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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 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

Rhymes with tap



transitive verb

Definition of tap


  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

tap·per 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




Definition of tap


  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

tap·per noun

Origin 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




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

Seen and Heard

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February 14, 2016

to hug and kiss another person

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