Meaning of TAP in English


/ tæp; NAmE / verb , noun

■ verb ( -pp- )


to hit sb/sth quickly and lightly :

[ v ]

Someone tapped at the door.

He was busy tapping away at his computer.

[ vn ]

Ralph tapped me on the shoulder.


if you tap your fingers, feet, etc. or they tap , you hit them gently against a table, the floor, etc., for example to the rhythm of music :

[ vn ]

He kept tapping his fingers on the table.

[ v ]

The music set everyone's feet tapping.


tap (into) sth to make use of a source of energy, knowledge, etc. that already exists :

[ vn ]

We need to tap the expertise of the people we already have.

[ v ]

The movie seems to tap into a general sentimentality about animals.


[ vn ] ( especially BrE ) to fit a device to a telephone so that sb's calls can be listened to secretly :

He was convinced his phone was being tapped.

—see also wiretapping


[ vn ] to cut into a tree in order to get liquid from it


[ vn ] [ usually passive ] ( NAmE ) to choose sb to do a particular job :

Richards has been tapped to replace the retiring chairperson.


[ vn ] ( phonetics ) to produce a tap (6)

SYN flap


- tap sb for sth

- tap sth in / out

- tap sth out

■ noun


( especially BrE ) ( NAmE usually fau·cet ) [ C ] a device for controlling the flow of water from a pipe into a bath/ bathtub or sink :

bath taps

the hot / cold tap (= the tap that hot / cold water comes out of)

Turn the tap on / off .

Don't leave the tap running.

the sound of a dripping tap

—see also tap water


[ C ] a device for controlling the flow of liquid or gas from a pipe or container :

a gas tap

beer taps


[ C ] a light hit with your hand or fingers :

a tap at / on the door

He felt a tap on his shoulder and turned round.


[ C ] an act of fitting a device to a telephone so that sb's telephone calls can be listened to secretly :

a phone tap


[ U ] = tap-dancing


[ C ] ( phonetics ) a speech sound which is produced by striking the tongue quickly and lightly against the part of the mouth behind the upper front teeth. The /t/ in later in American English and the /r/ in very in some British accents are examples of taps.

SYN flap


- on tap



noun senses 1 to 2 and noun sense 4 verb senses 3 to 5 Old English tæppa peg for the vent-hole of a cask , tæppian provide (a cask) with a stopper , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch tap and German Zapfen (nouns).

verb senses 1 to 2 and noun sense 3 noun sense 5 and verb sense 6 Middle English : from Old French taper , or of imitative origin; compare with the verb clap and rap .

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.