Definition of reap in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Cut or gather (a crop or harvest)

    ‘large numbers of men were employed to reap the harvest’
    figurative ‘in terms of science, the Apollo program reaped a meager harvest’
    • ‘The first American Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, to commemorate the harvest reaped by the Plymouth Colony after a harsh winter.’
    • ‘It seldom happens that the person who tills the ground has the wherewithal to maintain himself till he reaps the harvest.’
    • ‘With it, farmers could retain their soil and still reap a crop.’
    • ‘Some farmers have been told only to reap the current harvest, but not to prepare the land for new crops.’
    • ‘One day, as the men are sitting around discussing what they would do if they had any money, Wang Lung says that he will buy land from which to reap harvests.’
    • ‘For instance, in one season a farmer may apply five bags of chemical fertilisers (for paddy crop) on one acre of land and reaps 30 bags of grain.’
    • ‘They can still get money when they need it and there will still be the occasional umbrella for farmers whose incomes drop when Brazil reaps a bumper crop.’
    • ‘She lived and worked with a family of peasants, cultivating the field, planting crops, reaping the harvest.’
    • ‘This dance honors the soil from which the harvest is reaped.’
    • ‘And what you see each time is that the men were reaping all the fruits here.’
    • ‘It's loosely based on the parable of the sower, so we have three images, a man ploughing a field, a man sowing seed and a man reaping a harvest.’
    • ‘Late February to mid-March is the ideal planting time. An early start improves the odds of reaping a good harvest before summer heat shuts down fruit production.’
    • ‘There's little interest these days in hedgerow fruit so I suspect the birds will reap this particular harvest.’
    • ‘The vineyards are organic, yields are low, and the harvest is reaped by hand, with Burgundian-style small trays for the pickers to place the grapes on, in whole bunches if possible, so that they do not bruise.’
    • ‘Some have managed to take an interest in their land and make it productive, but many have simply reaped the standing crop and then left the land derelict.’
    • ‘Farming is the major industry in the area, and the challenge of reaping a harvest from this soil is a fearsome one.’
    • ‘Last year, while fellow sweet-cherry growers were reeling from the financial blow of low yields, Kendell was reaping an impressive harvest.’
    • ‘This is contributing to the farming crisis, and deaths from starvation are likely to increase massively because farmers are too weak to plant or reap their crops.’
    • ‘Its economy was based primarily on millet, harvested with polished stone reaping knives, and on pigs, cows, and goats.’
    • ‘It is very hard to go against ingrained traditions that reap new harvests with a cycle of generations, over and over, until it is almost part of the should be.’
    pick, pluck, gather
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    1. 1.1 Harvest the crop from (a piece of land).
      • ‘It was replaced with a more local, romantic Palestinian nationalism - familiar to Europeans - that reveres the peasant and the shepherd and dreams of reaping the land.’
      • ‘The cornfields are almost all reaped.’
      • ‘As gameplay progresses, you'll place your cities, have your population grow, build wonders, armies, reap the land and generally just try to survive.’
      harvest, garner, gather in, bring in, take in
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    2. 1.2 Receive (a reward or benefit) as a consequence of one's own or other people's actions.
      ‘the company is poised to reap the benefits of this investment’
      • ‘Now Darran Gardner finds one firm hoping to reap a rich harvest from the ripe market of business intelligence’
      • ‘At the end of fiscal 2002, when banks had reaped a bumper harvest through treasury profits, it was widely seen as a one-time affair and not expected to be repeated this year.’
      • ‘All the other farmers in the area eventually sold off their land to developers, reaping hefty paydays.’
      • ‘Ahern also reaped a harvest of favourable editorials.’
      • ‘He said that if I had nothing to hide that the I would have such money by reaping the bounty from my lands and wouldn't mind paying these taxes straight up right now.’
      • ‘The rich will not be able to continue to reap the profits of their investment in globalization if they do not seriously address the issues of poverty on a world scale.’
      • ‘Three steel producers listed on the main board reaped a golden harvest last year with their results thrashing market forecasts.’
      • ‘But do the people truly reap the value of these public lands?’
      • ‘Both have received international recognition and reaped a harvest of prizes.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the US Navy was reaping a rich harvest from its years of wargaming.’
      • ‘On top of that, the United States reaped a great harvest of German ideas about aerial technology with its foresighted Operation Paperclip at the end of the war.’
      • ‘If a landowning nobility was to prosper, it was well advised to diversify out of land and reap some of the gain of financial, commercial, and industrial growth.’
      • ‘I think the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should work towards us keeping engaged and involved so that we can continue to reap something out of our labour.’
      • ‘It is better to bring the polluters into the light than to allow them to reap profits at the expense of our air, land, and water.’
      • ‘As a visiting scientist in the United States she reaped the data harvest from a new generation of seismic observatories, installed during the Cold War to monitor underground nuclear explosions.’
      • ‘As housing values have soared, builders have reaped lush margins by building on the cheap land that they acquired several years earlier.’
      • ‘He could not reap extra profit from having a piece of my father's land.’
      • ‘It is for this reason that research must be allowed to continue in a way that society may reap the medical benefits, whilst limitations are put on other cosmetic aspects.’
      • ‘May you continue to reap all the good things that you have sown this year.’
      • ‘Indeed, both missions continue to reap benefits for us almost two years after they landed.’
      receive, obtain, get, acquire, secure, bring in, realize, derive, procure
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  • reap the harvest (or fruits) of

    • Suffer the results or consequences of.

      ‘critics believe we are now reaping the harvest of our permissive ways’
      • ‘Unfortunately, innocent Americans will reap the bloody harvest.’
      • ‘And so, once again, the Democrats reaped the bitter harvest of their own pallor and incompetence.’
      • ‘We are now reaping a bitter harvest from that which was misguidedly sown, again and again, since 1955, and continues to be sown to this miserable day.’
      • ‘Pakistan has reaped an appalling harvest, with over 200,000 child drug addicts.’
      • ‘Now Africa reaps the bitter harvest of colonial and homegrown ethnic manipulation in endless civil wars and periodic outbreaks of rioting and killing.’
      • ‘Less than a year into his hard-won presidential mandate, the president is reaping a bitter harvest of popular discontent.’
      • ‘This political instability slowed down the processes in the country and created distrust among our foreign partners and today we are reaping this harvest.’
      • ‘Zimbabwe is reaping a bitter harvest sown by a previous health minister, who declared there was no connection between HIV and Aids.’
      • ‘Kumar is now reaping a bitter harvest from the '90s.’
      • ‘Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, for years a testing ground of liberal policies that allegedly stem the damage of drug abuse and the spread of AIDS, is now reaping the tragic harvest.’
  • you reap what you sow

    • proverb You eventually have to face up to the consequences of your actions.

      • ‘So if you behave badly in this life, your next incarnation is likely to be more unpleasant than your current one - you reap what you sow.’
      • ‘The sugar industry is a lot like the lobbying industry, you reap what you sow.’
      • ‘Is the Cabinet finally reaping what they have sowed after not living up to the above promises?’
      • ‘But I like to think you reap what you sow, Captain.’
      • ‘Anything that happens to you today might be a repercussion from a previous life or that kind of a sense of you reap what you sow as an individual.’
      • ‘Karma sets the quality of a life according to how well or badly a person behaved in their previous life - you reap what you sow.’
      • ‘But when we do that, we're just going to continue to reap what we're sowing.’
      • ‘Pete is also reaping what he has sown.’
      • ‘If you try in any way you can to kick their legs out from under them in the name of tough love, well, you reap what you sow.’
      • ‘But for the rest, well I'm afraid you reap what you sow and the Board, the gloryhunters, the accountants and the marketing people can only stand by and hope that this doesn't mean the end.’


Old English ripan, reopan, of unknown origin.