from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The tongue or pole of a wagon or ox-cart.
  • noun See neep.
  • Low; lowest: applied to those tides which, being half-way between spring tides, have the least difference of height between flood and ebb. See tide.
  • noun A neap tide.
  • noun The ebb or lowest point of a tide.
  • noun [In the following passage from “English Gilds” neep sesons is defined by the editor as “the autumn;” by Skeat as “the neap-tide seasons, when boats cannot come to the quay.”

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun U.S. The tongue or pole of a cart or other vehicle drawn by two animals.
  • noun A neap tide.
  • adjective Low.
  • adjective the lowest tides of the lunar month, which occur in the second and fourth quarters of the moon; -- opposed to spring tides.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The tongue or pole of a cart or other vehicle drawn by two animals.
  • noun A neap tide.
  • adjective Designating a tide which occurs just after the first and third quarters of the moon, when there is least difference between high tide and low tide.
  • verb To trap a ship (or ship and crew) in water too shallow to move, due to the smaller tidal range occurring in a period of neap tides.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a less than average tide occurring at the first and third quarters of the moon


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Perhaps of Scandinavian origin: compare dialectal Norwegian neip ("forked pole").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English nēp- in nēpflōd ("neap tide").


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  • On the other hand, when the sun is so placed as to give us a low tide while the moon is producing a high tide, the net result that we actually experience is merely the excess of the lunar tide over the solar tide; these are what we call neap tides.

    Time and Tide A Romance of the Moon

  • These events are called neap tides and they occur during the first and last quarter of the moon.


  • a little too softly, and then we get what are called neap-tides; but nearly always he is careful, because of the Eldest Magician.

    Just So Stories

  • These are known as "neap" tides, and, as the sun is acting in opposition to the moon, the height of high water is considerably less than at the time of spring tides.

    The Sewerage of Sea Coast Towns

  • He showed also that to a certain extent the sun produces tides, and he was able to explain how it was that when the sun and the moon both conspire, the joint result was to produce especially high tides, which we call "spring tides"; whereas if the solar tide was low, while the lunar tide was high, then we had the phenomenon of "neap" tides.

    Great Astronomers

  • On our west coast the neap tides ran as high as sixty feet.

    Chapter 15

  • Peter chose a neap, but the north wind blowing straight down the open mouth of the Wash has pushed water higher up the salt marsh and is holding it there longer than usual.

    A Year on the Wing

  • Add in siege of Malta and Lepanto for neap tide of Islam in Europe.

    The crusader.

  • The range of spring tides is 2.1 m, of neap tides 0.6 m.

    Banc d'Arguin National Park, Mauritania

  • Ultimately, I see societal energy as possessing a kind of oceanic quality, with its ebb and flow, its neap tides and high tides upon which true individuality is a proverbial storm-tossed bark.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...


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  • "...when the ship had to be lightened at great speed in case she should hog or break her back, being left suspended in the middle by the neap tides, all the skilled hands were employed in dealing with the guns..."

    —Patrick O'Brian, The Far Side of the World, 190

    See also neaped.

    February 21, 2008