\ 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 Sparkes said that Sunny took off after she was zapped by electric fencing. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Chris Hemsworth and Elsa Pataky's Dog Sunny Found After Running Off and Going Missing in Australia," 9 Sep. 2019 During Scott Kelly’s year in space, the astronaut was zapped relentlessly by radiation — the equivalent of 10 chest X-rays a day for more than 11 months starting in March of 2015. NBC News, "A trip to Mars could cause brain damage. Here's how NASA aims to protect astronauts.," 28 Aug. 2019 Two to three liters of water is a good amount to have, as hiking above tree line means 14,000-foot sunshine can zap you of hydration fast. Antonio Olivero, The Know, "A quick guide to hiking Colorado’s tallest 14er: Mount Elbert," 29 Aug. 2019 The chemists then used the tip of an atomic force microscope to zap off the CO groups, eventually removing them all to create their 18-carbon ring (simulated above). Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Carbon atoms marry to form first-ever ring," 15 Aug. 2019 Closer to the edge, heat applied to the milk is better able to zap the bacteria. Chase Purdy, Quartz, "US scientists quadrupled milk’s shelf life using Soviet technology," 8 Aug. 2019 The backbone of any sport is built on professionalism and consistency, but the things that can zap it with life are those rare players who don't play by the rules. SI.com, "Diego Costa Is Trouble But Sport Is Not the Same Without the Troublemakers," 28 July 2019 And then, the team’s occasional bullpen woes zapped them again. Susan Slusser, SFChronicle.com, "Pinch-hit homer helps Twins terminate A’s winning streak at 6," 18 July 2019 More important, providing entertainment services and apps that control everything from the temperature in your home to the best way to get around traffic increasingly depend on private industry's ability to zap information from outer space to earth. Rachel Layne, CBS News, "Space case: Why reaching for the stars could soon be a $1 trillion industry," 16 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Some even are looking beyond drugs, testing if electrical zaps in the brain, along a corridor of neural connections, might activate it in ways that slow Alzheimer’s damage. Washington Post, "Scientists rethink Alzheimer’s, diversifying the drug search," 10 Sep. 2019 Strongly stimulating these neurons is apparently unpleasant; mice in the study avoided electrical zaps to the area. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "Sweet, fatty foods could remodel the brain to drive overeating," 27 June 2019 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

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

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for zap

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with zap

Spanish Central: Translation of zap

Nglish: Translation of zap for Spanish Speakers

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