There are 2 definitions of tap in English:

tap1

Line breaks: tap

noun

1A device by which a flow of liquid or gas from a pipe or container can be controlled: she turned the cold tap on the air-supply tap
More example sentences
  • Look for a model with digital output temperature control, which delivers consistently hot water from the tap, regardless of flow rate.
  • Boil for one minute, then drain through a sieve and rinse under the cold tap.
  • When you turn on the tap, unfiltered water flows through the faucet head at a full-pressure flow as with any conventional faucet.
Synonyms
valve, spout, stopcock, cock, spile; North Americanfaucet, spigot
1.1 (also tapping) British An electrical connection made to some point between the end terminals of a transformer coil or other component.
More example sentences
  • The power system doesn't like it but it compensates for it by changing the tap on the transformer.
  • Loop length, the presence of load coil, bridge tap and wideband noise can affect DSL performance adversely.
  • So you'd have to hold on to the tap, and drop in the transformer plugged into an extension lead from your hallway.
2A device connected to a telephone for listening secretly to someone’s conversations: those taps produced hundreds of hours of recordings
More example sentences
  • Is that because it would have revealed a tap on his phone, a tap on his cell phone and the GPS locator?
  • I have a police scanner and a tap on the police computers and phone lines.
  • Check it out, but be careful leaving comments - it won't be long before the Department of Homeland Security has a tap on his modem.
Synonyms
listening device, wiretap, wire, bug, bugging device, hidden microphone, receiver
2.1An act of listening secretly to someone’s telephone conversation.
More example sentences
  • So far, he has done precisely nothing - despite, as the telephone tap makes clear, having first-class intelligence.
  • Listening in on the tap, a man laughed, putting his head set down.
  • It was the first-ever tap of a private computer network under a 1968 crime act that set legal guidelines for wiretaps.
3An instrument for cutting a threaded hole in a material.
More example sentences
  • The Heiner screw box and its original tap are for threads of two-inch nominal diameter with two and a half threads per inch.
  • This is a hard narrow cone-shaped tool resembling a thread tap, except it has rough reverse threads on it.
  • The surgeon uses a reamer and threaded tap to drill a hole to hold the titanium cage containing the bone graft.
4British A taproom.
More example sentences
  • The tap was a veritable hub of activity and human drama.

verb (taps, tapping, tapped)

[with object] Back to top  
1Draw liquid through the tap or spout of (a cask, barrel, or other container): several barrels had been tapped to celebrate old victories
More example sentences
  • To the back of Adian lay a bar, with flasks and wooden kegs that were tapped for liquid stacked in every available place.
  • The early closing time of pubs meant that carousers were forced to gather at dusk in private homes, where the host would tap a barrel.
  • When we get back the New Belgium kegs get tapped and we start getting primed for the night.
Synonyms
draw liquid from, drain, bleed, milk; broach, open, pierce, puncture
1.1Draw (liquid) from a cask, barrel, or other container: in the cellars of the monasteries the butlers were tapping new and old ale
More example sentences
  • The water needed to be tapped from a reliable spring four miles away raising the cost of the scheme to £3,000 - to be paid by the householders.
  • The deep Israeli wells in the Jordan Valley have good water quality since they tap the Lower Cenomanian aquifer system.
  • President-elect George W. Bush has argued that the oil can be tapped without killing wildlife or marring the environment.
Synonyms
1.2Draw sap from (a tree) by cutting into it.
More example sentences
  • The trees are tapped for latex by cutting spiral grooves in the bark and inserting a spout with a cup for collection of the latex.
  • In summer they might have found fresh honey in the woods produced by wild bees or perhaps tapped maple trees in spring to harvest sweet sap.
  • With the warm days and cold nights, maple trees are tapped for flowing sap.
2Exploit or draw a supply from (a resource): clients from industry seeking to tap Edinburgh’s resources of expertise [no object]: these magazines have tapped into a target market of consumers
More example sentences
  • The two-man crew has tapped into the oxygen supply of a docked cargo ship.
  • There's clearly a huge customer resource yet to be tapped; the question is how to go about it.
  • The groundwater that is tapped into by wells on private lands is in fact a common resource, something nobody can effectively own.
Synonyms
draw on, exploit, milk, make use of, put to use, use, utilize, open up, mine, turn to account
2.1 informal Obtain money or information from (someone): he considered whom he could tap for information
More example sentences
  • As for Paul himself, he is the oddball in his family whom they cannot quite work out, but tap for money as if he was a bank.
  • He, is an introspective artist whose success has left him in a lonely place, where livelihoods rest on his shoulders and old friends regularly tap him for money and favors.
  • In the immediate aftermath of the events, the public may not have thought of libraries as a source to tap for relevant information.
3Connect a device to (a telephone) so that conversation can be listened to secretly: the telephones were tapped by the state security police
More example sentences
  • For really big cases, the agency buys expensive software from a telephone company to tap phones directly.
  • And it is likely that there will be an effort to tap your hard-wired telephone as well - (more on that in a bit).
  • A Scanner is a device that is used to tap into cell phone conversations.
Synonyms
listen in on/to, wiretap, eavesdrop on, spy on, monitor, overhear
informal bug, snoop on, get on record
4Cut a thread in (something) to accept a screw: on most vices, the metal jaws are drilled and tapped to accept screws
More example sentences
  • For this I had to drill holes in the frame and tap them so the screws turn in the frame.
  • The stud is drilled and tapped to accept the front action screw.
  • Drilling and tapping the tough steel of a receiver, while keeping the holes straight and aligned, is a task for a good machinist.

Origin

Old English tæppa 'peg for the vent-hole of a cask', tæppian 'provide (a cask) with a stopper', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch tap and German Zapfen (nouns).

Phrases

on tap

Ready to be poured from a tap: the hard water most of us have on tap
More example sentences
  • We didn't come across a single bar that didn't have at least ten different brews on tap.
  • At 5 p.m., beginning this week, the bar menu starts, served upstairs in a cozy nook outfitted with a small bar, a handful of seats, a chalkboard menu, and beer on tap.
  • While each restaurant carries the 110 beer minimum (30 on tap, 80 or more in bottles), no two menus are alike.
Synonyms
on draught, cask-conditioned, real-ale, from barrels, not bottled/canned
informal Freely available whenever needed: trained staff are on tap from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
More example sentences
  • In the past the producer was simply required to make a batch of programmes in an integrated factory, within which a large range of back-up services were available on tap.
  • This juxtaposition seems topsy-turvy: education should be on tap and drugs should be difficult to obtain.
  • Whenever I feel everything's getting on top of me, I just pop in there and every kind of support and counselling is on tap.
Synonyms
North American informal On schedule to occur: the first space walk is on tap for December
More example sentences
  • A major march is on tap for August 6 in Atlanta to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and to mobilize support for extension of some of the Act's provisions.
  • Also on tap are the launch of a public diplomacy initiative to improve the U.S. image in the Muslim world and a possible trip to the Middle East.
  • Regardless of how he fares on Friday, he has another fight on tap for the fall, though he's a bit less pumped up about that one.

Derivatives

tapless

adjective
More example sentences
  • Before you know it, you will have electrifying combinations for a fun-filled tapless step class.
  • It further comprises a tapless feedback circuit for providing the feedback signal.
  • This class features the step with adjustable heights and a tapless style of choreography for a natural flow.

tappable

adjective
More example sentences
  • There's an innate tappable sympathy for the underdog, in sports as well as investment.
  • If the Federal Communications Commission adopts the proposal, Internet Service Providers and nearly all VoIP companies will have to design their systems to be tappable.
  • The environmentalist opposition to ANWR drilling should probably continue just so that ANWR remains effectively as a national petroleum reserve tappable when oil gets scarce.

Definition of tap in:

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Word of the day neoteny
Pronunciation: nēˈätn-ē
noun
retention of juvenile features in the adult animal

There are 2 definitions of tap in English:

tap2

Line breaks: tap

verb (taps, tapping, tapped)

[with object]
1Strike with a quick light blow or blows: one of my staff tapped me on the shoulder
More example sentences
  • With lifeless voices, singers march through the streets, striking bells and tapping on drums made of buffalo skin.
  • She taps the ‘send’ button and I hear the computer printer crackle in the kitchen behind us as it prints out the order ticket.
  • Gently tap to eliminate excess spice mixture and then coat uniformly with bread crumbs.
Synonyms
knock, rap, strike, beat, drum, pecktouch, pat, nudge, strike lightly, slap lightly, jab, poke, dig, shove, hit
1.1Strike (something) against something else with a quick light blow or blows: Gloria was tapping her feet in time to the music
More example sentences
  • She absently tapped her artistry pencil on the sketch paper as she stared out onto the whitened garden with unseeing eyes.
  • He shifted slightly, but his foot tapped my ankle, causing me to yelp.
  • The one that spoke wore his strawberry blond hair in a braid and was tapping a wickedly curved sword against his shoulder, looking none too impressed with the man below him.
1.2 (tap something out) Produce (a rhythm) with a series of quick light blows on a surface: drums that tapped out a rumba beat
More example sentences
  • "Information," He taps the syllables out soundlessly against his temple, "You see, is the key."
  • Emily and Anna sang along with the radio with Emily tapping the beat out on the steering wheel occasionally.
  • He began tapping a tempo out on the woodblock and nodded his head to the tune.
1.3Write or enter (something) using a keyboard or keypad: he tapped out a few words on the keyboard
More example sentences
  • The electrical surge's frequency was tapped out via Morse code and then transformed into a vibration that eventually came out as sound.
  • And we don't think the fighter pilots will be tapping IMs on keyboards.
  • She stands at a terminal, tapping things into the keyboard.
2 (tap someone up) British informal Approach (a sports player) unlawfully with a view to signing them to another club while they are still under contract with their current one.
3US informal Designate or select (someone) for a task or honour, especially membership of an organization or committee: he had been tapped earlier to serve in Costa Rica
More example sentences
  • But an even higher profile role came in 1987, when Ronald Reagan tapped him to be chairman of the Federal Reserve.
  • The President tapped him last year be the Afghan ambassador, and he's shuttled between Kabul and Washington ever since.
  • But with extensive prior experience in camping, she was tapped to assist with the development of this new program.

noun

Back to top  
1A quick light blow, or the sound of such a blow: there was a sharp tap at the door
More example sentences
  • A quick tap on the first door to his right was all he gave before pushing it open and entering.
  • She started toward her bed, but just as she took her first step, a sharp tap sounded at the French doors that led to the terrace outside her window.
  • A light tap at the door announced the arrival of the servant.
Synonyms
touch, pat, nudge, light blow, light slap, jab, poke, dig, shove, pressure
2 [mass noun] Tap dancing: a rhythm much used in tap
More example sentences
  • Soon after she got a job as a dancing assistant in tap at Arthur Murray Studios.
  • They are paired with six expert young dancers who each dance in a particular style - bhangra, street, musical theatre, pop, Irish dancing and tap.
  • Dance students of all ages will perform a variety of song and dance including tap, classical ballet, jazz, national character and expressive dance.
2.1 [count noun] A piece of metal attached to the toe and heel of a tap dancer’s shoe to make a tapping sound.
More example sentences
  • They were carrying canes and doing a sort of tap-dance, minus the taps.
  • They have a metal tap on the toe/ball of the foot section, and another on the heel.
  • Popular in 19th-century minstrel shows, versions such as ‘buck-and-wing’ (danced vigorously in wooden-soled shoes) and ‘soft-shoe’ (shoes) developed as separate techniques; by 1925 they had merged, and metal taps were attached to shoe heels and toes to produce a more pronounced sound.
3 (taps) [treated as singular or plural] US A bugle call for lights to be put out in army quarters: the bugler played taps
[so named because the signal was originally sounded on a drum]
More example sentences
  • At taps, he personally inspects each man with standards that would make a recruit company commander flinch, says goodnight and turns out their light.
  • After getting it to his satisfaction, he directed me to sound that call for Taps thereafter in place of the regulation call.
  • Taps began as a revision to the signal for Extinguish Lights (Lights Out) at the end of the day.
3.1A bugle call sounded at a military funeral.
More example sentences
  • No bugle is to sound taps for his military triumphs.
  • The US Department of Defense is studying the use of a digital bugle to render taps at veterans' military funerals.
  • The manual for Military Infantry Drill published in 1891 made taps mandatory at military funerals and playing taps remains an honour today.
3.2British (In the Guide movement) a closing song sung at an evening camp fire or at the end of a meeting.
More example sentences
  • Seeing so many nationalities represented at the ceremonies, and hearing the World Song, Our Chalet song and Taps sung in so many different languages was a very moving experience.
  • Our unit has made a tradition of humming taps and having the girl that received the Good Turn squeeze recite the Promise.
  • Each week we find ourselves constantly scrambling to fit the opening, an active game, all the program work plus a campfire and taps into a two hour window.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French taper, or of imitative origin; compare with clap1 and rap1.

Derivatives

tapper

noun
More example sentences
  • Each ‘Kerasudha’ unit should have at least 100 trees, which will give direct employment to 10 toddy tappers, three women who process the drink and several others who market the produce.
  • Drawing on evidence from female villagers, one male survivor and a former Malayan police officer, he claims that all of those who died were unarmed rubber tappers and tin miners from the Chinese ethnic minority.
  • This year's Living Treasure in American Dance Award was presented to 92-year-old tap dancer Leonard Reed, inventor of the Shim Sham Shimmy, now a standard step for all tappers.

Definition of tap in: