From Middle English repen, from Old English rēopan, rēpan, variants of Old English rīpan (to reap), from Proto-Germanic *rīpaną (compare West Frisian repe, German greifen (to snatch), Norwegian ripa (to score, scratch)), from Proto-Indo-European *h₁reyb- (to snatch).


  • enPR: rēp, IPA(key): /ɹiːp/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːp


reap (third-person singular simple present reaps, present participle reaping, simple past and past participle reaped or (obsolete) reapt)

  1. (transitive) To cut (for example a grain) with a sickle, scythe, or reaping machine
  2. (transitive) To gather (e.g. a harvest) by cutting.
  3. (transitive) To obtain or receive as a reward, in a good or a bad sense.
    to reap a benefit from exertions
  4. (transitive, computer science) To terminate a child process that has previously exited, thereby removing it from the process table.
    Until a child process is reaped, it may be listed in the process table as a zombie or defunct process.
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To deprive of the beard; to shave.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)

Derived termsEdit



reap (plural reaps)

  1. A bundle of grain; a handful of grain laid down by the reaper as it is cut.