noun (1)
tap·​per | \ ˈta-pər How to pronounce tapper (audio) \
plural tappers

Definition of tapper

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one who taps something or produces a tapping sound a toe tapper a pencil tapper A low tap was heard at the room door. Mr. Bob Sawyer looked expressively at his friend, and bade the tapper come in …— Charles Dickens
2 baseball : a lightly struck ground ball … fielded a ninth-inning tapper— Peter Gammons … scored the winning run on Tony Batista's weak but effective tapper over the mound.— Gordon Edes
3a : a person who tap dances : tap dancer The dancing on drums is remarkable, but the show-stealer is something called Sand Dance, which turns out to be just that: lanky tapper Guillem Alonso … steps and shuffles on a thin layer of sand.— Gordon Cox
b : tap shoe … put on his tappers with a sparkling shoehorn …— Michael Small


noun (2)
plural tappers

Definition of tapper (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : one who extracts a fluid by tapping something keg tappers tree tappers The state of Vermont is packed with maple trees and maple tappers and is famed for its maple syrup.— Jamie Harrison and Shelley Boris … set aside large areas of Brazilian rainforest as "extractive reserves," where rubber tappers, nut gatherers, and other local peoples can harvest renewable forest products.Environmental Defense Fund also : something that is tapped to extract fluid … Japanese maples are excellent tappers. — Steven R. Lorton
2 : one who connects to something (such as a telephone line or radio signal) to obtain information surreptitiously The Internet … has provided new frontiers for law enforcement tappers.— John Schwartz … hired a tapper to intercept telegraph messages in the Civil War.— John Schwartz

First Known Use of tapper

Noun (1)

1810, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of tapper was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Tapper.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tapper. Accessed 21 Apr. 2021.

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