Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

tap

play
noun \ˈtap\

Definition of tap

  1. 1a :  a plug for a hole (as in a cask) :  spigotb :  a device consisting of a spout and valve attached to the end of a pipe to control the flow of a fluid :  faucet

  2. 2a :  a liquor drawn through a tapb :  the procedure of removing fluid (as from a body cavity)

  3. 3 :  a tool for forming an internal screw thread

  4. 4 :  an intermediate point in an electric circuit where a connection may be made

  5. 5 :  wiretap

on tap

  1. 1 :  ready to be drawn from a large container (as a cask or keg) <ale on tap>

  2. 2 :  broached or furnished with a tap

  3. 3 :  on hand :  available <services instantly on tap — Hugh Dwan>

  4. 4 :  coming up <other matches on tap — H. W. Wind>



Origin and Etymology of tap

Middle English tappe, from Old English tæppa; akin to Old High German zapho tap


First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Alcoholic Beverage Terms


2

tap

transitive verb

Definition of tap

tapped

tapping

  1. 1 :  to let out or cause to flow by piercing or by drawing a plug from the containing vessel <tap wine from a cask>

  2. 2a :  to pierce so as to let out or draw off a fluid <tap maple trees>b :  to draw out, from, or upon <tap new sources of revenue> <the story taps powerful emotions>

  3. 3 :  to cut in on (as a telephone or radio signal) to get information

  4. 4 :  to form an internal screw thread in by means of a tap

  5. 5 :  to get money from as a loan or gift

  6. 6 :  to connect (a street gas or water main) with a local supply

tapper

noun

tap into

  1. :  to make a strong or advantageous connection with <trying to tap into a new market>



15th Century

First Known Use of tap

15th century


3

tap

verb

Definition of tap

tapped

tapping

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to strike lightly especially with a slight sound

  3. 2 :  to give a light blow with <tap a pencil on the table>

  4. 3 :  to bring about by repeated light blows <tap out a story on the typewriter>

  5. 4 :  to repair by putting a tap on

  6. 5 :  select, designate <was tapped for police commissioner>; specifically :  to elect to membership (as in a fraternity)

  7. intransitive verb
  8. 1 :  to strike a light audible blow :  rap

  9. 2 :  to walk with light audible steps

  10. 3 :  tap-dance

tapper

noun


Origin and Etymology of tap

Middle English tappen, from Old French taper to strike with the flat of the hand, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle High German tāpe paw, blow dealt with the paw


First Known Use: 13th century


4

tap

noun

Definition of tap

  1. 1a :  a light usually audible blow; also :  its soundb :  one of several usually rapid drumbeats on a snare drum

  2. 2 :  half sole

  3. 3 :  a small metal plate for the sole or heel of a shoe

  4. 4 :  tap dance 1

  5. 5 :  flap 7



14th Century

First Known Use of tap

14th century



TAP Defined for Kids

1

tap

play
verb \ˈtap\

Definition of tap for Students

tapped

tapping

  1. :  to hit lightly

tapper

noun



2

tap

play
noun

Definition of tap for Students

  1. :  a light blow or its sound <There was a tap at the window.>




3

tap

play
noun

Definition of tap for Students

on tap

  1. :  coming up <What's on tap for the weekend?>




4

tap

play
verb

Definition of tap for Students

tapped

tapping

  1. 1 :  to let out or cause to flow by making a hole or by pulling out a plug <He tapped water from a barrel.>

  2. 2 :  to make a hole in to draw off a liquid <We tap maple trees for sap.>

  3. 3 :  to draw from or upon <I tapped the last of my savings.>

  4. 4 :  to connect into (a telephone wire) to listen secretly

tapper

noun



Medical Dictionary

1

tap

play
noun \ˈtap\

Medical Definition of tap

  1. :  the procedure of removing fluid (as from a body cavity)—see lumbar puncture




2

tap

transitive verb

Medical Definition of tap

tapped

;

tapping

  1. :  to pierce so as to let out or draw off a fluid <tap the spine for a specimen of cerebrospinal fluid>




3

tap

transitive verb

Medical Definition of tap

tapped

;

tapping

  1. :  to strike lightly especially with a slight sound




4

tap

noun

Medical Definition of tap

  1. :  a light usually audible blow; also :  its sound





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up tap? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

of or relating to the heavens

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

dog-eating-apple

Which is a synonym of asperse?

divulge beat placate defame
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ