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
And that means the Fed can stay focused on zapping inflation, without worrying that its fight is eroding business’ willingness or ability to hire, or people’s ability to find stable jobs. Rachel Siegel, Washington Post, 16 Apr. 2024 The document ended with a cartoony image of six Transformers in mountainous terrain, zapping lasers at one another. Steven Levy, WIRED, 20 Mar. 2024 Simply pop fresh kernels into the base and zap for a few minutes to enjoy delicious results. Kat Romero, Rolling Stone, 20 Feb. 2024 The City Council may solve that problem in a counterintuitive way: by zapping many of those vacant positions. Dakota Smith, Los Angeles Times, 27 Jan. 2024 This can create a lot of turmoil, reduce cohesiveness and zap the passion right out of the team. Nick Leighton, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Encouraged by the prospect of wishing for a celebrity, another friend asks for Post Malone, who is promptly zapped into the bar. Sabrina Weiss, Peoplemag, 6 Feb. 2024 Travel is one of those things everyone seems to love, but there are plenty of overplayed fads that can zap the joy out of one of life’s most fulfilling experiences. Krista Simmons, Sunset Magazine, 9 Jan. 2024 Itchy eyes, sneezing, and coughing can zap the fun out of playing outside in that fresh air—and allergy symptoms often occur inside, too. Emily Shiffer, Parents, 22 Nov. 2023
Noun
While the new pearls may be ephemeral, their quick flavor zap makes for a fun, new beverage. Antonia Debianchi, Peoplemag, 7 May 2024 Some people joked that purple laser zaps extraterrestrial creatures in the eye while others took a mathematical approach to their inference. Brianna Taylor, Sacramento Bee, 11 Apr. 2024 Scientists found that reward-seeking rats became lever-pressing pros, pushing the bar down over and over again in exchange for food, drugs or even a gentle electric zap directly to the pleasure center of the brain. Emily Anthes, New York Times, 23 Jan. 2024 If such a device is used properly, the worst potential complications will probably be mild skin irritation from the electrical zaps or diarrhea from an overstimulated digestive system. Shi En Kim, Scientific American, 28 Dec. 2023 Brain zaps are sensory disturbances that feel like electric shocks inside the brain.1 Common triggers of brain zaps include moving the eyes and head, stress, and tiredness. Maggie O'Neill, Health, 4 July 2023 Before each zap, a sound goes off which, as a patient, is an opportunity to prepare for the sharp, needle-like laser. Essence, 29 Nov. 2023 That's where oversized electric blankets can help, offering a zap of heat to protect you from the chills and drafts that creep into your home. Toni Sutton, Peoplemag, 27 Sep. 2023 Somewhere out there, though, is a product that seems pointless to me but gives you zaps of joy by solving a tiny problem. Shira Ovide, Washington Post, 29 Aug. 2023

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 25 May. 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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