\ 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


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



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 Grocery prices, the cost of eating out and overall consumer prices continue to zap more cash from consumer wallets. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 13 May 2021 Additionally, the loss of many pleasurable activities in a COVID lifestyle can lead to stress, which can lead to a depressed mood, which can zap a person’s energy. Natasha Gural, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2021 Another idea previously pursued by the Army was that that because the plasma filaments conduct electricity, they could be used to zap IEDs from a distance, while European researchers are trying to use them to control lightning. David Hambling, Forbes, 11 Mar. 2021 Some pundits predicted that Trump's lack of Twitter access would zap him of much of his sway. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, 1 Mar. 2021 The Shredder tool can zap any kind of file, even the ones that the Finder steadfastly refuses to purge. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 25 Feb. 2021 Perhaps a parting of clouds permitted a few more sunbeams to zap the air at the official National Weather Service station at Reagan National Airport. Washington Post, 24 Feb. 2021 The cereal box-sized instrument is equipped with a suite of lasers that will zap nearby rocks to learn more about their chemical and mineralogical composition. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, 18 Feb. 2021 Using a cell that contains fluorescent proteins, researchers zap the region in question with a laser to darken the molecules and then trace how long the fluorescence takes to diffuse back in from other parts of the cell. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, 21 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the video, Hemani Kalucha, the science payload uplink lead for SuperCam, explains why the ability to zap rocks from 23 feet away is so valuable to the rover and to the scientists that will eventually use the data. Mike Wehner, BGR, 12 June 2021 There’s also volcanic ash that’s rich in active enzymes, sourced from Jeju Island in South Korea, to prevent breakouts and zap excess oil. Celia Shatzman, Forbes, 29 May 2021 One of these projects involves using catapults to launch small unmanned aircraft which zap clouds with an electric charge. Paul Douglas, Star Tribune, 28 May 2021 But one zap in the microwave and your crinkle cut inevitably becomes a wrinkled mess. Katie Strasberg Rousso, Southern Living, 8 May 2021 The machine also features LG TurboSteam technology to zap wrinkles and odors in just 10 minutes. Korin Miller, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2021 The hot dishes on Baumé’s menu ($98/person), including ora king salmon mousse wrapped in poached leek, required only a quick zap in the microwave. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Feb. 2021 Pickard's happy hour crowd were swapping digital cash in milliseconds at one cent a zap. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 7 Feb. 2021 The Spurs have new teammates — robots whose role is to zap germs, including the coronavirus, inside the AT&T Center. Brandon Lingle, ExpressNews.com, 14 Jan. 2021

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


1929, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1942, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1963, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for zap



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Learn More About zap

Statistics for zap

Cite this Entry

“Zap.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/zap. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for zap



English Language Learners Definition of zap

: 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.


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on zap

Nglish: Translation of zap for Spanish Speakers


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