zap

1 of 3

interjection

1
used to express a sound made by or as if by a gun
2
used to indicate a sudden or instantaneous occurrence

zap

2 of 3

verb

zapped; zapping; zaps

transitive verb

1
a
: to get rid of, destroy, or kill especially with or as if with sudden force
b
: to hit with or as if with a sudden concentrated application of force or energy
c
: to irradiate especially with microwaves
2
a
: to propel suddenly or speedily
b
: to transport instantaneously
3
: to avoid watching (something, such as a television commercial) by changing channels especially with a remote control or by fast-forwarding

intransitive verb

1
: to move with speed or force
2
: to change television channels using a remote control

zap

3 of 3

noun

: a pungent or zestful quality : zip
also : a sudden forceful blow

Examples of zap in a Sentence

Verb The flowers were zapped by the cold weather. The aliens in the movie zapped people from spaceships. She reheated her muffin by zapping it in the microwave for a few seconds. I zapped through the channels for a while before falling asleep. We tape the show so we can zap through the commercials.
Recent Examples on the Web
Interjection
Yeah, truly, like passing a ball around and zip zap zopping. Lauren Puckett-Pope, ELLE, 9 Aug. 2023
Verb
Many common prescriptions — from blood pressure medications to anti-depressants — can zap our energy levels. Trisha Pasricha, Washington Post, 8 July 2024 Movies are dying and then — zap! — here’s Top Gun: Maverick to save them. Ross Douthat, National Review, 13 June 2024
Noun
One guy who is sent into virtual existence by the zap of a laser. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 15 July 2024 Following the zap, the crayfish were placed into separate tanks which had darker and lighter areas. Mack Degeurin, Popular Science, 4 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for zap 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'zap.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Interjection

imitative

First Known Use

Interjection

1929, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1942, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1963, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of zap was in 1929

Dictionary Entries Near zap

Cite this Entry

“Zap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zap. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

zap

verb
ˈzap
zapped; zapping
1
: to destroy or kill by or as if by shooting
2
: to hit suddenly and forcefully

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