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[rap] /ræp/
verb (used with object), rapped, rapping.
to strike, especially with a quick, smart, or light blow:
He rapped the door with his cane.
to utter sharply or vigorously:
to rap out a command.
(of a spirit summoned by a medium) to communicate (a message) by raps (often followed by out).
Slang. to criticize sharply:
Critics could hardly wait to rap the play.
Slang. to arrest, detain, or sentence for a crime.
Metallurgy. to jar (a pattern) loose from a sand mold.
verb (used without object), rapped, rapping.
to knock smartly or lightly, especially so as to make a noise:
to rap on a door.
Slang. to talk or discuss, especially freely, openly, or volubly; chat.
Slang. to talk rhythmically to the beat of rap music.
a quick, smart, or light blow:
a rap on the knuckles with a ruler.
the sound produced by such a blow:
They heard a loud rap at the door.
Slang. blame or punishment, especially for a crime.
Slang. a criminal charge:
a murder rap.
Slang. response, reception, or judgment:
The product has been getting a very bad rap.
  1. a talk, conversation, or discussion; chat.
  2. talk designed to impress, convince, etc.; spiel:
    a high-pressure sales rap.
beat the rap, Slang. to succeed in evading the penalty for a crime; be acquitted:
The defendant calmly insisted that he would beat the rap.
take the rap, Slang. to take the blame and punishment for a crime committed by another:
He took the rap for the burglary.
Origin of rap1
1300-50; 1960-65 for def 8; Middle English rappen (v.), rap(p)e (noun); akin to Swedish rappa to beat, drub, German rappeln to rattle; senses “to talk,” “conversation, talk” perhaps of distinct orig., though the hypothesis that it is a shortening of repartee is questionable
Can be confused
rap, wrap.
rapped, rapt, wrapped. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for rap out
Historical Examples
  • That broad-faced hammer of his seems to rap out wisdom as well as drive pegs.

  • So how could I, for the first time in my life, rap out my orders like a veteran?

    At Plattsburg Allen French
  • Then, after giving the number, we rap out the message, also by numbers.

    A Quarter-Back's Pluck Lester Chadwick
  • Yet, thinking this might have been accidental, I held up five and said: "rap out this number!"

    Lola Henny Kindermann
  • He was about to rap out an angry retort when a knock came at the partition door.

  • He vexed me, and said something about the King, which made me rap out an oath.

    Sweet Mace George Manville Fenn
  • I believe you really are a little scared of it, like Mr. Foster, and think it may rap out something rude.

    The Third Window Anne Douglas Sedgwick
  • When you get to the window, take your knife and rap out a message in International Code.

  • You should rap out some of our old sweet-innocent garden oaths with her—'Carnation!

  • Sworn at, I dare say, if those godly Dutchmen are allowed to rap out an oath.

    Graham of Claverhouse Ian Maclaren
British Dictionary definitions for rap out


verb raps, rapping, rapped
to strike (a fist, stick, etc) against (something) with a sharp quick blow; knock: he rapped at the door
(intransitive) to make a sharp loud sound, esp by knocking
(transitive) to rebuke or criticize sharply
(transitive) foll by out. to put (forth) in sharp rapid speech; utter in an abrupt fashion: to rap out orders
(intransitive) (slang) to talk, esp volubly
(intransitive) to perform a rhythmic monologue with a musical backing
rap over the knuckles, to reprimand
a sharp quick blow or the sound produced by such a blow
a sharp rebuke or criticism
(slang) voluble talk; chatter: stop your rap
  1. a fast, rhythmic monologue over a prerecorded instrumental track
  2. (as modifier): rap music
(slang) a legal charge or case
(US & Canadian, slang) beat the rap, to escape punishment or be acquitted of a crime
(slang) take the rap, to suffer the consequences of a mistake, misdeed, or crime, whether guilty or not
Derived Forms
rapping, noun
Word Origin
C14: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish rappa to beat


(used with a negative) the least amount (esp in the phrase not to care a rap)
Word Origin
C18: probably from ropaire counterfeit coin formerly current in Ireland


verb, noun
(Austral, informal) a variant spelling of wrap (sense 8), wrap (sense 14)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for rap out



c.1300, "a quick, light blow, stroke," also "a fart" (late 15c.), native or borrowed from a Scandinavian source (cf. Danish rap, Swedish rapp "light blow"); either way probably of imitative origin (cf. slap, clap).

Slang meaning "rebuke, blame, responsibility" is from 1777; specific meaning "criminal indictment" (cf. rap sheet, 1960) is from 1903. To beat the rap is from 1927. Meaning "music with improvised words" first in New York City slang, 1979 (see rap (v.2)).


mid-14c., "strike, smite, knock," from rap (n.). Related: Rapped; rapping. To rap (someone's) knuckles "give light punishment" is from 1749. Related: Rapped; rapping.

"talk informally, chat," 1929, popularized c.1965 in Black English, possibly first in Caribbean English and from British slang meaning "say, utter" (1879), originally "to utter a sudden oath" (1540s), ultimately from rap (n.). As a noun in this sense from 1898. Meaning "to perform rap music" is recorded by 1979. Related: Rapped; rapping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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rap out in Culture

rap definition

A form of pop music characterized by spoken or chanted rhymed lyrics, with a syncopated, repetitive accompaniment. Rap music originated in the second half of the twentieth century in black urban communities. (See also hip-hop.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for rap out



  1. A rebuke; blame; responsibility; knock: Who'll take the rap for this? (1777+)
  2. Arrest, indictment, or arraignment for a crime: Gangs with influence can beat about 90 percent of their ''raps'' (1903+)
  3. An official complaint or reprimand: Honest cops will often take a ''rap'' or complaint rather than testify against a fellow cop (1928+)

Related Terms

beat the rap, take the rap



  1. Informal talk; candid conversation and communion (1929+)
  2. rap song (1970s+ Black)


  1. To converse; chat and exchange views, esp in a very candid way: drugs, youth cult, ecstasy questing, rapping (1929+)
  2. To chant a rap song (1970s+ Black)

[origin unknown; perhaps related to repartee, perhaps to rapport, perhaps to rapid]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for rap out


recurrent abdominal pain
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with rap out


In addition to the idiom beginning with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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