verb (raps, rapping, rapped)
- 1 [with object] Strike (a hard surface) with a series of rapid audible blows, especially in order to attract attention: he stood up and rapped the table [no object]: she rapped on the windowMore example sentences
- At that moment Peach looked their way and rapped on the table with a jeweled rod.
- Pat anxiously rapped on each of the windows, concerned that occupants of the home might have been trapped inside.
- When the man didn't seem to notice, Joey rapped on the counter hard.
- 1.1Strike (something) several times against a hard surface: she rapped her stick on the floorMore example sentences
- She rapped the ruler even harder on my desk and returned to the blackboard and continued talking about parabolas.
- He rapped his walking stick hard on the dirty cobblestone path, three times in quick succession.
- Mia knocked loudly on the door, rapping her knuckles hard against the steel wall that separated her from her boyfriend.
- 1.2Strike sharply with a stick or similar implement: she rapped my fingers with a rulerMore example sentences
- The combination of the cold and the force of the blow was incredibly painful, but I gritted my teeth and whirled around, rapping him sharply on the knees.
- My father cussed, brandishing a fallen stick and rapping him across his haunches.
- Franki took a spoon and rapped Bridget over the head with it sharply.
- 1.3 • informal Criticize severely: certain banks are to be rapped for delaying interest rate cutsMore example sentences
- At the 1998 Nagano Olympics, he was rapped by Bazay for criticizing the selection of freestyle skier Jean-Luc Brassard as Canada's flag-bearer.
- 2 [no object] • informal , chiefly North American Talk or chat in an easy and familiar manner: we could be here all night rapping about spiritualismMore example sentences
- Jean Grae responds, and then she raps about baseball, sounding like a natural.
- Just call her up to rap about it.
- 3 [no object] Perform rap music: he raps under the name of Mr TMore example sentences
- Here, instead of trying to match their vocals to pop music, players must rap along to a large group of hip-hop favorites.
- The event was a fantastic success with students dancing, rapping and performing poetry against racism.
- While it mainly relies on the music, when Tefrey does decide to rap, he demands your attention.
nounBack to top
- 1A quick, sharp knock or blow: there was a confident rap at the doorMore example sentences
- A sharp rap at the door of the dressing room broke the two out of their romantic interlude.
- Three sharp raps at the door interrupted his speech and Ben looked helplessly to Marie.
- A sharp rap at the door made the quartet's heads turn simultaneously toward the door.
- 1.1 • informal A sharp criticism: social services were smarting from an Ombudsman’s rapMore example sentences
- Removing him for this game serves the dual purpose of delivering a sharp rap to him as he searches about for his best form and adding some extra strength to Kerry's attack in Liam Hassett.
- 2 [mass noun] A type of popular music of US black origin in which words are recited rapidly and rhythmically over an instrumental backing: the label specializes in rap and modern soul [as modifier]: rap artistsMore example sentences
- Both fans of techno and fans of rap music should enjoy this album.
- She was listening rock music and rap from a small black radio that was next to her.
- The book is well written, carefully researched, and nicely organized, and its study of the early origins of rap is fascinating.
- 2.1 [count noun] A piece of rap, or the words themselves: the track’s a surprisingly lyrical rapMore example sentences
- Big Boi's raps are, as always, inventive, the words tumbling out with speed and bite.
- Their raps may be blazing, but the melodies deliberately evoke early Beach Boys memories.
- Vordul's verse is uninspiring and sounds much more like spoken word poetry, rather than a proper rap.
- 3 • informal , chiefly North American A lengthy or impromptu conversation: dropping in after work for a rap over a beerMore example sentences
- He's pretty quiet at the hall meetings and the rap group sessions.
- So whenever Hilary has any of her cronies over, I have to suffer through a rap session blaring from her room.
- In a calm, cool, and extremely friendly way, hold a rap session with your dancers and their parents.
- 4 [usually with adjective or noun modifier] North American • informal A criminal charge, especially of a specified kind: he’s just been acquitted on a murder rapMore example sentences
- What about the career criminal scheduled for lethal injection because a fellow inmate pinned a murder rap on him in exchange for time off?
- Other panelists then joined in discussing whether, if true, this would suggest a perjury rap for him.
- You go into a bar and end up in a fight, one of the two will complain and the other will get an assault rap.
- 5North American • informal A person’s reputation, typically a bad one: why should drag queens get a bad rap?More example sentences
- And I'm not going to lose a lot of sleep thinking they got a bad rap for this woman's execution.
- Oppression, foreign occupation, and military dictatorships get a bad rap.
- I think they get a bad rap in history because they were the losers.
beat the rap
- North American • informal Escape punishment for or be acquitted of a crime: on appeal, he beat this rap by a tricky legal technicalityMore example sentences
- Pearson's book reveals the unseemly tactics that accused women use to beat the rap.
- She beat the rap in August, acquitted of all charges by a federal jury in Memphis.
- Even before the crimes were committed, the White House was planning how to beat the rap.
a rap on (or over) the knuckles
- A reprimand.More example sentences
- Switzerland's not being invited looks like a rap on the knuckles.
- The PNG government, however, rapidly received a rap over the knuckles from Washington.
- Countries who want to skimp on paying for the European Union got a rap on the knuckles from Parliament president Pat Cox.
rap someone on (or over) the knuckles
- Reprimand or criticize someone: the government was rapped over the knuckles for its failure to reform the House of LordsMore example sentences
- Mayo County Council has been rapped on the knuckles by An Bord Pleanála for failing to provide adequate services to areas which have the potential to be properly developed.
- Standard Life has been rapped over the knuckles by the Financial Ombudsman for turning down claims by policyholders who got their weight wrong on application forms.
- One observer said: ‘If they did rap Fisher over the knuckles then no one got to know about it.’
take the rap
- • informal Be punished or blamed, especially for something that is not one’s fault: it didn’t worry him if someone else took the rap for his misdemeanoursMore example sentences
- President Kennedy was told the Bay of Pigs would go smoothly and then he took the rap.
- Most of them are happy to use the bureaucratic machinery to escape from taking the rap.
- I would say that he is taking the rap for it anyway, short of being the scapegoat.
noun[in singular, with negative]
early 19th century: from Irish ropaire 'robber'; used as the name of a counterfeit coin in 18th-cent Ireland.