Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


to change the political control of a state, area or body from one party to another

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary

Origin and usage

The verb flip is probably derived from the noun ‘fillip’ which refers to a flipping motion of the fingers. It has been used in English since the 16th century.


The verb flip has several core meanings and forms part of many phrasal verbs and phrases which you can explore by clicking on the box to the right of the entry. Flip is also a noun and an adjective and is part of several compound nouns, such as flip top, flip side, flip chart and flip phone. A sense of the verb that is common in US English but has recently been seen frequently on this side of the Atlantic too is the political one above, which was recently added to the Macmillan Open Dictionary. Another much older Open Dictionary entry reminds us of a political story from a different time: flipping was the much-criticized practice by some MPs of changing the house they nominated as their main residence in order to claim the maximum available expenses. If you have a word or phrase that you think belongs in the Open Dictionary you can add it here.


“Biden also flipped one of Nebraska’s five Electoral College seats from red to blue.

Republicans have had control of the Senate since flipping the chamber in 2014.

To my juvenile eyes, Darwin was proved true every day. It doesn’t take much to make us flip back into monkeys again.
(Terry Pratchett)

Related Words

recount, returns, runoff, swing state

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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