1 [sap]
the juice or vital circulating fluid of a plant, especially of a woody plant.
any vital body fluid.
energy; vitality.
Slang. a fool; dupe.
Metallurgy. soft metal at the core of a bar of blister steel.
verb (used with object), sapped, sapping.
to drain the sap from.

before 900; Middle English; Old English sæp; cognate with Dutch sap; akin to German Saft juice, Old Norse safi; in def. 5 a shortening of saphead Unabridged


2 [sap]
Fortification. a deep, narrow trench constructed so as to form an approach to a besieged place or an enemy's position.
verb (used with object), sapped, sapping.
to approach (a besieged place or an enemy position) by means of deep, narrow trenches protected by gabions or parapets.
to dig such trenches in (ground).
to undermine; weaken or destroy insidiously.
verb (used without object), sapped, sapping.
Fortification. to dig a sap.

1585–95; < French sape (noun), derivative of saper to dig a trench < Italian zappare, a military term, based on zappa hoe (compare dialectal Italian zappo he-goat < ?)

3. impair, enfeeble, deplete, exhaust, enervate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sap1 (sæp)
1.  a solution of mineral salts, sugars, etc, that circulates in a plant
2.  any vital body fluid
3.  energy; vigour
4.  slang a gullible or foolish person
5.  another name for sapwood
vb , saps, sapping, sapped
6.  to drain of sap
[Old English sæp; related to Old High German sapf, German Saft juice, Middle Low German sapp, Sanskrit sabar milk juice]

sap2 (sæp)
1.  a deep and narrow trench used to approach or undermine an enemy position, esp in siege warfare
vb , saps, sapping, sapped
2.  to undermine (a fortification, etc) by digging saps
3.  (tr) to weaken
[C16 zappe, from Italian zappa spade, of uncertain origin; perhaps from Old Italian (dialect) zappo a goat]

abbreviation for
South African Police

SAP2 (sæp)
n acronym for
Standard Assessment Procedure, the recognized performance indicator for measuring energy efficiency in buildings

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"liquid in a plant," O.E. sæp, from P.Gmc. *sapom (cf. M.L.G., M.Du., Du. sap, O.H.G. saf, Ger. Saft "juice"), from PIE *sapon- (cf. L. sapere "to taste"), from base *sab- "juice, fluid" (cf. Skt. sabar- "sap, milk, nectar").

"simpleton," 1815, probably from earlier sapskull (1735), from sap as a shortened form of sapwood "soft wood between the inner bark and the heartwood," from sap (n.1) + wood, so called because it conducts the sap; cf. sappy.

"weaken or destroy insidiously," 1755, originally "dig a trench toward the enemy's position" (1598), from M.Fr. saper, from sappe "spade," from L.L. sappa "spade" (cf. It. zappa, Sp. zapa "spade"). The sense of "weaken" probably was influenced by the verb (1725) form of sap
(n.1) on the notion of "draining the vital sap from."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
sap   (sāp)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The watery fluid that circulates through a plant that has vascular tissues. Sap moving up the xylem carries water and minerals, while sap moving down the phloem carries water and food.

  2. See cell sap.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Computing Dictionary

SAP definition

1. SAP AG (Systems, Applications and Products in Data Processing).
2. Service Advertising Protocol.
3. Service Access Point.
4. Symbolic Assembler Program.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. service access point

  2. soon as possible (shortwave transmission)

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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Encyclopedia Britannica


watery fluid of plants. Cell sap is a fluid found in the vacuoles (small cavities) of the living cell; it contains variable amounts of food and waste materials, inorganic salts, and nitrogenous compounds. Xylem sap carries soil nutrients (e.g., dissolved minerals) from the root system to the leaves; the water is then lost through transpiration. Maple sap is xylem sap, containing some sugar in late winter. Phloem, or sieve-tube, sap is the fluid carrying sugar from leaves to other parts of the plant in the summer. See also cohesion hypothesis.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Amber is a semiprecious gemstone formed from fossilized tree sap.
Before using cut flowers in arrangements, dip stems in boiling water or hold in
  a flame for a few seconds to prevent sap bleed.
Extremely temperamental connections sap the fun out of things.
We pruned a broken branch from our maple last weekend, and the tree started to
  ooze a lot of watery sap.
Image for sap
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