tap

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See also: TAP, táp, tâp, țap, tạp, and tập

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

A late-14th-century illustration of barrels containing alcoholic beverages stopped with taps (etymology 1, sense 1), and a cellarer passing a glass of a drink to a person in a room above.
A water tap (etymology 1, sense 2.2) installed at a bathroom sink.
Taps (etymology 1, sense 2.2) used to dispense beer in a bar in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
A tap (etymology 1, sense 2.6) used to cut an internal screw thread in a hole. A tap wrench to turn the tool has been fitted to one end.

Etymology 1[edit]

The noun is derived from Middle English tappe (hollow device for controlling the flow of liquid from a hole, cock, faucet, spigot; hole through which the liquid flows; the liquid which thus flows),[1] from Old English tæppa, from Proto-West Germanic *tappō, from Proto-Germanic *tappô (a plug, tap; peg; tapering stick), from Proto-Indo-European *deh₂p- (to lose; to sacrifice).[2]

The verb is derived from Middle English tappen (to obtain (liquid, chiefly liquor) from a tap; to obtain and sell (liquor)),[3] from Old English tæppian (to provide (a container) with a stopper; to obtain (liquid) from a tap), and then either:

Verb sense 1.3.5 (“to turn over (a playing card or playing piece) to remind players that it has already been used in that round”) alludes to the abilities or resources of the card or piece having been drawn on to the point of temporary exhaustion: see verb sense 1.3.2.

Noun[edit]

tap (plural taps)

  1. A tapering cylindrical peg or pin used to close and open the hole or vent in a container.
    Synonyms: spigot, spile
  2. (by extension)
    1. An object with a tapering cylindrical form like a tap (sense 1); specifically, short for taproot (long, tapering root of a plant).
    2. A hollow device used to control the flow of a fluid, such as an alcoholic beverage from a cask, or a gas or liquid in a pipe.
      Synonyms: cock, faucet, handle, spigot, spout, stopcock
      We don’t have bottled water; you’ll have to get it from the tap.
      Is the tap water here safe to drink?
      1. (medicine, informal) A procedure that removes fluid from a body cavity; paracentesis.
        abdominal tap    pleural tap    spinal tap
    3. Liquor drawn through a tap (sense 2.2); hence, a certain kind or quality of liquor; also (figurative, informal), a certain kind or quality of any thing.
      a liquor of the same tap
      • 1843 December 19, Charles Dickens, “Stave Two. The First of the Three Spirits.”, in A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, London: Chapman & Hall, [], →OCLC, page 55:
        Here he produced a decanter of curiously light wine, and a block of curiously heavy cake, and administered instalments of those dainties to the young people: at the same time, sending out a meagre servant to offer a glass of "something" to the postboy, who answered that he thanked the gentleman, but if it was the same tap as he had tasted before, he had rather not.
      • 1825, Francesco Redi, translated by Leigh Hunt, Bacchus in Tuscany, a Dithyrambic Poem, [], London: [] [J. C. Kelly] for John and H[enry] L[eigh] Hunt, [], →OCLC, page 14:
        Those Norwegians and those Laps / Have extraordinary taps: / Those Laps especially have strange fancies: / To see them drink, / I verily think / Would make me lose my senses.
      • 1847 January – 1848 July, William Makepeace Thackeray, “James Crawley’s Pipe Is Put Out”, in Vanity Fair [], London: Bradbury and Evans [], published 1848, →OCLC, page 305:
        I wish my aunt would send down some of this to the governor; it's a precious good tap.
    4. (communication, chiefly law enforcement)
      1. A device used to listen in secretly on telephone calls or other communications. [from 20th c.]
      2. A secret interception of telephone calls or other communications using such a device; also, a recording of such a communication.
        telephone tap
        • 2020 May 14, Fred Kaplan, “‘Obamagate’ wasn’t even a Scandal the First Time”, in Slate[4], New York, N.Y.: The Slate Group, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2023-05-30:
          It is true—and undisputed—that, in the weeks between the 2016 election and Trump's inauguration, several top Obama administration officials asked the National Security Agency to reveal the identity of an American citizen overheard on phone taps speaking with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak—a request known as "unmasking."
    5. (finance) A situation where a borrowing government authority issues bonds over a period of time, usually at a fixed price, with volumes sold on a particular day dependent on market conditions.
      bond tap    tap issue
    6. (mechanics) A cylindrical tool used to cut an internal screw thread in a hole, with cutting edges around the lower end and an upper end to which a handle is fitted to turn the tool.
      We drilled a hole and then cut the threads with the proper tap to match the valve’s thread.
      • 1678 January 11 – February 11 (Gregorian calendar), Joseph Moxon, “Numb[er] II. Applied to the Making of Hinges, Locks, Keys, Screws and Nuts Small and Great.”, in Mechanick Exercises, or The Doctrine of Handy-Works, [], volume I, London: [] Joseph Moxon, published 1683, →OCLC, page 31:
        To fit the Pin therefore to a true ſize, I in my Practiſe uſe to try into vvhat Hole of the Screvv Plate, the Tap or place of the Tap, (if it be a tapering Tap,) I make the Nut vvith vvill juſt ſlide through; [] But if the Screvv-Tap have no Handle, then it hath its upper end Filed to a long ſquare, to fit into an hollovv ſquare, made near the Handle of the Screvv-Plate: Put that long ſquare hole over the long ſquare on the top of the Tap, and then by turning about the Screvv-Plate, you vvill alſo turn about the Tap in the Hole, and make Grooves and Threds in the Nut.
    7. (Britain) Short for taphouse or taproom (place where alcoholic beverages are served on tap).
      Synonyms: bar, barroom
      • 1771, [Tobias Smollett], “To Sir Watkin Phillips, Bart. of Jesus College, Oxon.”, in The Expedition of Humphry Clinker [], volume II, London: [] W. Johnston, []; and B. Collins, [], →OCLC, pages 72–73:
        [H]ere has been nothing but canting and praying ſince the fellovv entered the place.—Rabbit him! the tap vvill be ruined—vve han't ſold a caſk of beer, nor a dozen of vvine, ſince he paid his garniſh—the gentlemen get drunk vvith nothing but your damned religion.— []
      • 1857, [Thomas Hughes], chapter IV, in Tom Brown’s School Days. [], Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: Macmillan & Co., →OCLC, part I, page 87:
        Guard emerges from the tap, where he prefers breakfasting, []
      • 1864 May – 1865 November, Charles Dickens, “Cut Adrift”, in Our Mutual Friend. [], volume I, London: Chapman and Hall, [], published 1865, →OCLC, book the first (The Cup and the Lip), page 47:
        For the rest, both the tap and parlor of the Six Jolly Fellowship-Porters gave upon the river, and had red curtains matching the noses of the regular customers, and were provided with comfortable fireside tin utensils, []
    8. (Britain, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering) A connection made to an electrical or fluid conductor without breaking it; a tapping.
      The system was barely keeping pressure due to all of the ill-advised taps along its length.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

tap (third-person singular simple present taps, present participle tapping, simple past and past participle tapped)

  1. (transitive)
    1. To furnish (a container, etc.) with a tap (noun sense 2.2) so that liquid can be drawn.
    2. To draw off (a liquid) from a container or other source; also, to draw off a liquid from (a container or other source).
      He tapped the ten-year-old whiskey from its barrel.
      If we tap the maple trees, we can get maple syrup.
      1. (medicine, informal) To drain off fluid from (a person or a body cavity) by paracentesis.
        • 1655, Lazarus Riverius [i.e., Lazare Rivière], “Of the Dropsie in the Breast”, in Nicholas Culpeper, Abdiah Cole, and William Rowland, transl., The Practice of Physick, [], London: [] Peter Cole, [], →OCLC, 7th book (Of the Diseases of the Breast), section III (Of Pestilential Feavers), pages 163–164:
          It is a hard thing to empty the vvater contained in the breaſt, becauſe the vvaies are not open by vvhich it ſhould be brought forth. Therefore Hippocrates doth adviſe to open the ſide, vvhich becauſe vve never ſee practiſed, and never read in any Author that it vvas done vvith good ſucceſs, vve cannot abſolutely approve; and vve may ſpeak of it as vve have of the Opening or Tapping for the Dropſie, in its proper Chapter.
          A noun use.
        • 1709 September 12 (Gregorian calendar), Isaac Bickerstaff [et al., pseudonyms; Richard Steele], “Thursday, September 1, 1709”, in The Tatler, number 62; republished in [Richard Steele], editor, The Tatler, [], London stereotype edition, volume I, London: I. Walker and Co.;  [], 1822, →OCLC, page 372:
          [] I have, ever since my cure, been very thirsty and dropsical; therefore, I presume, it would be much better to tap me, and drink me off, than eat me at once, and have no man in the ship fit to be drunk.
    3. (figurative)
      1. To break into or open up (a thing) so as to obtain something; to exploit, to penetrate.
        Businesses are trying to tap the youth market.
        He tried to tap cable television without a subscription.
        • c. 1553 (date written), “S.” [pseudonym; attributed to William Stevenson], [] Gammer Gurtons Nedle: [], London: [] Thomas Colwell, published 1575, →OCLC; reprinted as John S. Farmer, editor, Gammer Gurton’s Needle [] (The Tudor Facsimile Texts), [London: [] John S. Farmer], 1910, →OCLC, Act II, scene iii, signature C, recto:
          Ye ſee maſters yͭ one end tapt of this my ſhort deuiſe / Now muſt we broche thoter to, before the ſmoke ariſe / And by the time they haue a while run.
        • 1840 April – 1841 November, Charles Dickens, “Chapter the Sixty-third”, in The Old Curiosity Shop. A Tale. [], volume II, London: Chapman and Hall, [], published 1841, →OCLC, page 153:
          Then up comes Mr. Brass, very brisk and fresh: [] folds his arms, and looks at his gentleman as much as to say, "Here I am—full of evidence—Tap me!" And the gentleman does tap him presently, and with great discretion too; drawing off the evidence little by little, and making it run quite clear and bright in the eyes of all present.
        • 1931, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], “Hop-picking”, in Sonia Orwell, Ian Angus, editors, An Age Like This: 1920–1940 (The Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell; I), New York, N.Y.: Harcourt, Brace & World, published 1968, →OCLC, page 57:
          For our supper, Ginger tapped the local butcher, who gave us the best part of two pounds of sausages. Butchers are always very generous on Saturday nights.
        • 1935, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter 2, in A Clergyman’s Daughter, London: Secker & Warburg, published 1969, →OCLC, § 2, page 107:
          From morning to night they were begging. They wandered enormous distances, zigzagging right across the county, trailing from village and from house to house, ‘tapping’ at every butcher’s and every baker’s and every likely-looking cottage, []
        • 1990 June, James Ellroy, L.A. Confidential, New York, N.Y.: The Mysterious Press, →ISBN, page 228:
          "Yes, your buddy. A bit chewed up, I'm afraid. A burglar called it in. He was about to tap the house, then he saw the body. Pry marks on the doorjamb, so I buy it. Don't look inside if you've eaten."
        • 2012 April 10, Ian Crouch, “Instagram’s Instant Nostalgia”, in The New Yorker[6], New York, N.Y.: Condé Nast Publications, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2023-06-05:
          Much has been made of the connection between Instagram and the generalized hipster sensibility, which places a premium value on the old, the artisanal, and the idiosyncratic. But Instagram taps a fetishization of the past that is more universal.
        • 2022 September 15, Drew Harwell, “DHS built huge database from cellphones, computers seized at border”, in The Washington Post[7], Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post Company, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 1 October 2022:
          Agents from the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, another Department of Homeland Security agency, have run facial recognition searches on millions of Americans' driver's license photos. They have tapped private databases of people's financial and utility records to learn where they live. And they have gleaned location data from license-plate reader databases that can be used to track where people drive.
      2. To deplete (something); to tap out.
        • 1912, Arthur Conan Doyle, “Our Eyes have seen Great Wonders”, in The Lost World [], London, New York, N.Y.: Hodder and Stoughton, →OCLC, page 274:
          At the range of a couple of hundred yards we emptied our magazines, firing bullet after bullet into the beasts, but with no more effect than if we were pelting them with pellets of paper. Their slow reptilian natures cared nothing for wounds, and the springs of their lives, with no special brain centre but scattered throughout their spinal cords, could not be tapped by any modern weapons.
      3. (informal) To ask or beg for (something) to be given for free; to cadge, to scrounge; also, to ask or beg (someone) to give something for free.
        Synonyms: see Thesaurus:scrounge
        I tried to tap a cigarette off him, but he wouldn’t give me one.
      4. (communication, chiefly law enforcement) To connect a listening and/or recording device to (a communication cable or device) in order to listen in secretly on telephone calls or other communications; also, to secretly listen in on and/or record (a telephone call or other communication). [from 19th c.]
        Synonym: eavesdrop
        They can’t tap the phone without a warrant.
        • 1909, [George] Bernard Shaw, Press Cuttings: A Topical Sketch [], London: Constable and Company, →OCLC, page 3:
          mitchener. Why didn't you telephone? / balsquith. They tap the telephone. Every switchboard in London is in their hands, or in those of their young men.
        • 1938 April, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], chapter XI, in Homage to Catalonia, London: Secker & Warburg, →OCLC, pages 160–161:
          On 3 May the Government decided to take over the Telephone Exchange, which had been operated since the beginning of the war mainly by C.N.T. workers; it was alleged that it was badly run and that official calls were being tapped.
        • 1971 August 6, Frederick Forsyth, “Anatomy of a Kill”, in The Day of the Jackal, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Viking Press, →ISBN, page 347:
          "Oh, there is one thing," the Minister called after Lebel, "how did you know to tap the telephone line of Colonel Saint-Clair's private apartment?" Lebel turned in the doorway and shrugged. "I didn't," he said, "so last night I tapped all your telephones. Good day, gentlemen."
        • 2023 May 23, “Is E.T. Eavesdropping on Our Phone Calls?”, in Scientific American[8], New York, N.Y.: Springer Nature America, Inc., →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2023-10-03:
          Ever worry about shadowy forces tapping your phone calls and listening in on your private conversations? Well, astronomers have some good news for you: it won't be aliens with their ears (or whatever auditory sensory organs they have evolved) to the speaker getting into your business—unless they've done a lot better than we have at funding radio astronomers.
      5. (board games, card games) To turn over (a playing card or playing piece) to remind players that it has already been used in that round.
      6. (poker) To force (an opponent) to place all their poker chips in the pot (that is, to go all in) by wagering all of one's own chips.
    4. (horticulture) To remove a taproot from (a plant).
    5. (mechanics)
      1. To cut an internal screw thread in (a hole); also, to cut (an internal screw thread) in a hole, or to create an internally threaded hole in (something).
        Tap an M3 thread all the way through the hole.
      2. To cut an external screw thread into (a bolt or rod) to create a screw.
      3. To put (a screw or other object) in or through another thing.
  2. (intransitive)
    1. To act as a tapster; to draw an alcoholic beverage from a container.
    2. (obsolete) To spend money, etc., freely.
      • 1712 December 12 (Gregorian calendar), [Joseph Addison], “MONDAY, December 1, 1712”, in The Spectator, number 550; republished in Alexander Chalmers, editor, The Spectator; a New Edition, [], volume VI, New York, N.Y.: D[aniel] Appleton & Company, 1853, →OCLC, page 170:
        A certain country gentleman began to tap upon the first information he received of sir Roger's death: when he sent me up word that, if I would get him chosen in the place of the deceased, he would present me with a barrel of the best October I had ever drank in my life.
        The spelling has been modernized.
Conjugation[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

The verb is derived from Middle English tappen, teppen (to give (something) a knock or tap; to hit (something) lightly, pat, tap),[5] either:[6]

Verb sense 1.1.1 (“to arrest (someone)”) and sense 1.6 (“to choose or designate (someone) for a duty, etc.”) allude to a police officer or other person tapping someone on their shoulder to catch their attention or to select them.

The noun is derived from Middle English tap, tappe (light blow or hit),[7] and then either:[8]

Verb[edit]

tap (third-person singular simple present taps, present participle tapping, simple past and past participle tapped)

  1. (transitive)
    1. To strike (someone or something), chiefly lightly with a clear sound, but sometimes hard. [from early 13th c.]
      She tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention.
      • 1625, John Barlow, “Vers[e] 7. For God hath not giuen vs the Spirit of feare, but of power, and of loue, and of a sound mind.”, in An Exposition of the Second Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy, the First Chapter. [], London: [] I[ohn] D[awson] for Iohn Bellamie, [], →OCLC, page 180:
        Let vs then get vviſdome in the guiding of all our ſpeeches, and perſvvaſions. Imitate the threſher, vvhen thou art to deale vvith thy Brother; vvho firſt Tappeth his Corne in the ſheafe, before he lay on greater ſtroakes, for elſe the good graine vvould fly into euery corner, and the ſtravv not endure the flayle: ſo, begin by degrees vvith another, and vvhen he vvill endure Tapping, then ſmite harder, or elſe thou doſt but labour in vaine.
      • 1761, [Laurence Sterne], “Slawkenbergius’s Tale”, in The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, volume IV, London: [] R[obert] and J[ames] Dodsley [], →OCLC, page 17:
        I hope, continued the ſtranger, ſtroking dovvn the face of his mule vvith his left-hand as he vvas going to mount it, that you have been kind to this faithful ſlave of mine—it has carried me and my cloak-bag, continued he, tapping the mule's back, above ſix hundred leagues.
      • 1840, [Frederick] Marryat, “Bramble’s Method of Education Proves Very Effective. He also Points Out a Position in which You may Prefer Your Enemies to Your Friends.”, in Poor Jack. [], London: Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longmans, [], →OCLC, page 171:
        I went to bed, was tapped up as before by Bessy, assisted her to clean every thing, taking off her hands all the heaviest of the work; []
      • 1847 January – 1848 July, William Makepeace Thackeray, “Between London and Chatham”, in Vanity Fair [], London: Bradbury and Evans [], published 1848, →OCLC, page 230:
        He did not see the sneer of contempt which passed all round the room, [] as he sate there tapping his boot with his cane, and thinking what a parcel of miserable poor devils these were.
      • 1856, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Third Book”, in Aurora Leigh, London: Chapman and Hall, [], published 1857, →OCLC, page 123:
        The pedlar stopped, and tapped her on the head / With absolute forefinger, brown and ringed, / And asked if peradventure she could read; []
      • 1906 August, Alfred Noyes, “The Highwayman”, in Poems, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., published October 1906, →OCLC, part 1, stanza III, page 46:
        Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard, / And he tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred; []
      • 1938, Norman Lindsay, chapter XIV, in Age of Consent, London: T[homas] Werner Laurie [], →OCLC, page 143:
        Bradly tapped the ashes from his pipe, signifying a leisured interlude over. "Time to get a move on," he said, and began to unlace his boots for wading.
      1. (slang) Also in the form tap on the shoulder: to arrest (someone).
        • 1830, [Edward Bulwer-Lytton], chapter VIII, in Paul Clifford. [], volume II, London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, [], →OCLC, page 225:
          We are certainly scented here, and I walk about like a barrel of beer at Christmas, under hourly apprehension of being tapped!
        • 1999 February, Charlotte Carter, Coq Au Vin, New York, N.Y.: The Mysterious Press, →ISBN, page 129:
          "You have to pack up and get out of there, girl. You could end up being tapped for that pimp's murder. The police ain't gonna hear about finding your aunt Viv. Or about Andre's butt. What are y'all going to do if they point the finger at him? If the cops over there are like they are over here, they ain't gonna look no further than the first black man they can put their hands on. They'll put his long legs under the jail."
        • 2006, Noire [pseudonym], Thug-A-Licious: An Urban Erotic Tale, New York, N.Y.: One World, Ballantine Books, →ISBN, page 108:
          "Ain't gone be no Rikers Island for you next time," I warned him. "You get tapped on another gun charge and you looking at some upstate time."
      2. (slang, vulgar) To have sexual intercourse with (someone).
        Synonyms: hit, wap; see also Thesaurus:copulate with
        I would tap that hot girl over there.
        I’d tap that.
        • 1959, Wenzell Brown, Teen-age Mafia, Greenwich, Conn.: Gold Medal Books, →OCLC, page 34:
          What does waiting get you? Sure, I know the score, Connie. You ain't never been tapped. But what are you saving it for? It's either going to be me or some other guy. Look, if I join up with the Dags I gotta have a deb that gives. If I don't, all the guys will be ranking me.
        • 2006, Noire [pseudonym], Thug-A-Licious: An Urban Erotic Tale, New York, N.Y.: One World, Ballantine Books, →ISBN, page 138:
          Passion was wild. She was the first chick I'd been with who liked to fuck in strange places. I'd tapped that ass in the girl's bathroom in every fast food restaurant we could find.
        • 2007 September 19, Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, “Pilot”, in Gossip Girl, season 1, episode 1 (television series), spoken by Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick):
          What we're entitled to is a house in the Hamptons. Maybe a prescription drug problem. But happiness does not seem to be on the menu so smoke up and seal the deal with Blair because you're also entitled to tap that ass.
        • 2016, Tabitha Levin, “Emma”, in Rock Hard (Rock Star; 2), [Australia]: Tabitha Levin, →OCLC:
          "He's handsome, isn't he? If he didn't have a girlfriend, I'd tap him for sure." "Excuse me?" Emma looked over to see who was talking to her. A woman old enough to be her mother was eyeing the band. "The lead singer. Everyone wants him." The woman parted her lips and sighed.
        • 2017, Don Winslow, The Force, London: HarperCollinsPublishers, →ISBN, page 95:
          But Sheila was in no mood for legalisms. "It never bothered you when we were married, though, did it, Denny? You and your brother cops tapping everything with a pussy. Hey, do they know? Russo and Big Monty, they know you're stirring tar?"
        • 2019, Julia Kent, chapter 2, in Perky (Do-over Series; 2), [Scotts Valley, Calif.]: [CreateSpace], →ISBN:
          "If I weren't married," Hasty says, eyeing Parker like he's a side of grass-fed organic beef and she's Michael Pollan, "I'd tap that."
      3. (slang) To shoot (someone or something) with a firearm.
        • 2000, Christopher Cook, Robbers, New York, N.Y.: Carroll & Graf Publishers, →ISBN, page 12:
          Heard that, too, Rose said. A thirtyeight revolver. Only you tapped him with a rifle from a hundred yards out.
        • 2010, Dana Marton, The Socialite and the Bodyguard, Toronto, Ont.: Harlequin Enterprises, →ISBN, page 84:
          Not something he worried a lot about since in his line of work, chances were better than good that he wasn't going to live that long. When your job was to step between a bullet and its intended recipient, sooner or later you were going to be tapped, for sure.
        • 2023 April 5, “Nicky Nine Door”‎[9]performed by Smiley:
          Fuck a tap dance niggas head get tapped / If you not a real member you won't get a pass
    2. To (lightly) touch (a finger, foot, or other body part) on a surface, often repeatedly.
      Synonyms: hit, patter, pound, rap, strike; see also Thesaurus:hit
      You can pay by tapping your card.
      He was so nervous he began to tap his fingers on the table.
    3. (combat sports) To force (an opponent) to submit, chiefly by indicating their intention to do so by striking a hand on the ground several times; to tap out.
      • 2000 October 14, “K®Æz¥ k ° †€°”, “Kimo Tapped Sakuraba”, in alt.ufc[10] (Usenet):
        Hard to believe Kimo [Leopoldo] used a triangle choke to tap [Kazushi] Sak[uraba], but 4 years can make a difference.
      • 2003 April 2, “Eddie”, “I Tapped Somebody!”, in rec.martial-arts[11] (Usenet):
        Just started bjj [Brazilian jiu-jitsu] couple of months ago and i finally tapped someone!!! WOOOHOO! The guy i tapped has been traiing a few more months than me, outweighs me by at least 30 pounds, and is in great shape from the army.
      • 2004 April 7, “Araxen”, “UFC vs. Boxing”, in rec.sport.boxing[12] (Usenet):
        [Genki] Sudo weighed 1/4 of what Butterbean [i.e., Eric Esch] weighs and he still tapped Butterbean.
    4. (graphical user interface) To invoke a function on an electronic device such as a mobile phone by touching (a button, icon, or specific location on its touch screen).
      Coordinate terms: swipe, click
      • 2010, Tony Bove, “Your Pocket Picture Player”, in iPod & iTunes For Dummies (For Dummies), 7th edition, Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley Publishing, →ISBN, part IV (Playing It back on Your iPod or iPhone), page 301:
        Tap the Save Image button to save the picture in your iPod touch or iPhone photo library (in the Saved Images album) or tap Cancel to cancel.
      • 2019 July 10, Vanessa Chang, “How Phone Taps and Swipes Train Us to Be Better Consumers”, in Wired[13], San Francisco, C.A.: Condé Nast Publications, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2023-06-10:
        As you type, your fingers play an idiosyn­cratic composition of keystroke rhythms on your keyboard. Similarly, the swipes and taps on your touch­screen form a living signature of your movement. The emerging field of gesture biometrics uses these movement signatures in security and other applications in interface design.
      • 2022 January 20, Jon Porter, “Amazon’s First Clothing Store Lets You Summon Clothes to the Fitting Room”, in The Verge[14], archived from the original on 2024-01-05:
        Amazon says clothes racks will feature QR codes, which customers can scan to see available sizes, colors, customer ratings, and product details. Then, with a tap of a button, selected items will be sent to a fitting room to try on without having to first rummage through racks.
    5. (Britain, dialectal or US) To repair (an item of footwear) by putting on a new heel or sole, or a piece of material on to the heel or sole.
      to tap shoes
    6. (chiefly US, informal) To choose or designate (someone) for a duty, an honour, membership of an organization, or a position. [from mid 20th c.]
      He was tapped by the president to act as a special counsel.
      • 1949, Audie Murphy, To Hell and Back, New York, N.Y.: Henry Holt and Company, →OCLC, page 132:
        One day reconnaissance informs us that the krauts have moved up their forward outposts in our sector. It could be the prelude to an attack. A patrol is organized to knock out the positions. In our platoon Kerrigan, Berner, and Thompson get tapped for service.
      • 2013 January 20, Emily Bazelon, “‘My Beloved World,’ by Sonia Sotomayor”, in The New York Times[15], New York, N.Y.: The New York Times Company, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2023-09-19:
        Hardly a radical, she was more the type that got tapped for a ­student-faculty committee.
      • 2014, Karen Rose, Closer Than You Think, London: Headline Publishing Group, →ISBN, page 463:
        'Special Agent Hudgins,' he said, holding the door wide open. 'My office was closest to the scene so I got tapped to secure it for you Cincinnati guys. But I have to tell you, this wasn't what I expected when I got the call to come out here.'
      • 2018 March 9, Drew Schwartz, “This New Yorker Hired a Hitman to ‘Take Care of’ His Noisy Neighbors, Feds Say”, in VICE[16], archived from the original on 2023-11-07:
        Unbeknownst to Rosquette, the contract killer he'd just tapped for the job was an FBI informant.
      • 2020 November 14, Charlotte Klein, “Trump Apparently Thinks Rudy Giuliani Can Save His Flailing Court Battles”, in Radhika Jones, editor, Vanity Fair[17], New York, N.Y.: Condé Nast, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2023-06-01:
        With his so-called election-fraud lawsuits being thrown out left and right, the president [Donald Trump] has tapped his personal lawyer [Rudy Giuliani] to spearhead his campaign's remaining legal options. Insiders are reportedly "concerned."
  2. (intransitive)
    1. Often followed by at or on: to strike lightly with a clear sound; also, to make a sharp noise through this action.
      Synonyms: bang, hit, ping, rap
      The tree was swaying in the breeze and tapping on the window pane.
    2. To walk by striking the ground lightly with a clear sound.
    3. Of a bell, a drum, etc.: to make a sharp noise, often as a signal.
    4. (combat sports) To submit to an opponent, chiefly by indicating an intention to do so by striking a hand on the ground several times; to tap out.
    5. (obsolete) Of a hare or rabbit: to strike the ground repeatedly with its feet during the rutting season.
Conjugation[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun[edit]

tap (countable and uncountable, plural taps)

Example (phonetics)

The sound [ɾ] in the standard American English pronunciation of body is a tap.

  1. (countable)
    1. A light blow or strike with a clear sound; a gentle rap; a pat; also, the sound made by such a blow or strike.
      When Steve felt a tap on his shoulder, he turned around.
    2. (informal, minimizer, chiefly in the negative) The smallest amount of work; a stroke of work.
      • 1953, Samuel Beckett, chapter II, in Watt, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Grove Press, published 1959, →OCLC, page 118:
        For to the first floor his duties never took him, at this period, nor to the second, once he had made his bed, and swept clean his little room, which he did every morning the first thing, before coming down, on an empty stomach. Whereas Erskine never did a tap on the ground floor, but all his duties were on the first floor.
      • 1964, Jim Blair, The Secret of the Reef, London: Angus & Robertson, →OCLC, page 13:
        That put an end to work. They've hardly done a tap since. By now we should have half the season's copra stacked and ready for shipping. But you saw the plantation. Nothing done at all.
      • 2021, Karen Woods, Tracks, Manchester: HarperNorth, →ISBN, page 82:
        Bone idle, Charlie was, he had never done a tap in the house, always 'busy' whenever she asked him to do anything.
    3. (dance) One of the metal pieces attached to the sole of a tap dancer's shoe at the toe and heel to cause a tapping sound.
    4. (firearms, slang) A shot fired from a firearm.
    5. (graphical user interface) An act of touching a button, icon, or specific location on the touch screen of an electronic device such as a mobile phone to invoke a function.
      Coordinate term: click
    6. (phonetics) A single muscle contraction in vocal organs causing a consonant sound; also, the sound so made.
      Synonym: flap
    7. (Britain, dialectal or US) A piece of leather or other material fastened upon the bottom of an item of footwear when repairing the heel or sole; also (England, dialectal) the sole of an item of footwear.
      Synonym: heeltap
      • 1954 June 10, John Steinbeck, “Enter Suzy”, in Sweet Thursday, 1st British edition, London: William Heinemann, →OCLC, page 33:
        She had a good figure, was twenty-one, five-feet-five, hair probably brown (dyed blond), brown cloth coat, rabbit-skin collar, cotton print dress, brown calf shoes (heel taps a little run over), scuff on the right toe.
  2. (uncountable, dance) Ellipsis of tap dance.
    • 1944, Noel Streatfeild, “Cousins”, in Curtain Up (Pennant Books), London: J[oseph] M[alaby] Dent & Sons, published 1964, →OCLC, page 97:
      Now, until you get to wearing block shoes, the same sandals do for everything except tap, and the world doesn't come to an end if you just wear your tunic knickers and a shirt for tap; but when we could get the stuff there was all that changing into rompers, and we'd special satin sandals for ballet. It was change, change, all the time.
    • 2000, Ian Driver, “Sight and Sound: Tap Dancing”, in A Century of Dance, London: Hamlyn, →ISBN, page 116, column 1:
      As successful commercially as it was critically, Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk established Savion Glover as the new tap superstar.
    • 2009 February 21, Patrick Kidd, “Out of the ordinary: Tap dancing”, in The Times[19], London: News UK, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 27 November 2022:
      I had one advantage: I can keep time pretty well, especially to jazz, which effectively is all tap is. I can beat out a rhythm to any tune.
    • 2014 March 25, Samantha Grossman, “The 10 Best Tap Dance Scenes in Film”, in Time[20], New York, N.Y.: Time Inc., →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 2023-12-15:
      In this iconic staircase number [The Little Colonel], Bill "Bojangles" Robinson tutors Shirley Temple in the art of tap.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Persian or Urduتب(tab, malarial fever), ultimately from Sanskrit ताप (tāpa, fever; heat; pain, torment).[9]

Noun[edit]

tap (uncountable)

  1. (India, chiefly East India) A malarial fever.
    • [1873 February 1, James Wise, “Report on the Epidemic of Dengue in the Dacca District During 1872”, in The Indian Medical Gazette, volume VIII, Calcutta: Wyman & Co., page 32, column 2:
      According to the Yunani hakims dengue is a "tap safrow"—a fever due to excess of bile, and it is wonderful the amount of dark colored bile that passes away after a purgative, especially if that is not administered until the third day.]
    • 1874, Stephen J Mac Kenna, At School With An Old Dragoon, second edition, London: Henry S. King & Co., pages 330–331:
      [] in despair, he fell back on the unfailing reason (to the native mind) for every unaccountable action, and declared that the horses had tap, or fever. ¶ "Oh, that's all nonsense, Sooka!" replied Blunt to this assertion of his subordinate. They were walking along between the rows of stalls, making their morning inspection, and closely examining into the condition of every animal: "that's all nonsense! there's no tap here. Every one of them is as cool and nice as he can be—perfect pictures of condition most of them, No, no; there's no fever whatever amongst them."
    • 1882, F[rancis] Marion Crawford, Mr. Isaacs: A Tale of Modern India, New York, N.Y.: P. F. Collier & Son, page 261:
      The country, my entertainer informed me, was considered perfectly safe, unless I feared the tap, the bad kind of fever which infests all the country at the base of the hills.
    • [1888, Edwin Arnold, With Sa'di in the Garden: Or, the Book of Love, Boston, M.A.: Roberts Brothers, page 47:
      But, when I heard her speak soft Urdu words, / Like a white angel in her pity of us, / No whit afraid of sitla, or of tap / Fever or pest!]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ tap(pe, n.(1)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ Compare “tap, n.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2023; “tap1, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  3. ^ tappen, v.(1)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  4. ^ tap, v.1”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2023; “tap1, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  5. ^ tappen, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  6. ^ tap, v.2”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2023; “tap2, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  7. ^ tap(pe, n.(2)”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  8. ^ Compare “tap, n.2”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, September 2023; “tap2, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  9. ^ tap, n.4”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, July 2023.

Further reading[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

Albanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Onomatopoeic.

Noun[edit]

tap

  1. struck, hit

Catalan[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

tap m (plural taps)

  1. tap, spigot, plug
  2. (castells) a casteller inserted into an empty space in a pinya to make it more compact

Derived terms[edit]

Danish[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old Danish tapp, from Old Norse tappi, from Proto-Germanic *tappô.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈtap/, [ˈtˢɑb̥]

Noun[edit]

tap c (singular definite tappen, plural indefinite tappe or tapper)

  1. (mechanics) protruding component of a device
  2. (anatomy) cone cell
  3. (informal) penis
  4. (erotic literature) clitoris
    • 2014, Hans Otto Jørgensen, Ove gasser op: Udvalgte noveller, Gyldendal A/S, →ISBN:
      Hun kælede for hullet med spidsen, krængede lapperne yderligere, og så fandeme kom også dér tappen til syne.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
    • 2014, 2016, Christian Møgeltoft, Uskyld, Lindhardt og Ringhof (→ISBN)
      Da hans tunge fandt den lille hårde tap, klynkede hun som et barn, der bliver slået.
      (please add an English translation of this quotation)
Inflection[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Acronym of teknisk-administrativt personale.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈtap/, [ˈtˢɑb̥]

Noun[edit]

tap c (singular definite tap'en, plural indefinite tap'er)

  1. member of technical and administrative staff
Inflection[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Verb[edit]

tap

  1. imperative of tappe

Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Dutch tappe (closing pin, stopper), from Old Dutch *tappo, from Proto-West Germanic *tappō, from Proto-Germanic *tappô.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

tap m (plural tappen, diminutive tapje n)

  1. tap

Usage notes[edit]

Although this term can be used to mean a tap from which water flows, this usage is rare; the more common term is kraan. It is most commonly used to refer to a beer tap.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Afrikaans: tap

Icelandic[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From tapa (to lose).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

tap n (genitive singular taps, nominative plural töp)

  1. loss, damage
    Búðin er rekin með tapi.
    The store is run at a loss.

Declension[edit]

Related terms[edit]

K'iche'[edit]

Noun[edit]

tap

  1. (Classical K'iche') crab

Lashi[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

tap

  1. to make something burn
  2. to make something stick

References[edit]

  • Hkaw Luk (2017) A grammatical sketch of Lacid[21], Chiang Mai: Payap University (master thesis)

Malecite-Passamaquoddy[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Cognate with Penobscot ttὰpi, Mi'kmaq tapi, Abenaki tôbi.

Noun[edit]

tap anim (plural tapiyik/tapihik, possessed 'tahtapiyil/'tahtapimol/'tapiyil, locative tapik/tapiyik, diminutive tapossis)

  1. bow

Middle English[edit]

Verb[edit]

tap

  1. Alternative form of tappen (to touch gently)

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

tap n (definite singular tapet, indefinite plural tap, definite plural tapa or tapene)

  1. (a) loss

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

References[edit]

Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

tap n (definite singular tapet, indefinite plural tap, definite plural tapa)

  1. (a) loss, defeat

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

Phalura[edit]

Etymology[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

tap (Perso-Arabic spellingتپ⁩)

  1. Co-lexicalized intensifier

References[edit]

  • Liljegren, Henrik; Haider, Naseem (2011) Palula Vocabulary (FLI Language and Culture Series; 7)‎[22], Islamabad, Pakistan: Forum for Language Initiatives, →ISBN

Semai[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-Mon-Khmer. Cognate with Pacoh tâp (to bury), Riang [Lang] tap² ("to dam"), Mal tʰap ("to bury"), Mon တိုပ် (to bury), Vietnamese đắp (to cover something with a layer).

Verb[edit]

tap[1]

  1. to bury

Synonyms[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Basrim bin Ngah Aching (2008) Kamus Engròq Semay – Engròq Malaysia, Kamus Bahasa Semai – Bahasa Malaysia, Bangi: Institut Alam dan Tamadun Melayu, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Spanish[edit]

Noun[edit]

tap m (uncountable)

  1. tap, tap dancing