flap

You're probably familiar with the verb to "flap," which is what birds do with their wings. But as a noun, a flap is a fuss, an argument, or a gossipy feud.

A big part of the pleasure of reality TV shows is watching how quickly a person can start a flap. A dumb remark, a furtive glance, a missed phone call: any of these things can start the characters bickering. And the flap can go on for an entire season! One way to remember the meaning of the verb to flap is to imagine the sound of many wings flapping. That's the sound a flap might make if you could hear it. The leak from the senator's press agent might have caused a firestorm. Instead it resulted in just a minor flap.

Primary Meanings of flap

1.
vn
move in a wavy pattern or with a rising and falling motion
the motion made by flapping up and down
2.
nv
an excited state of agitation
make a fuss; be agitated
3.
v
pronounce with a flap, of alveolar sounds
Full Definitions of flap
1

v move in a wavy pattern or with a rising and falling motion

Synonyms:
roll, undulate, wave
Types:
luff
flap when the wind is blowing equally on both sides
Type of:
move
move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

v move with a thrashing motion

“The bird flapped its wings”
Synonyms:
beat
beat
move with a flapping motion
Types:
flutter
flap the wings rapidly or fly with flapping movements
bate
flap the wings wildly or frantically; used of falcons
clap
cause to strike the air in flight
Type of:
displace, move
cause to move or shift into a new position or place, both in a concrete and in an abstract sense

v move with a flapping motion

“The bird's wings were flapping
Synonyms:
beat
beat
move with a thrashing motion
Types:
flail, thresh
move like a flail; thresh about
clap
strike the air in flight
Type of:
move
move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion

v move noisily

“flags flapped in the strong wind”
Type of:
beat, pound, thump
move rhythmically

n the motion made by flapping up and down

Synonyms:
flapping, flutter, fluttering
Type of:
undulation, wave
(physics) a movement up and down or back and forth

n any broad, thin, and limber covering attached at one edge; hangs loose or projects freely

“he wrote on the flap of the envelope”
Types:
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barndoor
an opaque adjustable flap on a lamp fixture; used in photography to cut off light from particular areas
coattail
the loose back flap of a coat that hangs below the waist
codpiece
(15th-16th century) a flap for the crotch of men's tight-fitting breeches
earflap, earlap
one of two flaps attached to a cap to keep the ears warm
dag, jag
a flap along the edge of a garment; used in medieval clothing
lap, overlap
a flap that lies over another part
pocket flap
a flap that covers the access to a pocket
fly, fly sheet, rainfly, tent flap, tent-fly
flap consisting of a piece of canvas that can be drawn back to provide entrance to a tent
tongue
the flap of material under the laces of a shoe or boot
cuff, turnup
the lap consisting of a turned-back hem encircling the end of the sleeve or leg
lapel
lap at the front of a coat; continuation of the coat collar
lappet
a small lap on a garment or headdress
Type of:
covering
an artifact that covers something else (usually to protect or shelter or conceal it)

n a movable piece of tissue partly connected to the body

Types:
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uvula
a small pendant fleshy lobe at the back of the soft palate
soft palate, velum
a muscular flap that closes off the nasopharynx during swallowing or speaking
protective fold
a flap of tissue that protects what it covers
cusp, leaflet
a thin triangular flap of a heart valve
eyelid, lid, palpebra
either of two folds of skin that can be moved to cover or open the eye
nictitating membrane, third eyelid
a protective fold of skin in the eyes of reptiles and birds and some mammals
Type of:
animal tissue
the tissue in the bodies of animals

n a movable airfoil that is part of an aircraft wing; used to increase lift or drag

Synonyms:
flaps
Types:
landing flap
a flap on the underside of the wing that is lowered to slow the plane for landing
Type of:
aerofoil, airfoil, control surface, surface
a device that provides reactive force when in motion relative to the surrounding air; can lift or control a plane in flight
2

n an excited state of agitation

“there was a terrible flap about the theft”
Synonyms:
dither, fuss, pother, tizzy
Type of:
agitation
a mental state of extreme emotional disturbance

v make a fuss; be agitated

Synonyms:
dither, pother
Type of:
fret, fuss, niggle
worry unnecessarily or excessively
3

v pronounce with a flap, of alveolar sounds

Type of:
articulate, enounce, enunciate, pronounce, say, sound out
speak, pronounce, or utter in a certain way

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