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

Example Sentences

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
Verb
Hoping to zap the invaders with a coherent beam of green light that deeply annoys the birds, biologist Tim Shields took aim. Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2022 While zapping grease, these ingredients also tend to zap everything else: vibrance, bounce, swing. Allure Editors, Allure, 13 Sep. 2022 Anything from harsh styling products to air pollution can zap moisture and dull shine — but dairy products like sour cream can help to reverse this damage. Elizabeth Berry, Woman's Day, 7 Sep. 2022 In the case of JagSat-1, that’s to zap the plasma with an electrical pulse and measure the results. al, 31 Aug. 2022 Not even the electrifying Foster is enough to zap some life into this tale of court intrigue and the resulting clash of warriors. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, 8 Sep. 2022 Everything from stress to diet to hormones can cause pimples, but there's one acne device that can zap them away in just three minutes, and it has just been restocked. Nicol Natale, Peoplemag, 26 Aug. 2022 Mindstorm holds up his end of the bargain, but before Hughie can zap him away… Soldier Boy shows up and beats the ever-living s— out of Mindstorm. Alex Raiman, EW.com, 1 July 2022 The alcohol will zap the oily residue and grime left by a human hand. Berit Thorkelson, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Aug. 2022
Noun
But the real stars are the, ahem, stars—pimple patches of various sizes that help zap zits quickly and gently without popping. Garrett Munce, Men's Health, 11 Nov. 2022 In the study, surgeons implanted a device that learned to detect when the patients had a craving to binge eat, and then deliver a small zap to the brain to lessen the craving. Erika Edwards, NBC News, 30 Aug. 2022 Very simply: unpacking and packing is a hassle and a time-zap, and traditional luggage does nothing to alleviate that, ours does. Bridget Arsenault, Forbes, 17 Aug. 2022 But bleach, a powerful cleaner, can be used to zap germs, brighten surfaces, and eliminate odors. Megan Boettcher, Better Homes & Gardens, 4 Aug. 2022 At the point of sale, merchants put cards into clunky manual imprinters, sometimes called zip-zap machines, to record the card’s embossed data on flimsy slips of paper. James R. Hagerty, WSJ, 28 July 2022 If this student has veered away from the assignment a few too many times, the teacher can take remote control of the device and zap the tab themselves. Wired, 4 Aug. 2022 Think about the simple telegraph set, where one wire carries a signal that is transmitted one zap or quiet space at a time. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 29 Apr. 2022 With an electric zap, the liquid shifts forward; its body follows with the air sac acting like a tail. Rasha Aridi, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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 1 Dec. 2022.

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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