wiretap

1 of 2

verb

wire·​tap ˈwī(-ə)r-ˌtap How to pronounce wiretap (audio)
wiretapped; wiretapping; wiretaps

intransitive verb

: to tap a telephone or telegraph wire or cellular signal in order to get information

transitive verb

: to tap the telephone of

wiretap

2 of 2

noun

1
: the act or an instance of wiretapping
2
: an electrical connection for wiretapping

Examples of wiretap in a Sentence

Verb The FBI wiretapped his phone. Noun Federal agents put a wiretap on his phone. Investigators listened to the wiretaps for clues about the suspect's whereabouts.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Section 702 permits the US government to wiretap communications between Americans and foreigners overseas. Dell Cameron, WIRED, 12 Apr. 2024 The car was rented under Blanchard’s name, which allowed detectives the access to wiretap his phone and track his every move. Time, 13 July 2023
Noun
After Barnes body was found, Johnson mused to family members that investigators might find DNA under her fingernails, according to recordings obtained from a Maryland State Police wiretap. Cassidy Jensen, Baltimore Sun, 3 July 2024 Undercover surveillance teams and wiretaps also produced evidence of Escárcega’s alleged involvement planning the attack. Alex Riggins, The Mercury News, 28 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for wiretap 

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

Word History

First Known Use

Verb

1918, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun

1907, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of wiretap was in 1907

Dictionary Entries Near wiretap

Cite this Entry

“Wiretap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wiretap. Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

wiretap

1 of 2 verb
wire·​tap ˈwī(ə)r-ˌtap How to pronounce wiretap (audio)
: to tap a telephone or telegraph wire to get information
wiretapper noun

wiretap

2 of 2 noun
: the act or an instance of wiretapping

Legal Definition

wiretap

1 of 2 verb
wire·​tap ˈwīr-ˌtap How to pronounce wiretap (audio)
wiretapped; wiretapping

intransitive verb

: to engage in wiretapping
had probable cause to wiretap

transitive verb

: to interpret through wiretapping
a wiretapped telephone conversation
also : to connect to the telephone line of for the purpose of wiretapping
wiretapped her home
compare bug, eavesdrop

wiretap

2 of 2 noun
1
: an act or instance of wiretapping
we have held previously that wiretaps are a form of a searchWhack v. State, 615 A.2d 1226 (1992)
2
: an electrical connection for wiretapping compare pen register

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