub, Keith feared the worst - but the waters held back, leaving Keith a happy man.’
    • ‘Joel cut the motor, the only sound was the water lapping the side of the skiff.’
    • ‘The pristine waters lapping its shores contain a rich store of life.’
    • ‘Tonight, as last night, it's just a towpath used by people walking their dogs and a black river lapping the bank.’
    • ‘I'd expected to climb up the dike and see the water lapping the top of it on the other side!’
    • ‘A cleaner on his way home from work feared he would die as water lapped his chin when he became trapped in his car in Fairfield.’
    • ‘The water lapped a short distance away from their feet, filling the companionable silence as their eyes perused the darkness.’
    splash, wash, swish, slap, slosh, break, purl
    View synonyms

noun

  • [in singular] The action or sound of water washing gently against something:

    ‘listening to the comfortable lap of the waves against the shore’
    • ‘The gentle lap of waves on Sandymount Strand and the long sandy walks on Dollymount Strand are a vital tonic for many of Dublin's citizens.’
    • ‘All he could hear was the wind sighing in the trees and the soft lap of water against the wall surrounding the lake.’
    • ‘You've got to like wind in the trees, sun on the water, the lap of waves against rock.’
    • ‘He listened to the ship, hearing the creaking and the lap of water against the hull.’

Origin

Old English lapian, of Germanic origin; related to Middle Low German and Middle Dutch lapen.

Pronunciation:

lap

/lap/