AskDefine | Define neap

Dictionary Definition

neap n : a less than average tide occurring at the first and third quarters of the moon [syn: neap tide] [ant: springtide]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • , /niːp/, /ni:p/
    Rhymes with: -iːp

Etymology 1

Perhaps of Scandinavian origin: compare dialectal Norwegian neip.


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

Etymology 2

nep- in nepflod.


  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: 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. — Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
designating type of tide
  • Finnish: vajaa- vajaavuoksi = neap tide


  1. To trap a ship (or ship and crew) in water too shallow to move from due to the smaller tidal range occurring in a period of neap tides.
    • 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. — Captain James Cook, Journal During the First Voyage Round the World, entry for 22 June 1770

Extensive Definition

Neap is a small village in the east coast of the Mainland of the Shetland Islands, Scotland.
Neep is the Scottish word for Rutabaga.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

couchant, crouched, dead low water, debased, depressed, direct tide, ebb, ebb and flow, ebb tide, flat, flood, flood tide, flow, flux, flux and reflux, full tide, high tide, high water, knee-high, knocked flat, laid low, low, low tide, low water, low-built, low-hung, low-level, low-leveled, low-lying, low-set, low-statured, lunar tide, neap tide, opposite tide, prone, recumbent, refluence, reflux, rip, riptide, runty, short, solar tide, spring tide, squat, squatty, stooped, stumpy, supine, thalassometer, tidal amplitude, tidal current, tidal current chart, tidal flow, tidal range, tide, tide chart, tide gate, tide gauge, tide race, tide rip, tidewater, tideway, unelevated
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