1 [tap]
verb (used with object), tapped, tapping.
to strike with a light but audible blow or blows; hit with repeated, slight blows: He tapped the door twice.
to make, put, etc., by tapping: to tap a nail into a wall.
to strike (the fingers, a foot, a pencil, etc.) upon or against something, especially with repeated light blows: Stop tapping your feet!
Basketball. to strike (a ball in the air) in the direction of a teammate or of the basket.
to enter information or produce copy by tapping on a keyboard: to tap data into a computer; to tap out a magazine article.
to add a thickness of leather to the sole or heel of (a boot or shoe), as in repairing.
verb (used without object), tapped, tapping.
to strike lightly but audibly, as to attract attention.
to strike light blows.
to tap-dance.
a light but audible blow: a tap on the shoulder.
the sound made by this.
a piece of metal attached to the toe or heel of a shoe, as for reinforcement or for making the tapping of a dancer more audible.
Basketball. an act or instance of tapping the ball: Hanson got the tap from our center, who, 6prime;9″ tall, couldn't lose a jump ball.
a thickness of leather added to the sole or heel of a boot or shoe, as in repairing.

1175–1225; (v.) Middle English tappen, variant of early Middle English teppen, probably imitative; (noun) Middle English, derivative of the v.

tappable, adjective
untappable, adjective
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World English Dictionary
tap1 (tæp)
vb , taps, tapping, tapped
1.  to strike (something) lightly and usually repeatedly: to tap the table; to tap on the table
2.  (tr) to produce by striking in this way: to tap a rhythm
3.  (tr) to strike lightly with (something): to tap one's finger on the desk
4.  (intr) to walk with a tapping sound: she tapped across the floor
5.  (tr) to attach metal or leather reinforcing pieces to (the toe or heel of a shoe)
6.  a light blow or knock, or the sound made by it
7.  the metal piece attached to the toe or heel of a shoe used for tap-dancing
8.  See tap dance short for tap-dancing
9.  phonetics the contact made between the tip of the tongue and the alveolar ridge as the tongue is flicked upwards in the execution of a flap or vibrates rapidly in the execution of a trill or roll
[C13 tappen, probably from Old French taper, of Germanic origin; related to Middle Low German tappen to pluck, Swedish dialect täpa to tap]

tap2 (tæp)
1.  US and Canadian name: faucet a valve by which a fluid flow from a pipe can be controlled by opening and closing an orifice
2.  a stopper to plug a cask or barrel and enable the contents to be drawn out in a controlled flow
3.  a particular quality of alcoholic drink, esp when contained in casks: an excellent tap
4.  (Brit) short for taproom
5.  the surgical withdrawal of fluid from a bodily cavity: a spinal tap
6.  Compare die Also called: screw tap a tool for cutting female screw threads, consisting of a threaded steel cylinder with longitudinal grooves forming cutting edges
7.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) electronics Usual Brit name: tapping a connection made at some point between the end terminals of an inductor, resistor, or some other component
8.  stock exchange
 a.  an issue of a government security released slowly onto the market when its market price reaches a predetermined level
 b.  (as modifier): tap stock; tap issue
9.  a concealed listening or recording device connected to a telephone or telegraph wire for the purpose of obtaining information secretly
10.  on tap
 a.  informal ready for immediate use
 b.  (of drinks) on draught
vb , taps, tapping, tapped
11.  to furnish with a tap
12.  to draw off with or as if with a tap
13.  to cut into (a tree) and draw off sap from it
14.  informal (Brit) to ask or beg (someone) for money: he tapped me for a fiver
15.  a.  to connect a tap to (a telephone or telegraph wire)
 b.  to listen in secret to (a telephone message, etc) by means of a tap
16.  to make a connection to (a pipe, drain, etc)
17.  to cut a female screw thread in (an object or material) by use of a tap
18.  to withdraw (fluid) from (a bodily cavity)
19.  informal (of a sports team or an employer) to make an illicit attempt to recruit (a player or employee bound by an existing contract)
[Old English tæppa; related to Old Norse tappi tap, Old High German zapfo]

tap3 (tæp)
n, —vb
a Scot word for top

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

"strike lightly," early 13c., from O.Fr. taper "tap, rap, strike," from a Gallo-Romance or Germanic source ultimately imitative of the sound of rapping. Meaning "to designate for some duty or for membership" is recorded from 1952, from notion of a tap on the shoulder. The noun is attested from c.1300.
Tap dancer first recorded 1927, from tap (n.) in the sense of "metal plate over the heel of a shoe" (1680s).

"stopper, faucet," O.E. tæppa, from P.Gmc. *tappon (cf. M.Du. tappe, Du. tap, O.H.G. zapfo, Ger. zapfen). Originally a tapering cylindrical peg (hence taproot). Meaning "device to listen in secretly on telephone calls" is from 1923, from the verb in this sense, originally (1869) with reference
to telegraph wires. Phrase on tap "ready for use" is recorded from late 15c. The verb meaning "to supply with a tap" is from O.E. tæppian. Extended sense of "make use of" is first recorded 1570s. Tap-room is from 1807. Tapped out "broke" is 1940s slang, perhaps from the notion of having tapped all one's acquaintances for loans already (cf. British slang on the tap "begging, making requests for loans," 1932).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

tap (tāp)
The removal of fluid from a body cavity. v. tapped, tap·ping, taps

  1. To withdraw fluid from a body cavity, as with a trocar and cannula, hollow needle, or catheter.

  2. To strike lightly with the finger or a hammerlike instrument, as in percussion or to elicit a tendon reflex.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. take a picture

  2. Technical Assistance Program

  3. Trans-Alaskan Pipeline

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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