1. A going from one place to another; a journey.
2. A stumble or fall.
3. A maneuver causing someone to stumble or fall.
4. A mistake.
a. A hallucinatory experience induced by a psychedelic drug: an acid trip.
b. An intense, stimulating, or exciting experience: a power trip.
a. A usually temporary but absorbing interest or preoccupation: He's on another health food trip.
b. A certain way of life or situation: "deny that his reclusiveness is some sort of deliberate star trip" (Patricia Bosworth).
7. A light or nimble tread.
a. A device, such as a pawl, for triggering a mechanism.
b. The action of such a device.
v. tripped, trip·ping, trips
1. To stumble.
2. To move nimbly with light rapid steps; skip.
3. To be released, as a tooth on an escapement wheel in a watch.
4. To make a trip.
5. To make a mistake: tripped up on the last question.
6. Slang To have a drug-induced hallucination.
1. To cause to stumble or fall.
2. To trap or catch in an error or inconsistency.
3. To release (a catch, trigger, or switch), thereby setting something in operation.
a. To raise (an anchor) from the bottom.
b. To tip or turn (a yardarm) into a position for lowering.
c. To lift (an upper mast) in order to remove the fid before lowering.
trip the light fantastic
[Middle English, act of tripping, from trippen, to trip, from Old French tripper, to stamp the foot, of Germanic origin.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.