leap

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leap at the chance (to do something)

To accept or seize with alacrity an opportunity (to do something). Mark complains about his teaching job a lot, but I knew if he were offered a tenured position in the school, he would leap at the chance. When our manager said she was leaving the company, I leaped at the chance to fill the job.
See also: chance, leap

leap to (someone's) mind

To suddenly or immediately materialize in someone's mind. A: "What would you like to have for dinner?" B: "I'm not sure, nothing's really leaping to mind." When it comes to crime thrillers, he's not a writer who leaps to most people's minds, but his books are edgy, brilliant page-turners.
See also: leap, mind

leaps and bounds

1. adverb By very large degrees; rapidly or in quick progress forward. Our small company has been expanding leaps and bounds over the past year, thanks in no small part to our aggressive new marketing campaign. Our puppy has grown leaps and bounds since we switched it to a new brand of dog food.
2. noun Very large degrees of or rapid progress forward. (Used especially in the phrases "by/in leaps and bounds" and "make leaps and bounds.") Samantha's delivery business has been growing by leaps and bounds recently. The class made leaps and bounds in its reading comprehension after I adopted a new teaching method.
See also: and, bound, leap

in leaps and bounds

By very large degrees; rapidly or in quick progress forward. Our small company has been growing in leaps and bounds over the past year, thanks in no small part to our aggressive new marketing campaign. What was once a tiny local choir club has expanded in leaps and bounds over the years.
See also: and, bound, leap

one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind

A phrase typically said in reference to a breakthrough or advancement of some kind. Astronaut Neil Armstrong famously said the phrase in 1969 when he became the first person to set foot on the moon. I think the self-driving car will be one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. When we find a cure for this illness, it will be one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
See also: giant, leap, mankind, one, small, step

leap in the dark

A chance that one takes despite being uncertain of the consequences or outcome. I don't usually go on blind dates, but I took a leap in the dark and agreed to meet Sarah's friend for dinner.
See also: dark, leap

quantum leap

A sudden or important change or improvement. Gary's new job in upper management is a quantum leap forward from his old position at the factory.
See also: leap, quantum

by leaps and bounds

Fig. rapidly; by large movements forward. The brush we cut back last fall is growing by leaps and bounds. The profits of my company are increasing by leaps and bounds. He is gaining by leaps and bounds.
See also: and, bound, leap

increase by leaps and bounds

Fig. to increase or grow by large increments. (See also gain by leaps and bounds.) The price of our stock is increasing by leaps and bounds.
See also: and, bound, increase, leap

jump to conclusions

 and leap to conclusions
Fig. to judge or decide something without having all the facts; to reach unwarranted conclusions. (See also rush to conclusions.) Now don't jump to conclusions. Wait until you hear what I have to say. Please find out all the facts so you won't leap to conclusions.
See also: conclusion, jump

leap at someone or something

 
1. to jump toward someone or something. The grasshopper leapt at me and scared me to death. The cat leapt at the mouse and caught it.
2. to accept or choose someone or something eagerly. We leapt at Carl when his department offered him to us. When we had the chance to hire Carl, we leapt at it.
See also: leap

leap at the opportunity (to do something)

 and leap at the chance (to do something); jump at the chance (to do something); jump at the opportunity (to do something)
Fig. to accept an opportunity eagerly. Frank leapt at the opportunity to become a commercial artist. It was a great idea and we leapt at the opportunity. I would leap at the chance to go to Moscow. His company proposed to send him to England, and John jumped at the chance.
See also: leap, opportunity

leap down (from something)

to hop down from something or some place. The performer leapt down from the stage and ran up the aisle. She leapt down and ran away.
See also: down, leap

leap for joy

 and jump for joy
Fig. to jump up because one is happy; to be very happy. Tommy leapt for joy because he had won the race. We all leapt for joy when we heard the news.
See also: joy, leap

leap forward

to jump or hop forward. The little creature leapt forward and looked carefully at us. As the frog leapt forward, the kitten jumped straight up and fled.
See also: forward, leap

*leap of faith

Fig. acceptance of an idea or conclusion largely on faith. (*Typically: be ~; make ~; require ~.) We had to make quite a leap of faith to accept his promise after the last time he let us down.
See also: faith, leap, of

leap out (of something)

to jump outward from something. A mouse leapt out of the cereal box and frightened everyone. I opened the box and a mouse leapt out.
See also: leap, out

leap over something

to jump over something. The dog leapt over the hedge and chased the rabbit around the corner of the house. Please don't leap over my roses. You'll damage them.
See also: leap

leap up

to jump upwards. The dog leapt up and licked my cheek. I leapt up so I could see over the wall for just a second.
See also: leap, up

Look before you leap.

Prov. Cliché Think carefully about what you are about to do before you do it. I'm not saying you shouldn't sign the lease for that apartment. I'm just saying you should look before you leap. Jill: I'm thinking about going to night school. Jane: Are you sure you can spare the time and the money? Look before you leap.
See also: before, leap, look

jump to conclusions

to judge a situation without enough information about it The investigation isn't finished, so let's not jump to conclusions about what caused the plane to crash.
See also: conclusion, jump

leap at something

to quickly and eagerly accept an opportunity jump at something I would leap at an opportunity to work for that organization.
Usage notes: often used in the form leap at the chance: I leaped at the chance to visit India.
See also: leap

grow by leaps and bounds

to become larger quickly Since we had that good rain, my tomatoes have grown by leaps and bounds. That boy has grown by leaps and bounds this year.
See also: and, bound, grow, leap

get/jump/leap on the bandwagon

to become involved in an activity which is successful so that you can get the advantages of it yourself The success of the product led many companies to jump on the bandwagon. Publishers are rushing to get on the CD-ROM bandwagon.
See also: bandwagon, get, on

jump to conclusions

to guess the facts about a situation without having enough information I might be jumping to conclusions but I've seen them together twice in town.
See also: conclusion, jump

a leap in the dark

something you do without being certain what will happen as a result I had very little information about the company, so writing to them was a bit of a leap in the dark.
See also: dark, leap

by/in leaps and bounds

if progress or growth happens in leaps and bounds, it happens very quickly Ashley's reading has come on in leaps and bounds since she's been at her new school. Leaders of the organization say their membership is growing by leaps and bounds.
See also: and, bound, leap

Look before you leap.

something that you say in order to advise someone to think about possible problems before doing something If you're thinking of buying a house, my advice is, look before you leap.
See also: before, leap, look

a quantum leap

  (British & American) also a quantum jump (American)
a very important improvement or development in something (often + forward ) The election of a female president is a quantum leap forward for sexual equality. (often + from ) The food at Rockresorts is a quantum jump from the meals served at most Caribbean resorts.
See also: leap, quantum

by leaps and bounds

Rapidly, or in fast progress, as in The corn is growing by leaps and bounds, or School enrollment is increasing by leaps and bounds. This term is a redundancy, since leap and bound both mean "spring" or "jump," but the two words have been paired since Shakespeare's time and are still so used.
See also: and, bound, leap

leap in the dark

An act whose results cannot be predicted. For example, Given today's high divorce rate, he considered marriage a leap in the dark. [Late 1600s]
See also: dark, leap

leap of faith

A belief or trust in something intangible or incapable of being proved. For example, It required a leap of faith to pursue this unusual step of transplanting an animals' heart into a human patient .
See also: faith, leap, of

look before you leap

Think of the consequences before you act, as in You'd better check out all the costs before you buy a cellular phone-look before you leap . This expression alludes to Aesop's fable about the fox who is unable to climb out of a well and persuades a goat to jump in. The fox then climbs on the goat's horns to get out, while the goat remains trapped. [c. 1350]
See also: before, leap, look

quantum leap

A dramatic advance, especially in knowledge or method, as in Establishing a central bank represents a quantum leap in this small country's development. This term originated as quantum jump in the mid-1900s in physics, where it denotes a sudden change from one energy state to another within an atom. Within a decade it was transferred to other advances, not necessarily sudden but very important ones.
See also: leap, quantum

leap at

v.
1. To spring or bound toward someone or something: The cat leaped at the mouse.
2. To accept something eagerly, as an opportunity: I leaped at the chance to be an intern at the publishing company.
See also: leap

leap in

v.
1. To spring or bound in or into something: I couldn't resist leaping in the big pile of raked leaves on the ground. The couch looked so comfortable that we just leapt in.
2. To join some activity that is already in progress: I leapt in the game they had been playing. Whenever you feel like joining us, just leap in!
See also: leap

leap out

v.
1. To spring or bound outward: The cat leaped out from behind the bush and pounced on the mouse.
2. To draw immediate attention; be immediately apparent: That red lettering really leaps out from the page. If the answers don't leap out at you, you probably didn't study enough.
See also: leap, out

by leaps and bounds

Very quickly: growing by leaps and bounds.
See also: and, bound, leap

leap in the dark

An act whose consequences cannot be predicted.
See also: dark, leap

leap of faith

The act or an instance of believing or trusting in something intangible or incapable of being proved.
See also: faith, leap, of
References in classic literature ?
Involuntarily he leaped to his feet and placed one foot upon the body of his kill.
Then he ran as he had never run in his life before, spurned aside one--two-- three of the piles of stones into the dark, sweet-smelling gullies; heard a roar like the roar of the sea in a cave; saw with the tail of his eye the air grow dark behind him; saw the current of the Waingunga far below, and a flat, diamond- shaped head in the water; leaped outward with all his strength, the tailless dhole snapping at his shoulder in mid-air, and dropped feet first to the safety of the river, breathless and triumphant.
Nothing could have suited the fierce beast better, and with a roar of triumph he leaped upon the little Lord Greystoke.
Now stand thou back thine own self," quoth Little John, and straightway smote the man a buffet beside his head that felled him as a butcher fells an ox, and then he leaped to the cart where Stutely sat.
As Carthoris leaped to the rostrum he drew Thuvia up beside him, and then he turned upon the departing jeddak with an angry challenge and a sword thrust.
Yet through all the agony of that fearful punishment the thag still stood motionless pinning down his adversary, and then the man leaped in, seeing that the blind bull would be the least formidable enemy, and ran his spear through the tarag's heart.
A moment later a horde of our friends, the hairy gorilla-men, with the mild eyes and long faces of sheep leaped among them.
The other end of the rope Tarzan fastened to the stem of the tree, then he quickly cut the bonds securing Numa's legs and leaped aside as the beast sprang to his feet.
Together Tarzan and Mugambi, with Sheeta and Akut, lay in wait at the ford for a deer, and when at a word from the ape-man the four of them leaped out upon the affrighted animal the black was sure that the poor creature died of fright before ever one of the great beasts touched it.
The creature, finding the deck stable, appeared to be gaining confidence, and then the man leaped suddenly to one side of the deck and the tiny flier heeled as suddenly in response.
The fall through leafy branches and the dizzy heights; the snakes that struck at me as I dodged and leaped away in chattering flight; the wild dogs that hunted me across the open spaces to the timber--these were terrors concrete and actual, happenings and not imaginings, things of the living flesh and of sweat and blood.
His jaws let go their grip, and he leaped backward to escape this strange danger, his lips drawn back from his fangs, his throat snarling, every hair bristling with rage and fright.
Among other things, he said that when he was at Rhodes he had leaped to such a distance that no man of his day could leap anywhere near him as to that, there were in Rhodes many persons who saw him do it and whom he could call as witnesses.
It was not long ere the King's hiding-place was found, and one of the traitors leaped down beside him with a great knife in his hand.
Instantly eight or ten of the other beasts leaped to their feet.