Definition of lappet in US English:



  • 1A fold or hanging piece of flesh in some animals.

    • ‘It was identified by its big head and 2 white lappets on the corners of its mouth.’
    • ‘Modified ossicles called lappets that border the ambulacral groove function to close off the groove and prevent damage to the tube feet.’
    • ‘The shape of its edge indicates that the maxilla lacked the posterodorsally reflected lappet present in most other mosasaurs.’
    • ‘Amplexograptus praetypicalis is similar to A. maxwelli in it's overall dimensions, but can be differentiated from the latter species by it's much lower lappets, less inverted thecal apertures, and lack of a median septum.’
    • ‘Only the final peristomeal differentiations, with fragile lappets, may disappear during fossilization.’
    fold, overhang, overlap, covering
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A loose or overlapping part of a garment.
      • ‘The decorative lappets are red cotton velveteen, folded lengthwise and handsewn closed.’
      • ‘One with gray lappets came forward, carrying a tall staff topped with a carved ram head.’
      • ‘In the time of swords and periwigs and full-skirted coats with flowered lappets, when gentlemen wore ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta, there lived a tailor in Gloucester.’
  • 2A brownish moth, the hairy caterpillars of which have fleshy lappets along each side of the body.

    Several species in the family Lasiocampidae: including Phyllodesma americana

    • ‘Riley's lappet moth is found in southern Michigan along floodplains where its larval host plant, honey locust, grows.’
    • ‘The pine tree lappet moth is a major defoliator of pines and other conifers over much of its natural range.’


Late Middle English (denoting a lobe of the ear, liver, etc.): diminutive of lap.