Jump, leap, spring, bound, vault are comparable as verbs meaning to move suddenly through space by or as if by muscular action and as nouns designating an instance of such movement through space.
All of these terms apply primarily to the movements of men or lower animals, but they also may be used of similar movements of inanimate things.
Jump, the most general term, basically implies a projection of the body that results in reaching a spot which is to some extent distant, whether below, above, or on the same plane.
Since jump usually implies a rise and descent in a curve and a landing away from the point of origin, it is often applicable to things as well that follow a similar curve or seem to have a similar objective.
Jump may be extended to various sudden or sharp movements whether physical or not.
Leap usually implies greater muscular effort than jump, though it otherwise often agrees with it in implications; it may or may not suggest suddenness, swiftness, a forward or a backward motion, or an upward or a downward motion, but it usually includes one or more of these connotations in its meaning. In extended use leap goes further than jump in suggesting suddenness or intensity (as of change, response, surprise, or exaltation of thoughts).
Spring implies a jumping or leaping, but both as verb and as noun it additionally suggests ideas not involved in jump and only occasionally involved in leap, such as resiliency, elasticity, grace of movement, and emergence by issuing or flowing. The emphasis is often upon the action itself rather than upon the fact of movement to or over.
Bound (see also SKIP ) comes very close to spring in its emphasis upon the action itself, but it carries an implication of vigor and strength not apparent in spring, so that it often connotes a plunging or a lunging forward.
Although vault is often used specifically in respect to leaping as a physical exercise with the aid of a long pole as a fulcrum, it may also apply to a leap or a leaping upward with the aid of a support or a leap over an object often with a hand laid on the object.