Main definitions of flip in US English:

: flip1flip2



  • 1Turn over or cause to turn over with a sudden sharp movement.

    no object ‘the plane flipped over and then exploded’
    with object ‘the yacht was flipped by a huge wave’
    • ‘After reading her post, I flipped over to PumpkinDiary, where Bill had posted about Rae's decision.’
    • ‘Pixie flipped over and rolled off the bed, quite suddenly.’
    • ‘He then hit the central reservation and flipped over it, rolling into a Mercedes van on the opposite carriageway, which was knocked off the road.’
    • ‘Wes and Raine flipped over their top cards and Raine gave a little whoop, taking both of their cards.’
    • ‘The bus flipped over several times, before coming to rest on its side.’
    • ‘It is understood that the accident happened as the car negotiated a bend and the vehicle flipped over several times.’
    • ‘The figure grunted, and flipped over to land on his feet in one fluid movement.’
    • ‘At some small retail airports, some private planes that had been tied down were ripped loose from their moorings and flipped over.’
    • ‘And I'd much rather flip hamburgers and send my brother to school, than push pencils and worry about where to get the money for school supplies each month.’
    • ‘I flipped over and settled in for a bit of nostalgic viewing.’
    • ‘I've seen boards flipped over just before my final moment of conquest.’
    • ‘In his rush, he flipped over through the window, my hand still clutching the rope that was around his neck.’
    • ‘When he rolled the racer back on course the ship flipped over on its back and dove into the ground.’
    • ‘Even so, Mark noticed that the clerk was reading the same book without his eyes moving once, or flipping the page.’
    • ‘The volcano continually released carbon dioxide into the water, and in 1986 the lake flipped over.’
    • ‘Within the span of a few hours, my entire life had been flipped inside out and upside down.’
    • ‘Her palms hit the hard stone ring and she flipped over and rolled to her feet.’
    • ‘Then I flipped over and butterflied for the the last 25 metres.’
    • ‘Panicked and confused, I hit both brakes at the same time. I then flipped over the handlebars and slid across the gravel.’
    • ‘I was about to show Alex where I had flipped over my handlebars and broken my pinky when we had to abruptly stop to let three bunnies cross our path.’
    overturn, turn over, tip over, roll over, upturn, capsize, turn topsy-turvy
    View synonyms
  • 2with object and adverbial Move, push, or throw (something) with a sudden sharp movement.

    ‘she flipped off her dark glasses’
    ‘she flipped a few coins onto the bar’
    • ‘He flipped it open, pushing a button before setting the phone down on the edge of the sink.’
    • ‘I grinned with confidence and with a sudden decision, flipped the speed up.’
    • ‘Bryce growled and got to his feet quickly, resulting in his chair being flipped backwards and thrown to the side.’
    • ‘I asked for two of the bartender's best beers and flipped him a gold coin.’
    • ‘If you don't bend your knees and get some lift generated with your lower body, your arms need to work harder and that can cause you to push the ball instead of flipping it.’
    • ‘He compensated by flipping his wrists, pushing the ball short and right.’
    • ‘He broke close to the right touchline, threw an outrageous dummy and then flipped the ball out of the back of the hand to give Walker a clear run to the line.’
    • ‘I didn't hesitate to flip it open and push the talk button.’
    • ‘She handed over the small silver device and Dice placed it on the black leather dash board flipping it on as he accelerated down the street.’
    • ‘She relaxed the hammer on the pistol, replaced the safety, and slipped the weapon in between her pants and her waist, flipping the sweater over it to keep it hidden.’
    • ‘I flip the seat and move my belongings to the left side for the trip back.’
    • ‘When she saw him, she said a few quick words before flipping it closed.’
    • ‘I do release my wrists, but I don't flip them or throw them at the ball.’
    • ‘She lifted her arms behind her and pushed herself off the floor by flipping her body up, and landing on her feet.’
    • ‘He flips the latch on the outer door and pushes, but is not surprised when the door does not open immediately.’
    • ‘A quick test is to flip every sexual reference in an account from male to female and gauge your reaction.’
    • ‘Vena glared at me, and made the movement to flip her hair back, but sadly, it was in her bun, so she only flipped air.’
    • ‘Nothing was broken, but the safety was on, I flipped it to fire mode.’
    • ‘Please, please, flip your hair or throw yourself on the couch: anything but this!’
    • ‘He warmed up for a while, doing little dance moves, occasionally flipping his leg over the fire hydrant, just singing the same damn line.’
    throw, flick, toss, fling, sling, pitch, cast, spin, twist, hurl, shy, lob, propel, launch, project, send, dash, bowl
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    1. 2.1 Turn (an electrical appliance or switch) on or off.
      ‘he flipped a switch and the front door opened’
      • ‘I eased myself on the couch, flipping the on switch and watching the small screen in the center top keyboard light up to greet me.’
      • ‘Marin flipped off the light switch, leaving the room bathed in total darkness, but for the soft light of a glowing nightlight in the corner.’
      • ‘The veteran, who seemed to be pacing himself, has flipped the on switch.’
      • ‘And I've seen a small group of men turn into a lynch mob like a light switch had been flipped.’
      • ‘You can't always see electricity until you flip the switch on.’
      • ‘Satisfied with herself, she flipped off the light switch and made her way to the kitchen to find something to eat.’
      • ‘Immediately, as if a switch had been flipped, her mind filled with ideas of new designs she wanted to create.’
      • ‘Some of you may have noticed Ampin had blown a fuse for a few months there, but the breaker switch has been flipped and once again all things rock shall be reported on.’
      • ‘Once the generator is running, you can pick and choose which appliances and circuits you want to use by flipping the switches on the transfer switch.’
      • ‘After all those years of light and teaching enlightenment to others, it was all gone, as if a switch had been flipped off.’
      • ‘I flipped off the switch, hoping it would provide some power upon landing.’
      • ‘He woke in a start, as if a switch had been flipped in his head.’
      • ‘His sandals were downstairs so he flipped off the light switch in his room and proceeded down the steps.’
      • ‘When I'm flying, I can feel that part of my brain, like a switch, being flipped on and off.’
      • ‘He flips switches, which turn on strange electrical panels on the walls.’
      • ‘Kailey gasped in pain and covered her eyes with one of her hands, with the other she slammed his hand back onto the switch flipping the light off, but also crushing his hand.’
      • ‘The change was so drastic that it was as if the switch had been flipped to open the flood gates of heaven.’
      • ‘My body suddenly started sprinting, as if some internal switch had been flipped.’
      • ‘Slowly, my hand reached out and flipped a single blue switch on the generator to see if my creation would work.’
      • ‘Instead, plug electronics into a power strip, and then flip the off switch when you're not using your appliances.’
      flick, click, snap, jerk, pull, tug, tweak
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 Toss (a coin) to decide an issue.
      ‘given those odds, one may as well flip a coin’
      no object ‘you want to flip for it?’
      • ‘The predator model to be used was also decided by flipping a coin.’
      • ‘The partner and I flip coins when we have to make calls to her.’
      • ‘Under Utah law, tie votes must be decided by drawing lots, which can mean anything from flipping a coin to drawing a name out of a hat.’
      • ‘If you flip 16 million coins 50 times, some of them will come up heads every time.’
      • ‘Simply assign one option to ‘heads’ and the other option to ‘tails’, commit yourself to the decision of the coin, and flip away.’
      • ‘If Cousteau ever visited White Island, he must have flipped a coin to decide which to list in his top 10.’
      • ‘The auditor consults the Laws of the State of Washington and announces that the election will now be decided by flipping a coin.’
      • ‘Even if we did not witness the coin being flipped but were only told the outcome it would not matter.’
      • ‘We first discovered it in the days when we used to drive to France and, on arrival, flip a coin to decide whether to go left or right.’
      • ‘He thinks that flipping a coin to decide whether to push the button would be best, because it would give each child an equal chance of surviving.’
      • ‘Let's assume you want to flip a coin to decide weather you go to the movies or not.’
      • ‘But Alice is not quite sure about Bob and decides to leave their future to chance by flipping a coin in private.’
      • ‘If James had not received an invitation, he would have flipped a coin to decide whether to go or not.’
      • ‘During jury selection, he flipped a coin to decide whether a potential juror should be seated on the panel.’
      • ‘In order for it to be fair, they flipped a coin to decide which room to paint first.’
      • ‘Before the speeches, Tom flipped a coin to decide who would speak first, and Pete won.’
      • ‘All attempts to find a clear victor failed, as the tiebreaks were equal, and the co-winners refused to have the issue decided by flipping a coin.’
      • ‘We flipped a coin to decide who had to get dressed and deal with him.’
      • ‘Then she asked him to flip one of his coins in the air - but not try to catch it.’
      • ‘Frank finally flipped a coin and decided on a spot which paid off with fish biting the lines immediately.’
  • 3informal no object Suddenly lose control or become very angry.

    ‘he had clearly flipped under the pressure’
    ‘she would have flipped out if someone had done this to her’
    • ‘You were fine one minute, and suddenly you just flipped out.’
    • ‘He told the woman, she flipped out screamed her son's name and slammed the phone down.’
    • ‘Luke and I look at each other and think it strange that she's clearly flipping out over someone brushing against her bag.’
    • ‘Is it any wonder, then, that they sometimes flip?’
    • ‘On the last day but one, after yet another drinking binge and a row, he suddenly flipped and started raving at her in Spanish, which he spoke fluently but she didn't understand.’
    • ‘He apologised for flipping out and told me he had just lost the role of a lifetime and that he had been duped by the worst person in the business.’
    • ‘And, in fact, that does seem unlikely unless the asking price is too good to be true, and then their shareholders might flip out.’
    • ‘Chanelle's heart nearly stopped, she hadn't told her parents about any boys because she knew they'd flip!’
    • ‘Because if I have to stay here for another year, I am going to flip!’
    1. 3.1 Suddenly become very enthusiastic.
      ‘I walked into a store, saw the guitar on the wall, and just flipped’
      • ‘My family absolutely flipped over the seasonings of this yummy casserole.’
      • ‘He directed it so beautifully that even as an audience member knowing what was going to happen, I was completely flipped out in a great way.’
      • ‘But, if they liked the first then they positively flipped over this one!’
  • 4with object Buy and sell (something, especially real estate or shares) quickly to make a profit.

    ‘within one week of starting I flipped a property for a quick $3,000 profit’
    • ‘The essay describes the fundamentals of property flipping, fake identities and credit histories, and straw buyers.’
    • ‘Once she finds a property and flips it, she ought to pay off the car note, the credit card debt, and begin contributing regularly to build up retirement income.’
    • ‘In contrast, buying and selling homes involves high transaction costs, preventing people from flipping them quickly.’
    • ‘Let's start with the 101 on mortgage fraud, and the types of mortgage fraud, specifically property flipping.’
    • ‘Its founders want to lessen the incentive to flip its shares in the first few trading days.’
    • ‘If you are buying only to flip the property quickly, you need to be absolutely certain the salesmen really deliver what they say.’
    • ‘That doesn't mean that those who build to flip won't get rich.’
    • ‘The 72-year-old financier has been churning chief executives with the gusto of a day trader flipping shares.’
    • ‘She owns six foreclosures that she's turned into rental properties and has flipped as many as 10 others.’
  • 5US informal no object Become an informer.

    ‘when he was taken in by the investigators, he flipped immediately’
    • ‘She had agreed to flip rather than face fifteen years in a federal prison.’
    • ‘The pressure to flip was intense.’
    • ‘He flipped as well, ratting out his brother.’
    • ‘She was willing to roll over, to flip, to work, to inform, and to betray in order to stay out of jail.’
    • ‘The first major mafia informant since Reles, he flipped in 1962.’
    • ‘Like all informants, she'd flipped because she'd had to.’
    • ‘His case agent didn't know exactly why he'd flipped.’
    • ‘Charlie was a defendant informant who was arrested for trying to buy five kilos of heroin and flipped to save himself.’
    • ‘We'll make it worth their while to flip.’
    • ‘Usually, they only flipped after they'd been busted for something big like murder.’
    1. 5.1with object Persuade to become an informer.
      ‘the prosecutors won't be able to flip any witnesses to testify against the ex-CEO’
      • ‘The purpose of the interview is to flip Andreas in order to gather other evidence.’
      • ‘Prior to 1970, law enforcement flipped only two significant mafia informants.’
      • ‘An informant may be flipped initially by an agent in secret but eventually end up with counsel.’
      • ‘The DEA agent's ability to flip informants is limited by the simple fact that the agent lacks the power to arrest anyone.’
      • ‘Informants are valuable for the information they possess at the time they are flipped.’
      • ‘A prosecutor may want to flip and reward a defendant that the police believe should be prosecuted to the fullest.’
      • ‘At the moment when the undercover tries to flip him, the informant may try to negotiate.’
      • ‘His people debriefed an informant they'd flipped.’
      • ‘They couldn't arrest him, but they had him on a parole violation, so they turned him over to me, and I tried to flip him.’
      • ‘Informant Roy was "flipped" by the FBI.’


  • 1A sudden sharp movement.

    ‘she dismissed his qualms with a flip of her hand’
    • ‘Speaking of sensors, Motorola is making a big deal out of its new camera that can be activated through two quick flips of the wrist.’
    • ‘Two quick flips of the rod tip drew a hard strike and the hooked trout shook and flurried in the bright arc.’
    • ‘At one point the hose had me trapped down by the greenhouse until I did a quick flip of the wrist and turned it over so that it was spraying into the grass and I could make my escape.’
    • ‘A yesteryear heroine could seduce not just the hero but the entire audience with just a flip of her hair or a mere glance.’
    • ‘The waitress rolled her eyes and walked away with a flip of her hair.’
    • ‘Tabitha turned with a flip of her hair and strode away.’
    • ‘Moments later after she stormed out of the room with a flip of her hair, she returned asking for a different meal, apologizing for her behavior.’
    • ‘With one flip of the wrist, the lamp switches from work light to ambient lighting effortlessly.’
    • ‘Just when Fletcher thought he had caught a big, fat juicy fish, it would give a flip of the tail and disappear into the murk.’
    • ‘Want to check the time or a most recent stat, all it takes is a flip of the wrist and the display pops to life.’
    1. 1.1 An act or instance of turning over or being turned over in the air.
      ‘he celebrates his goals with an acrobatic flip’
      figurative ‘Alex's heart did a little flip inside her chest’
      • ‘Something about the way Georgina said that made Penelope feel uneasy, her stomach performing a small flip in the pit of her belly.’
      • ‘Failed attempts at somersaults and flips while on a trampoline may especially result in cervical spine injuries.’
      • ‘Instead, she turned the move into some kind of gymnastic flip and came down as softly on her feet as if she stepped off a street curb.’
      • ‘He was among the first to ride a bodyboard like others ride a surfboard - holding steady on his knees while doing tricks and flips.’
      • ‘He skis backward into the jump, turns to his right, then whips out three head-over-heels flips while grabbing a ski.’
      • ‘There are ramps and jumps to get you in the air and perform flips to gain points.’
      • ‘Perform tricks and flips on magnetically driven in-line skates, but watch out for the local police force!’
      • ‘At one point he was seen negotiating a rope walk, adding in a backwards flip for good measure.’
      • ‘Trampoline classes teach students the fundamentals of body awareness and training for somersaults, twists, and flips.’
      • ‘Once you've mastered standing up and carving turns, options include slalom skiing and airborne tricks, like flips.’
    2. 1.2a flip through A quick look or search through a volume or a collection of papers.
      ‘a quick flip through my cookbooks’
      • ‘Yeah, some of the songs may be older, but a flip through the liner notes will show that these introspective raps bring us right up to today.’
      • ‘But a flip through the catalogues turned up at least one must-get work.’
      • ‘When thinking about solutions, a quick flip through this book should help get ideas flowing.’
      • ‘Again, Yuen was full of doubt, hesitant, he took a quick flip through the book.’
      • ‘A quick flip through the Yellow Pages revealed a variety of advertising slogans.’
      • ‘A quick flip through Raidan's notes found nothing on them.’
  • 2British dated, informal A quick tour or pleasure trip.

    ‘I did a flip round the post-show party’


  • Glib or flippant.

    ‘he couldn't get away with flip, funny conversation’
    • ‘He gained wider exposure in the hip, flip Scottish thriller about three flatmates who dispose of a body that stands between them and a suitcase filled with cash.’
    • ‘Though they then ruin the effect by making an amateurish mistake on a flip reference to cricket.’
    • ‘I don't mean to sound flip either, but literally all you have to do to get rid of some guys is to let them know you're interested in spending more time with them.’
    • ‘There is nothing flip or carefree about these individuals.’
    • ‘When I suggest that he must be a fan, he puts on a brave face but it becomes clear just how far he thinks his work is removed from the flip media world.’
    • ‘What's more, because I made a flip remark in my old gallery pages about one of my colleagues looking like said film star, it's also on the first page.’
    • ‘I enjoy this kind of flip remark, but the chilly response indicated that my new friend didn't, and he summoned over the local vicar, dressed in mufti, to deal with me.’
    • ‘I really don't mean to be flip, but it is that simple.’
    • ‘This major emotional downer is as raw as it gets, and while it doesn't quite chime with the flip ending, it helps cement this as a powerful and evocative piece of work.’
    • ‘His respect for women increased after that; I'm not sure if he was serious, or being flip, when he said that.’
    • ‘About whether your wife wants to be with you in the future: well, I don't intend to be flip, but don't ask me, ask her.’
    • ‘But he's being almost as flip and happy and smiley as people are accusing Sneddon of being, no?’
    • ‘Holmes was a master of the flip aphorism, but one shouldn't confuse flip aphorisms with legal acumen.’
    • ‘One of the reviews in England said my songs were flip and flimsy trifles.’
    • ‘From cartoons to sitcoms, the stars are now sassy children who deliver flip one-liners, put down authority figures and revel in a laugh track.’
    • ‘That's a combination of the flip answer, and just where we are in the news cycle right now.’
    • ‘Also the apology he made is questionable, as I can't imagine that he would be really sorry for what he said, because he is so flip and arrogant about it.’
    • ‘We are not making a flip attack on an organization we value.’
    • ‘I made a flip suggestion to some of my bloodthirsty friends yesterday.’


  • Used to express mild annoyance.

    • ‘Oh flip - Is it that time again?’
    • ‘Oh flip! I need to get some stuff off my chest.’


  • flip one's lid (or wig)

    • informal Suddenly become deranged or lose one's self-control.

      • ‘He flipped his lid and told her to get a job because he won't be supporting her anymore.’
      • ‘At one point, Bicke flips his wig and begins screaming at the televised image of Nixon, ‘It's all about money, Dick!’’
      • ‘And I danced with her, and she'd flip her wig every night and then run under the table and under the piano and start crying and all.’
      • ‘The teacher would flip her wig, which would not be hard since her wig was so unrealistic.’
      • ‘This isn't the only reason why I think he's flipped his lid but it sure contributes to the overall impression.’
      • ‘The last thing Akira wanted was for Mitsuki to flip her wig over something stupid like a dream.’
      • ‘Years later he discovers a footprint on the beach and totally flips his lid.’
      • ‘After a wager over his anger, Lucy must get Ricky to flip his lid, or lose the hat she just purchased.’
      • ‘If you read Dirtbike Manifesto first, however, and discover The Couriers at a later date, you'll probably flip your wig.’
      • ‘You'll flip your wig on some of the Warden's thoughts on booze, over-priced guacamole and hot tubs.’
      • ‘The mother, half in denial, flips her lid and frantically tries to cover up the evidence of her son's alleged crime as the police move in.’
      • ‘Are they afraid to admit that their only leader has flipped his wig?’

Phrasal Verbs

  • flip through

    • Look or search quickly through (a volume or a collection of papers)

      ‘just flip through the phone book and pick a lawyer’
      • ‘This one will require thought, expertise, and flipping through dusty volumes.’
      • ‘The search engine flips through the copy of its known world, presenting a cross-section of all knowledge within its reach, regardless of its cultural weight.’
      • ‘I flipped through the small book listlessly, scanning the poems passively.’
      • ‘I think I glanced at that fact while quickly flipping through some glossy magazine.’
      • ‘Besides, she wasn't even sure if she should be even flipping through this book.’
      • ‘I flipped through the paper, and as I was almost finished my interviewer entered.’
      • ‘I sat in the chair furthest away from him (one seat away), and he picked up a random magazine and flipped through it.’
      • ‘So I'm sitting in a waiting room with my mum, flipping through a fashion magazine, half awake.’
      • ‘Conveniently, the library is on my way home from work, so it's a great place to stop on my way and flip through a book quickly.’
      • ‘Mary quickly flipped through the book to a section that listed the symptoms of stigmata.’
      • ‘He studied the small book, flipping through the pages.’
      • ‘I leave Mom who flips through a Family Circle magazine, she looks older then usual.’
      • ‘While I was doing the reading, Patsy sat on a couch across from me, flipping through a magazine.’
      • ‘He flips through some papers and steals a look at my rose bush.’
      • ‘Voracious readers all, they often spend hours at a fair, flipping through each and every book that catches their fancy.’
      • ‘Samuel turns to the papers, and flips through them, a smile of anticipation spreading over his face.’
      • ‘Desperate for more information, she nearly tore the brittle paper while flipping through it.’
      • ‘While Oliver stirred his spoon around the steaming soup, Simon flipped through the book he'd been reading.’
      • ‘Laura immediately flips through the papers until she reaches the appropriate page.’
      • ‘He was flipping through a magazine, appearing remotely bored, though his expression changed upon looking up.’
      • ‘His wife claimed his seat and started to flip through the paper while he wrapped up his sleeves and searched for the dishbrush in the cupboard under the sink.’
      • ‘She flipped through notes and books on tables and floor, in the kitchen, dining and living rooms.’
      • ‘She shoved a cup of coffee toward me and started flipping through some papers.’
      • ‘The vivacious teenager is keen on mastering singing and dancing when her peers are busy flipping through books.’
      • ‘I was just flipping through a magazine when I came across this face which reflected so much innocence!’
      • ‘I hold my tongue, watching my daughter, who, oblivious to the conversation around her, flips through a coffee table book of photographs chronicling one day in the life of America.’
      • ‘At two sharp, a middle-aged storyteller with horn-rimmed glasses flipped through a pair of books.’
      • ‘Summer sat down on the bed and flipped through a magazine.’
      • ‘He'd been flipping through papers and now seemed to be searching for something.’
      • ‘I don't get the magazines, but then when you're in a place with them, you immediately go to the magazines and you're flipping through.’
      thumb, thumb through, leaf through, flick through, run through, skim through, scan, look through, riffle through, browse through, dip into, glance at, glance through, peruse, read quickly, have a quick look at, run one's eye over, give something a once-over, give something the once-over
      View synonyms


Mid 16th century (as a verb in the sense ‘make a flick with the finger and thumb’): probably a contraction of fillip.




Main definitions of flip in US English:

: flip1flip2



  • another term for eggnog
    • ‘He drank glass after glass of flip, until he'd achieved a superb, shimmering calm.’
    • ‘While gloggs, grogs, nogs and flips may still have their place on a hot drink menu, today's heated libations are more than just warmed-over versions of old favorites.’


Late 17th century: perhaps from flip in the sense ‘whip up’.