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Etymology 1[edit]

Perhaps of Scandinavian origin: compare dialectal Norwegian neip ‎(forked pole).


neap ‎(plural neaps)

  1. The tongue or pole of a cart or other vehicle drawn by two animals.

Etymology 2[edit]

Old English nēp- in nēpflōd ‎(neap tide).


neap ‎(not comparable)

  1. Designating a tide which occurs just after the first and third quarters of the moon, when there is least difference between high tide and low tide.
    • 1934, Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer:
      Little groups of sailors came swinging along and pushied their way noisily inside the gaudy joints. Sex everywhere: it was slopping over, a neap tide that swept the props from under the city.


neap ‎(third-person singular simple present neaps, present participle neaping, simple past and past participle neaped)

  1. To trap a ship (or ship and crew) in water too shallow to move, due to the smaller tidal range occurring in a period of neap tides.
    • 1770, Captain James Cook, Journal During the First Voyage Round the World[1], entry for 22 June 1770:
      At 8, being high water, hauld her bow close ashore, but Keept her stern afloat, because I was afraid of Neaping her, and yet it was necessary to lay the whole of her as near the ground as possible.


neap ‎(plural neaps)

  1. A neap tide.

Etymology 3[edit]


neap ‎(plural neaps)

  1. Alternative form of neep