Definition of yap in US English:



[no object]
  • 1Give a sharp, shrill bark.

    ‘the dachshunds yapped at his heels’
    • ‘He might yap in the sense of producing sounds that resemble a small dog's annoying bark, but he could not say that he was yapping.’
    • ‘The dog in turn, observed the affect he had on the cat and began to circle around Melinda's feet and start yapping and snapping at her heels.’
    • ‘But when the dog saw them it released the sarong and sprinted towards them, yapping ferociously.’
    • ‘A friendly dog has perked up ears, open and alert eyes, a relaxed mouth, a tail or whole rear end wagging, and possibly whimpering, yapping or giving short barks.’
    • ‘The huskies are now yapping, howling, and hopping in the air.’
    • ‘No doubt a tale of jealousy, murder and suicide makes the perfect complement to a lovely summer evening: the audience lolling on the lawn, lapdogs yapping as characters attack each other.’
    • ‘Long-Legs and Bonjour pranced in the forest, barking and chasing each other the ways dogs do, yapping and playful-like.’
    • ‘Jack, Duke and Rambo, the three mutts that stayed on with the group, ran about with energy that came from an unknown source, barking and yipping and yapping at the cattle.’
    • ‘She had her arms wrapped around his neck and Iggy yapping at her heels as he paced about.’
    • ‘A small dog yaps along the pavement next to a boy on a trike.’
    • ‘Wallets were bulging out of back pockets, handbags left carelessly open and all the while, their owners were concentrating on taking yet another picture of the Eiffel Tower, or videoing a little dog yapping on the pavement.’
    • ‘At several bends in the road, hungry dogs run up to the bus, yapping loudly.’
    • ‘It jumped over her heel and landed in front of Damian, still yapping away.’
    • ‘New York City is preparing for a drastic new approach to noise such as as giving barking dogs five minutes to cease yapping at night and obliging ice cream vans to replace their musical jingles with bells.’
    • ‘The unruly hounds had lost faith in themselves and scrambled about aimlessly, yapping at birds, rabbits, stones, shadows.’
    • ‘And outside the window are the distant cries of coyotes, yelping and yapping out on the shadows of the countryside.’
    • ‘She could hear Avalanche begin to yap at the door and Valentine started to bark as well.’
    • ‘The Dead Dog was back, only this one barked and yapped for an hour as it tried and failed to make the cunning old bull make a mistake and stray into the stunning pen.’
    • ‘A Dachshund yapped behind a wrought iron gate in the courtyard I traversed.’
    yelp, bark, woof, bay
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal Talk at length in an irritating manner.
      • ‘All it needed to bring things full circle was to have someone chase him along the corridor, yapping, ‘Apologise!’’
      • ‘And here I am yapping about 70s interior design, my knowledge of which stems entirely from simplistic humiliation of a few Better Homes and Gardens design books.’
      • ‘She is yapping on the phone as she does this, a conversation based around which boys will be in their classes and what posters they will hang in their lockers and when the first dance is.’
      • ‘The politicians stand up there yapping and chatting, but it won't happen, will it?’
      • ‘Everybody starts yapping at each other, and it goes from there, like a big convoy.’
      • ‘The devices don't have to be within six inches of one other, or even facing each other at all, which is why people put the phones in their pockets and just yap away on their mounted headset.’
      • ‘Judging from this chick's lists of requirements, I'm thinking that when her boyfriend stares at her, he's not staring at all, but he's retreated to that happy place he goes to whenever she starts yapping.’
      • ‘I wish the commentators would tell us what we're seeing, but they are yapping generically about pageantry.’
      • ‘I used to start yapping then and I'd still be yapping at five o'clock at night.’
      • ‘But logic, decency and/or patriotism in action - as opposed to simply yapping about it - surely shouldn't be beyond the wit even of this most slippery and self-serving of governments.’
      • ‘Nell walked over to a group of guys so I was stuck listening to Curley Sue yap away.’
      • ‘He yaps pointlessly about… ‘Meals on Wheels.’’
      • ‘We need to stop yapping about elegant solutions and low-cost operations.’
      • ‘We were up late last night drinking and yapping.’
      • ‘Their supposedly ‘fun’ pieces on sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll virtually never tell me anything the mainstream isn't already yapping in my ear, thus they are no fun.’
      • ‘All the women join the gym and yap constantly about Weight Watchers.’
      • ‘Then I started yapping to someone else about Kraftwerk, when I realised that the lights were dimming and it was time for Sparks to commence their second set of the night.’
      chatter, prattle, prate, gibber, babble, blather, blether, blither, gabble, gossip, rattle, ramble, maunder
      View synonyms


  • 1A sharp, shrill bark.

    • ‘I could hear rain, music, my wife sleeping and the joyous yaps of a cat.’
    • ‘And there is no chorus of dogs, locked in yards alone, whose barks and yaps and howls, at most other times of the year, bounce from ridge to ridge, amplified by winds.’
    • ‘After the bit about important people in cars I had: ‘On occasion they might vaguely hear a hysterical yap from the left front wheel.’’
    • ‘Wordlessly, he rides through the wilderness, until he hears the yaps of coyotes in the distance, which to anyone who has watched a lot of Westerns means one thing, Indians.’
    • ‘Sebastian echoed our sentiments with a well-placed yap.’
    • ‘All night the same cycle, a low deep bark and then the yap of the chihuahua.’
    • ‘It let out a tiny yap at my gate, the gate that can never be closed, and Abby motioned for me to go down.’
    • ‘Imagine for a moment that you're a Chihuahua, that is, that you're a tiny, almost decorative dog, with a yap rather than a bark, and yap that is worse than your bite.’
    • ‘Rosha, who was sitting at the bottom of the porch stairs, barked at her, a little yap to remind her of where she was going.’
    • ‘To further obfuscate matters, he hiccups, barks, yaps, and swallows his rhymes.’
    • ‘Beck gave one last yap before settling back into the boat.’
    • ‘But a few canine yaps and sniffs were a small price to pay for this view.’
    • ‘The sculpture is embedded with 3,000 toy dogs whose little synchronized yaps are triggered by a hidden motion sensor.’
    • ‘Frogs have filled the night with croaks, yaps, grunts, chirps, trills, and warbles since the Age of Dinosaurs; some can be heard from a mile away.’
    • ‘The yaps and yowls are almost deafening, and as other sleds depart, your dogs go absolutely mental, tugging on their leads and jumping forwards.’
    yelp, bark, woof
    View synonyms
  • 2North American informal A person's mouth.

    ‘he should keep his yap shut’
    • ‘Advice to gaming journalists everywhere: keep your yaps shut about GameCube being dead.’
    • ‘They must be trusted to keep their big yaps shut.’
    • ‘I'm not usually one to get involved in other peoples idiosyncrasies, but as the waitress walked away, I just couldn't shut my yap.’
    • ‘All I needed them to do was help me get $223 worth of beer and keep their yaps shut about it.’
    • ‘Don't apologize for telling a player to shut their yap when they talk at the wrong time!’
    • ‘He wouldn't have drawn blood if I had just kept my big yap shut.’
    • ‘And the unique twists in the overlapping subplots demand that critics like myself keep our fat yaps shut and give away as little as possible.’
    • ‘So, when it comes to selecting a DVD to keep Junior's yap shut on long car trips, a Dora title is the choice far more often than a Thomas & Friends offering.’
    • ‘When your opponent is suffering a steady stream of self-inflicted wounds… that's a good time to keep your yap shut.’
    • ‘The result is that Cassius Broaster sits in a federal jail cell with little to do but keep his big yap shut.’
    • ‘‘If you don't shut your yap I'll smoke you myself,’ Mavi said ready to attack Casper if he said one more word.’
    • ‘‘Shut your yap, boy’ he snapped. ‘I was aiming to wound not to kill.’’
    • ‘Williams wants to frame the girl's abusive boyfriend for his crime in exchange for shutting his yap about the shooting in the fog.’
    • ‘Seconding others - be matter-of-fact about it, mention when appropriate, keep your yap shut otherwise.’
    • ‘We went through three tantrums before I lost my temper and snapped that we were leaving this store and never coming back if he didn't shut his yap and behave himself right quick.’
    mouth, lips, jaws
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Loud, irritating talk.
      ‘she'll give you a lot of yap’
      • ‘If they can't see that it's the lack of political yap yap that has done it for the Tories then there really is no hope.’
      • ‘My first taste of the Fringe Festival came in the form of Baba Brinkman's chattering yap.’


Early 17th century (denoting a dog that yaps): imitative.