Definition of neap in English:


Pronunciation /nēp/ /nip/


usually neap tide
  • A tide just after the first or third quarters of the moon when there is least difference between high and low water.

    ‘neaps occur at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.’
    • ‘Pollack feed longer during smaller neap tides than they do through a big spring tide.’
    • ‘The water is evened out all over the earth's oceans, producing neap tides.’
    • ‘You need to pick the very smallest neap tides to fish these wrecks.’
    • ‘They'll feed during the biggest spring tides and the smallest neaps.’
    • ‘Try to plan your trips around the smaller neaps, but experiment with the medium to big spring tides.’


be neaped
  • 1(of a boat) be kept aground or in harbor by a neap tide.

    ‘a change of wind could leave you neaped’
    • ‘She had arrived fully laden one Friday and because of her deep draft was neaped until Monday morning.’
    • ‘Ibis was neaped on the old slipway at Morwellham Quay, and covered over.’
    • ‘This voyage made more history than money as on the way down the vessel was neaped, waiting for water near Guyhurn Bridge for almost 2 weeks.’
    • ‘On the down side if we ran aground exactly at High Tide we were likely to be neaped - and we were not kitted to sleep aboard.’
    • ‘There was also a risk of getting neaped.’
    • ‘I was quite alarmed to feel the foils scraping the sand halfway across even at high water, so as I didn't want to get neaped, I retraced my route back to Walney where I decided to dry out for the night.’
    1. 1.1archaic no object (of a tide) tend toward or reach the highest point of a neap tide.
      ‘I prefer a neaping tide and fish from the mangroves out to about 60m wide and catch all varieties.’
      • ‘Barramundi had been a bit quiet on the neaping tides but as the tides increased the Barra's started to bite and bite they did.’
      • ‘I hear it has something to do with the faces of the moon, or maybe the tide, which is quite active hereabouts, ebbing and neaping even as we sleep.’
      • ‘Passion that exists from the beginning of time to the end of eternity emerging in uncontrollable throes like the surging and neaping of the tide and the wind’
      • ‘The tides were now neaping, traditionally not a good time to go lureing, but a good time to try out a medium size ‘prawnstar’, I thought.’
      • ‘With neaping tides this weekend the best shot to target a barra will be around the rocky headlands.’
      • ‘I went out today even though it was neaping.’
      • ‘Of course the tide was neaping.’


Late Middle English, originally an adjective from Old English nēp, first element of nēpflōd ‘neap flood’, of unknown origin.