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belap definition


Define the English word belap below. Belap is a verb. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .



PIE word

From Middle English bilappen (to envelop; to clothe; to surround; to blend, mix),[1] from bi- (completive, intensifying, or figurative prefix)[2] + lappen (to wrap; to place so as to enclose or enfold; to encase; to envelop; to clothe; to put on armour; to ensnare, snare).[3] Lappen is derived from lap, lappe (loose part of a garment; folded or extended skirt, or loose sleeve, used to hold things; small piece of cloth or mail detached from a garment or coat of mail; a part, portion, share; a person’s lap; (also figuratively) a person’s bosom or breast; (anatomy) a loose part of the body (such as an earlobe or a lobe of the liver); female genitalia; cavity or sinus in the body; (in place names) piece of land at the edge of an estate or parish)[4] (from Old English læppa (skirt; (anatomy) lobe), from Proto-Germanic *lappô (cloth; rag); further etymology uncertain, perhaps from Proto-Indo-European *leb- (to hang down loosely (?))) + -en (suffix forming the infinitive of verbs).[5]

The English word is analysable as be- (prefix meaning ‘about; around’ or ‘completely, utterly’) +‎ lap (to lap or wrap around, envelop, surround).[6]



belap (third-person singular simple present belaps, present participle belapping, simple past and past participle belapped)

  1. (transitive, chiefly passive voice, obsolete) To lap or wrap around (someone or something); to envelop, to surround.
    Synonyms: enfold, environ, lap, (obsolete) umbelap
    • [15th century, Julius Zupitza, editor, The Romance of Guy of Warwick. The Second or 15th-century Version. [] (Extra Series; XXV–XXVI) (in Middle English), London: [] [F]or the Early English Text Society by N[icholas] Trübner & Co., [], published 1875–1876, →OCLC, page 214, lines 7461–7464:
      There was redy in a wode / Two hundurde knyghtys, þat were gode. / Owte of the wode þey came anon / And belapped vs euerychon.
      There were ready in a wood / Two hundred knights, that were good. / Out of the wood they came anon / And surrounded us everyone.]
    • 1504, Thomas à Kempis, “Of the Corrupcyon of Nature and the Workynge of Grace”, in William Atkynson [i.e., William Atkinson], transl., edited by John K[ells] Ingram, The Earliest English Translation of the First Three Books of the De Imitatione Christi, [] (Extra Series; LXIII), London: [] [F]or the Early English Text Society by Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., [], published 1893, →OCLC, book III, page 251, lines 28–34:
      For the lytell vertue & strength of that nature the which remayneth / there is as who sayth a lytell sparke of fyre wrapped and hyd in asshes / This is the naturall reason of man belapped with great darkenes / yet hauing dyscrecion of good & yll / of truthe & falsenesse, though it be vnable to fulfyll all that he approueth, nor may nat vse yet the full lyghte of truth / nor his affeccyons helthfully
    • [1513 (date written; first published 1553), Virgil, “The Sext Buik of Eneados”, in Gavin Douglas, transl., The Poetical Works of Gavin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld, [], volume III (in Scots), Edinburgh: William Paterson; London: H. Sotheran & Co., published 1874, →OCLC, chapter VII, page 38, lines 7–10:
      The wofull pule, with wattir wnluflly, / Withhaldis thaim so at thai may nocht go by; / And Stix, the flude, bylappis thaim about / Nyne tymis, sa close at thai sall neuer wyn out.
      The woeful pool, with water unlovely, / Withholds them so that they may not go by; / And Styx, the flood, belaps them about / Nine times, so close that they shall never win out.]
    • a. 1530 (date written), [John] Skelton, Here after Foloweth a Litel Boke Called Colyn Cloute [][1], London: [] [Robert Copland for] me Rycharde Kele [], published 1545?, →OCLC:
      Ouer this the foresayd laye / Reporte howe the pope may / A holy anker call / Out of the stony wall / And hym a bysshop make / It he on hym dare take / To kepe so harde a rule / To ryde vpon a mule / With golde all betrapped / In purple and paule be lapped
    • 1552 November 7 (Gregorian calendar), Hugh Latimer, “A Sermon Preached by M. Hugh Latimer at Grimstorpe, the xxviii. of October, Anno 1552”, in [Augustine Bernher], editor, Fruitfull Sermons Preached by the Right Reuerend Father, and Constant Martyr of Iesus Christ, Master Hugh Latimer, [], London: [] Valentine Sims, published 1596, →OCLC, folio 266, recto:
      [T]here be many things that pertaine to a Chriſtian man, and yet al thoſe things are conteined in this one thing, that is, loue: be lappeth vp al things in loue.
    • 1871, [anonymous], “That, Without Imperfect Meekness Coming before, It is Impossible for a Sinner to Come to the Perfect Virtue of Meekness”, in Henry Collins, editor, The Divine Cloud, [], London, Dublin: Thomas Richardson and Son []; New York, N.Y.: Henry H. Richardson and Co., →OCLC, page 55:
      And it may be, if thou knewest not which were perfect meekness, thou wouldst imagine, when thou hadst a little knowledge and feeling of this, that I call imperfect meekenss, that thou hadst almost gotten perfect meekness; and so wouldst deceive thyself, weening that thou wert full meek, when thou wert indeed all belapped in foul stinking pride.
      Modernized from a late-14th-century text.
    • 1891 November, B. H. Spring, “Dressing the Baby the First Six Months”, in Leroy M[ilton] Yale, Marion Harland, editors, Babyhood: The Mother’s Nursery Guide, Devoted to the Care of Children, volume VII, number 84, New York, N.Y., London: Babyhood Publishing Company, →OCLC, page 386, column 1:
      Following the traditions of my elders and much of the advice which is generally so freely offered to young mothers, I fashioned skirts with bands so wide and cumbersome, so much belapped and pinned, as to reduce the unfortunate babe to semblance of a small mummy.

Related terms


  1. ^ bilappen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ bi-, pref.(2)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  3. ^ lappen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  4. ^ lap(pe, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  5. ^ -en, suf.(3)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  6. ^ † belap, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2019.