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[zap] /zæp/
verb (used with object), zapped, zapping.
to kill or shoot.
to attack, defeat, or destroy with sudden speed and force.
to bombard with electrical current, radiation, laser beams, etc.
to strike or jolt suddenly and forcefully.
to cook in a microwave oven.
to skip over or delete (TV commercials), as by switching channels or pushing a fast-forward button on a playback device:
We recorded the show on our VCR but zapped all the commercials.
to add a sudden infusion of energy, verve, color, attractiveness, or the like (often followed by up):
just the thing to zap up your spring wardrobe.
verb (used without object), zapped, zapping.
to move quickly, forcefully, or destructively:
high-voltage currents zapping overhead.
force, energy, or drive; zip.
a jolt or charge, as or as if of electricity.
a forceful and sudden blow, hit, or attack.
any method of political activism, usually of a disruptive nature.
1940-45, Americanism; imitative
Related forms
zapper, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for zapped
  • Every single step of the proof or problem had to be done explicitly and correctly, and he zapped generously all the way through.
  • No, this isn't science fiction, and the town's inhabitants were not zapped by aliens or beamed onto a spaceship.
  • Find electrifying weather facts and read shocking stories about people who survived being zapped.
  • To unearth the bacteria's inner workings, the researchers zapped the connective proteins with multiple ultrafast laser pulses.
  • Many of them never went to the hospital after they were zapped.
  • When zapped by lightning or other sources of energy, molecules in that environment readily tumble together into organic compounds.
  • The image zapped across the screen due to unrestrained camera shake.
  • He shouldn't have sold his people out, then he might not have gotten zapped in the head.
  • Some of the bags the greens are sold in need approval to be zapped, too.
  • He found the remote control down the back of the sofa and zapped through the channels.
British Dictionary definitions for zapped


verb zaps, zapping, zapped
(transitive) to attack, kill, or destroy, as with a sudden bombardment
(intransitive) to move quickly; rush
(transitive) (computing)
  1. to clear from the screen
  2. to erase
(intransitive) (television) to change channels rapidly by remote control
energy, vigour, or pep
an exclamation used to express sudden or swift action
Word Origin
C20: of imitative origin
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 zapped


1929 as a sound, 1942 as a verb, comic strip word (especially from "Buck Rogers in the Twenty-Fifth Century"), of imitative origin. Meaning "to erase electronically" is 1982. Related: Zapped; zapping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for zapped



An exclamation imitating sudden impact; wham: It's a gradual thing. It ain't zap, you're healed (1929+)


Vitality; force; pizzazz, zip (1968+)

  1. To kill or disable; strike violently; clobber, waste: Sitcom Zaps Boardroom Bozos (1942+)
  2. To administer electroshock therapy (1980s+ Medical)
  3. To cook or heat in a microwave oven; nuke: Zap one minute, open the microwave door, stir and break up the meat pieces with a fork (1990s+)

[fr the echoic word used to convey the sound of a ray gun in the comic strip ''Buck Rogers in the Twenty-Fifth Century'']

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 zapped


acknowledge please (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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