Definition of flip-flop in English:



  • 1A light sandal, typically of plastic or rubber, with a thong between the big and second toe.

    • ‘For men, it's all about leather sandals and colourful flip-flops.’
    • ‘While his comrades wore flip-flops and sandals, he had to wear boots, because of an ankle injury he had received in another motorbike accident.’
    • ‘I only had three pairs; a pair of black rubber flip-flops which I was wearing, Converse sneakers and an extremely beat up pair of brown boots.’
    • ‘I now freely wear sandals and flip-flops throughout the summer.’
    • ‘After the running shoes there's a myriad of flats, sandals and flip-flops before we get to kitten heels.’
    • ‘Underneath the clothes are many pairs of shoes including flip-flops, tennis shoes, and slippers.’
    • ‘Many people go barefoot, or wear flip-flops or plastic sandals.’
    • ‘Dress them down with sneakers or flip-flops or take them out on the town with heels.’
    • ‘To the left of the entrance stood a huge basket of mismatched flip-flops and sandals, to be put on before going inside.’
    • ‘Donation boxes have been placed at all the churches for sturdy sandals and flip-flops for children aged 4 to 10.’
    • ‘Since I don't recommend wearing leather, suede, or any kind of dressy shoe to the beach, plastic or rubber flip-flops are the perfect solution.’
    • ‘The front hallway was littered with cute flip-flops and sandals, hiding beneath it the gorgeous Italian marble.’
    • ‘If you're headed for the swimming pool or the backyard barbecue, flip-flops or sandals are more appropriate than sweaty sneakers.’
    • ‘Not far away, a small pile of flip-flops, sandals and trainers have been carefully gathered, next to a growing mountain of wreaths.’
    • ‘The footwear of choice is the plastic flip-flop.’
    • ‘All you should need to take is a pair of very flimsy flip-flops or sandals for the beach, a pair of trainers or canvas shoes to wander around in and a pair of evening shoes for nights out.’
    • ‘Short of sneakers and flip-flops, the pickings are paradoxically slim.’
    • ‘I just picked up a pair of flip-flop sandals from the web - a necessity, because my feet are big enough that most stores don't carry my size.’
    • ‘What is it with this ridiculous fashion at the moment for wearing loose sandals or flip-flops?’
    • ‘The casual cousins of slip-on sandals, flip-flops are basically nice shower shoes.’
  • 2North American A backward handspring.

    • ‘On balance beam, Khorkina mounted with a round-off layout to two feet, immediate flip-flop, layout step-out.’
    • ‘Her routine included a full-twisting flip-flop and triple twist dismount.’
    • ‘Patterson fell off the beam on a flip-flop to piked full, but earned the top mark on floor exercise.’
    • ‘She dropped to sixth after falling from balance beam (gainer flip-flop to Onodi), and scored 8.850 on floor exercise in the final round.’
    • ‘Equally renowned was her power on balance beam, where she tumbled a very high back layout to two feet, and dismounted with two flip-flops to a full-twisting double back.’
    • ‘The team was forced to count two falls from Pavlova, who missed a Jaeger on uneven bars, and fell on a flip-flop, layout on balance beam.’
    • ‘Also on balance beam, Yarotskaya performed a gainer flip-flop to Onodi, and an aerial-side somi combination.’
    • ‘On balance beam she fell on her flip-flop to tucked full, and crashed her whip-double pike on floor.’
    • ‘The three-time Olympian fell on her mount (front salto on) and later on a flip-flop.’
    • ‘Ukraine's Olga Roschupkina went first, and fell almost immediately on her flip-flop to two layouts.’
    • ‘On balance beam, she performed a flip-flop to Arabian that was solid but thrown after a long pause before the combination.’
    • ‘On balance beam, Neijssen fell on a flip-flop, full; and van Leeuwen missed her layout mount and had other wobbles.’
  • 3informal An abrupt reversal of policy.

    ‘his flip-flop on taxes’
    • ‘We have seen an incredible flip-flop on the nuclear policy by this Party.’
    • ‘Then there's the governor's suspicious flip-flop on a tax break for the insurance industry.’
    • ‘This was followed by his flip-flop on the testing for salmonella in hamburger meat served in school lunch programs.’
    • ‘Do members remember the flip-flop on apprenticeships?’
    • ‘Even more perplexing is his flip-flop on this issue.’
    • ‘Just witness one former governor's flip-flop on the issue of driver's licenses for illegal aliens.’
    • ‘Stop the flip-flop on Hydro and get serious about our electrical needs.’
    • ‘Teachers said the major reason they have had difficulties in teaching the new materials were related to educational policy flip-flops, that have left them confused.’
    • ‘Regular policy flip-flops by the government have alienated the business community, which feels it has been left out of the loop.’
    • ‘Policy flip-flops will only confuse matters and cause people to lose faith in the government's reform measures.’
    • ‘There has been an absolute flip-flop on health funding.’
    • ‘The repeated policy flip-flops of the Greens have undermined the base of that party as well.’
    • ‘Every time he was asked, he was not quite sure, or he did a flip-flop on policy.’
    • ‘After his flip-flop on Kyoto last week, he is at it again this week.’
    • ‘That is one issue, but of course there is an even bigger flip-flop on an issue that is very close to many New Zealanders' hearts.’
    • ‘And having achieved his narrow victory, the famous flip-flop on fundamental issues was second nature to him.’
    • ‘His flip-flop on this issue makes him open to criticism.’
    • ‘The government is still micro-meddling in business, and the abrupt flip-flop highlights their inconsistent policy-making.’
    • ‘It was important that they were allowed to slug it out over the so-called flip-flop on that legislation.’
    • ‘But he was insisting that his recent abject flip-flop had not made him look like complete idiots in the eyes of the international legal community.’
  • 4Electronics
    A switching circuit that works by changing from one stable state to another, or through an unstable state back to its stable state, in response to a triggering pulse.

    • ‘I built a flip-flop circuit, flipped the switch, watched the relay click on and remain on.’
    • ‘John did this by waving a small quartz crystal pendulum over the resistor, which was either passing current, or not - depending on the position of a simple flip-flop relay inside the circuit box.’
    • ‘In one embodiment, the storage element is a data latch comprising a clock-enabled inverter serially coupled with a flip-flop.’
    • ‘When this flip-flop is triggered, it provides an output to the pulse generator to start the experiment in synchrony with the video signal.’
    • ‘In state 0, when the flip-flop receives an input pulse, it flips to state 1 but does nothing else.’


  • 1[with adverbial of direction] Move with a flapping sound or motion.

    ‘she flip-flopped off the porch in battered sneakers’
    • ‘Twenty minutes later, they are flip-flopping on the deck.’
    • ‘He's wearing a Northern Arizona baseball cap backward as he flip-flops by in his thongs clutching a Dean Koontz book.’
    • ‘Almost in a trance, I flip-flopped into the place, paid the fee, took off my clothes, went in and sat on a stool, washed myself ever so carefully, repeated the routine, then slipped into the bath.’
  • 2North American informal Make an abrupt reversal of policy.

    ‘the candidate flip-flopped on a number of issues’
    • ‘He has even less credibility when we see him as the man who came into this Parliament as a man above politics, a man of principle - who then flip-flopped on every principle he had ever believed in.’
    • ‘He also said he had flip-flopped on taxes and education, as well as his election promise to maintain fiscal discipline.’
    • ‘But this author doesn't even seem to recognize that he actually has flip-flopped on the issue, rather than simply failing to explain the subtle nuances of his position.’
    • ‘The Prime Minister is also flip-flopping on policy.’
    • ‘All night long, you've flip-flopped on this show.’
    • ‘I've flip-flopped on this issue for a long time.’
    • ‘The National Party has since flip-flopped on that issue, of course, and its members now say that they support it.’
    • ‘And, yeah, he hasn't flip-flopped on any issue.’
    • ‘I know that I've flip-flopped on Chapter 6 for a long time, so please forgive me.’
    • ‘It has flip-flopped on every issue of any significance.’
    • ‘He flip-flopped on that and is now ‘pro-choice’.’
    • ‘What there isn't a case for doing is what the Government's doing, which is actually flip-flopping all the time and changing its mind.’
    • ‘They pounded the point that he has allegedly flip-flopped on numerous policy issues in his political career.’
    • ‘I specifically voted against him on the sole basis that he flip-flopped on something or other and could very well flip flop again.’
    • ‘Aides insist that the president hasn't flip-flopped and that his policy has been consistent throughout.’
    • ‘Homeowners, watching the value of their flats tumble, complain that Tung flip-flopped on his housing policy - without telling the public.’
    • ‘He has flip-flopped on the Modernisation Bill.’
    • ‘Even this Party should allow a decent pause before it flip-flops on fiscal policy.’
    • ‘I haven't flip-flopped on anything, I just said I wasn't going to rehash the primary and we're now in a general election and between these two candidates, I think the choice is clear.’
    • ‘He seems to have flip-flopped on a number of issues and he seems to be a bit reckless with what he says, but he hasn't done enough of that for people to laugh in agreement if you write about those things.’


Mid 17th century (in the general sense something that flaps or flops): imitative reduplication of flop.



/ˈflip fläp/