See also: Leaper


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From Middle English lepere, lepare, from Old English hlēapere (runner, leaper, dancer, courier, vagrant), equivalent to leap +‎ -er. Compare Saterland Frisian Lööper (runner), West Frisian ljepper (leaper), West Frisian loper (runner), Dutch loper (runner), German Läufer (runner), Swedish löpare (runner), Icelandic hlaupari (runner).


leaper (plural leapers)

  1. One who leaps.
    • 1980, Anthony Burgess, Earthly Powers, New York: Avon, Chapter 39, p. 299,[1]
      [] I read in the Bulletin about some mad joker breaking into the little kangaroo and koala zoo in the suburbs and slaughtering seven adult leapers and three joeys.
    • 1989, John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany, New York: William Morrow, Chapter 6, p. 271,[2]
      In the winter—God knows why!—he liked basketball [] He played only in pickup games, to be sure—he could never have played on any of the teams—but he played with enthusiasm; he was quite a leaper, he had a jump shot that elevated him almost to eye level with the other players []
  2. A kind of hooked instrument for untwisting old cordage.
  3. (chess) A piece, like the knight, which moves a fixed distance, and ignores pieces in the way.
  4. Synonym of jumper (person who attempts suicide by jumping from a height)
  5. A person whose birthday falls on 29 February, and thus only occurs in leap years.
    • 2003, Julietta Appleton, Clothing Optional: Sassy Essays from My First 50 Years (page 2)
      I'm sick of getting coloring books and dollies for my birthdays, and other leapers are just as exasperated by their juvenile gifts. Another question we always get is, “When do you celebrate your birthday?” On February 29th, of course.

Derived termsEdit