American English

Definition of lap noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[usually singular] the top part of your legs that forms a flat surface when you are sitting down There's only one seat so you'll have to sit on my lap. She sat with her hands in her lap.
  2. 2one trip from the beginning to the end of a track used for running, a lane used for swimming, etc. the fastest lap on record She has completed six laps. Two people passed him on the final lap. to do a victory lap (= go around the track again to celebrate winning)
  3. 3a section of a trip, or of a piece of work, etc. They're off on the first lap of their round-the-world tour. We're almost finished with this proposal. We're on the last lap now.
  4. Idioms
    drop/dump something in somebody's lap (informal)
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    to make something the responsibility of another person They dropped the problem back in my lap.
    something drops/falls into somebody's lap
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    somebody has the opportunity to do something pleasant without having to make any effort My dream job just fell into my lap.
    in the lap of luxury
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    in easy, comfortable conditions, and enjoying the advantages of being rich We spent two weeks in the hotel living in the lap of luxury.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: lap