- a rule of transformational grammar by which repeated instances of a verb are deleted from conjoined sentences, as in the deletion of brought from Mary brought the bread, John the cheese, and Bill the wine.
- a break or opening, as in a fence, wall, or military line; breach: We found a gap in the enemy’s line of fortifications.
- an empty space or interval; interruption in continuity; hiatus: a momentary gap in a siren’s wailing; a gap in his memory.
- a wide divergence or difference; disparity: the gap between expenses and income; the gap between ideals and actions.
- a difference or disparity in attitudes, perceptions, character, or development, or a lack of confidence or understanding, perceived as creating a problem: the technology gap; a communications gap.
- a deep, sloping ravine or cleft through a mountain ridge.
- Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. a mountain pass: the Cumberland Gap.
- Aeronautics. the distance between one supporting surface of an airplane and another above or below it.
verb (used with object), gapped, gap·ping.
- to make a gap, opening, or breach in.
verb (used without object), gapped, gap·ping.
- to come open or apart; form or show a gap.
- (in transformational grammar) a rule that deletes repetitions of a verb, as in the sentence Bill voted for Smith, Sam for McKay, and Dave for Harris
- the act or practice of taking a gap year
- a break or opening in a wall, fence, etc
- a break in continuity; interruption; hiatusthere is a serious gap in the accounts
- a break in a line of hills or mountains affording a route through
- mainly US a gorge or ravine
- a divergence or difference; disparitythere is a gap between his version of the event and hers; the generation gap
- a break in a magnetic circuit that increases the inductance and saturation point of the circuit
- See spark gap
- bridge a gap, close a gap, fill a gap or stop a gap to remedy a deficiency
verb gaps, gapping or gapped
- (tr) to make a breach or opening in
early 14c. (mid-13c. in place names), from Old Norse gap “chasm,” related to gapa “to gape,” from PIE *ghai- “to yawn, gape” (see yawn (v.)). Originally “hole in a wall or hedge;” broader sense is 16c. In U.S., common in place names in reference to a break or pass in a long mountain chain (especially one that water flows through). As a verb from 1847.
- An opening in a structure or surface; a cleft or breach.
- An interval or discontinuity in any series or sequence.