General English

  • noun the part of your body from your waist to your knees when you are sitting
  • noun one turn round a racetrack
  • verb to drink with the tongue
  • verb to go so fast that you are one whole lap ahead of another person in a race

Cars & Driving

  • noun the upper surface of the body from waist to knees when seated
  • noun a rotating disc covered with fine abrasive for polishing


  • noun an overlap of printed colours, which prevents any gaps showing
  • noun
    (written as LAP)
    a CCITT standard protocol used to start and maintain links over an X.25 network.
  • acronym forlink access protocol
    (written as LAP)


  • noun a gentle sweep stroke played with a horizontal bat very close to the ground, usually sending the ball into the area between square leg and fine leg
  • verb to hit the ball into the leg-side area when playing this stroke
    Citation ‘Knott, typically, cut and lapped zealously and helped to add 47 for the sixth wicket’ (David green, Daily Telegraph 1 June 1984)


  • A disk, wheel, or slab utilized to polish, smooth, or reduce the thickness of materials such as crystals or metals.
  • The abrasive material adhered to the surface of a lap (1). Such a material is usually a solid or a slurry.
  • To polish, smooth, or reduce a thickness utilizing a lap (1).


  • Finely ground raw water buffalo meat or venison, flavoured with chilli and herbs and served wrapped in bite-size rolls using blanched lettuce leaves


  • noun a single circuit of a racetrack or running track or one length of a swimming pool

Origin & History of “lap”

English now has three distinct words lap, but probably two of them are ultimately related. Lap ‘upper legs of a seated person’ (OE) originally meant ‘flap of a garment’, and it goes back to a prehistoric Germanic source which also produced German lappen ‘rag, cloth, flap, lobe’, and which may lie behind label (14th c.). It seems likely that lap in the sense ‘folds of a garment’ was the basis of the middle English verb lap, which meant ‘wrap’, and hence ‘extend beyond’. From this come both the verb overlap (18th c.) and the noun lap (18th c.), whose modern meaning ‘one circuit of a course’ emerged in the 19th century.

Lap ‘lick up’ (OE) comes from a prehistoric Germanic base *lap-, which was related to Latin lambēre ‘lick’ (source of English lambent (17th c.), and possibly responsible also for lamprey and limpet).