\ ˈzap How to pronounce zap (audio) \

Definition of zap

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

zap

verb
zapped; zapping

Definition of zap (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : 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
2a : 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 a videotape

intransitive verb

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

zap

noun

Definition of zap (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But zapping frizz, adding moisture, and pumping up the shine factor? Allure, "The 14 Best Gels for Curly Hair," 31 Oct. 2018 Brokers on the ground also report a bit of buyer fatigue after an unusually fast winter market zapped the energy of buyers who are now bowing out. Mike Rosenberg, The Seattle Times, "More Seattle-area home sellers lower list prices as market cools way down," 6 Aug. 2018 On top of that, days that feature a lot of ups and downs on the trail can zap the strength and stamina from your legs too, potentially requiring a little extra time to recover. Kraig Becker, Popular Mechanics, "9 Things to Know Before You Hike the Pacific Crest Trail," 5 Nov. 2018 Some of the staff will remain at the center until one or two in the morning, painstakingly selecting cells that look hardy and poking them with vanishingly tiny glass pipettes to zap them with electricity and record their response. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Heroes of Science Who Are Unlocking the Brain," 3 Oct. 2018 Weiman's Wax Away also does a good job zapping wax from surfaces. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Way to Remove Candle Wax from Clothes, Carpet, and More," 24 Dec. 2018 Photo: Annie Tritt for The Wall Street Journal Hospitals already zap equipment with ultraviolet light to sanitize it, but the lamps are off-limits to people, because of health hazards. WSJ, "New Ideas to Fight the Flu," 20 Nov. 2018 Retallick admitted zapping a warden’s deer decoy with his stun gun after a realignment meeting. Todd Richmond, The Seattle Times, "State ranger fired after urinating on truck, bullying worker," 21 Apr. 2018 Lost Spirits in Los Angeles has developed technologies that zap its products with high-intensity light and heat in a reactor. Alan Goldfarb, The Verge, "Artificial whiskey is coming, and one company is betting you’ll drink up," 23 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

According to Yahoo, a Pittsburgh woman heard a zap from her headphones and felt a shock in her mouth earlier this year. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "A Teen Died After Reportedly Being Shocked by His Headphones," 10 Dec. 2018 The Pixel line was already known for its powerhouse of a camera, but Night Sight increases its utility by cutting through darkness without the violent zap of a flash. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Pixel's Night Sight is Declaring War on Flash Photography," 15 Nov. 2018 What feels like a subtle tightening of the muscles and some mild TASER-like tingles at 10 or 20 percent intensity grows to an extreme gripping and upward pull with sharper zaps. Jolene Edgar, Allure, "What Is EMSulpt? Here's Everything You Need to Know About the Body-Contouring Treatment," 17 Sep. 2018 Carrying photography equipment and moving around in places that aren’t up to code brings with it other hazards, too, ranging from electrical zaps to collapsing ceilings. Anna Orso, Philly.com, "The woman who died in Pennypack Creek was a 'queen' in the urban exploration world," 6 June 2018 Indeed, the spectacle of the zap emerged from a community with strong ties to live performance. Sascha Cohen, Smithsonian, "How Gay Activists Challenged the Politics of Civility," 10 July 2018 The first groups to orchestrate zaps included the GAA and Gay Liberation Front (GLF), which formed in the wake of Stonewall and committed to nonviolent, but militant, resistance. Sascha Cohen, Smithsonian, "How Gay Activists Challenged the Politics of Civility," 10 July 2018 The zap of the Taser can be heard, and Brown groans. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "Milwaukee police stepped on Sterling Brown's ankle, mocked him, bodycam footage shows," 6 June 2018 The team then applied zap and zip to 81 patients who were minimally conscious or in a vegetative state. Christof Koch, Scientific American, "What Is Consciousness?," 8 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zap.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of zap

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

History and Etymology for zap

Interjection

imitative

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Statistics for zap

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for zap

The first known use of zap was in 1929

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More Definitions for zap

zap

verb

English Language Learners Definition of zap

informal
: to attack, destroy, or kill (someone or something) quickly
: to hit (someone or something) with electricity
: to shoot (someone or something) with an electric gun, laser, etc.

zap

verb
\ ˈzap How to pronounce zap (audio) \
zapped; zapping

Kids Definition of zap

: to hit with or as if with a jolt of electricity Lightning zapped the tree.

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More from Merriam-Webster on zap

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zap

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for zap

Spanish Central: Translation of zap

Nglish: Translation of zap for Spanish Speakers

Comments on zap

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