• The act or process of lapping.
  • An edge; a border; a hem, as of cloth.
  • The state or condition of being in part extended over or by the side of something else; or the extent of the overlapping; as, the second boat got a lap of half its length on the leader.
  • (archaic, euphemistic) The female pudenda. [17th century]
  • A sheet, layer, or bat, of cotton fiber prepared for the carding machine.
  • The loose part of a coat; the lower part of a garment that plays loosely; a skirt; an apron.
  • The amount by which a slide valve at its half stroke overlaps a port in the seat, being equal to the distance the valve must move from its mid stroke position in order to begin to open the port. Used alone, lap refers to outside lap. See Outside lap (below).
  • The upper legs of a seated person.

    "The boy was sitting on his mother's lap"

  • In card playing and other games, the points won in excess of the number necessary to complete a game; — so called when they are counted in the score of the following game.
  • That part of any substance or fixture which extends over, or lies upon, or by the side of, a part of another; as, the lap of a board; also, the measure of such extension over or upon another thing.
  • The part of the clothing that lies on the knees or thighs when one sits down; that part of the person thus covered; figuratively, a place of rearing and fostering; as, to be reared in the lap of luxury.
  • (sports) One circuit around a race track, or one traversal down and then back the length of a pool; as, to run twenty laps; to win by three laps, to swim two laps.
  • (construction) A component that overlaps or covers any portion of itself or of an adjacent component.
  • A piece of brass, lead, or other soft metal, used to hold a cutting or polishing powder in cutting glass, gems, and the like, or in polishing cutlery, etc. It is usually in the form of wheel or disk, which revolves on a vertical axis.


  • (intransitive) To be turned or folded; to lie partly on or over something; to overlap.

    "The cloth laps back; the boats lap; the edges lap."

  • To rest or recline in a lap, or as in a lap.
  • (intransitive, of water) To wash against a surface with a splashing sound; to swash.
  • (transitive) to envelop, enfold

    "lapped in luxury"

  • (transitive) To polish, e.g., a surface, until smooth.
  • To cut or polish with a lap, as glass, gems, cutlery, etc.
  • To enfold; to hold as in one's lap; to cherish.
  • (transitive, intransitive) To take (liquid) into the mouth with the tongue; to lick up with a quick motion of the tongue.
  • (transitive) to wrap around, enwrap, wrap up

    "to lap a bandage around a finger"

  • (transitive) To place or lay (one thing) so as to overlap another.

    "One laps roof tiles so that water can run off."

  • (transitive) To overtake a straggler in a race by completing one more whole lap than the straggler.
  • (transitive) To fold; to bend and lay over or on something.

    "to lap a piece of cloth"

  • (intransitive) to wind around

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