the act or sound of a person or thing that raps.
communication by the sound of taps or knocks, as between medium and spirit during a séance.

1350–1400; Middle English. See rap1, -ing1

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1 [rap]
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.
a talk, conversation, or discussion; chat.
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.

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


3 [rap]
verb (used with object), rapped or rapt, rapping. Archaic.
to carry off; transport.
to transport with rapture.
to seize for oneself; snatch.

1520–30; back formation from rapt

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
rap1 (ræp)
vb (foll by out) , raps, rapping, rapped
1.  to strike (a fist, stick, etc) against (something) with a sharp quick blow; knock: he rapped at the door
2.  (intr) to make a sharp loud sound, esp by knocking
3.  (tr) to rebuke or criticize sharply
4.  to put (forth) in sharp rapid speech; utter in an abrupt fashion: to rap out orders
5.  slang (intr) to talk, esp volubly
6.  (intr) to perform a rhythmic monologue with a musical backing
7.  rap over the knuckles to reprimand
8.  a sharp quick blow or the sound produced by such a blow
9.  a sharp rebuke or criticism
10.  slang voluble talk; chatter: stop your rap
11.  a.  a fast, rhythmic monologue over a prerecorded instrumental track
 b.  (as modifier): rap music
12.  slang a legal charge or case
13.  slang (US), (Canadian) beat the rap to escape punishment or be acquitted of a crime
14.  slang take the rap to suffer the consequences of a mistake, misdeed, or crime, whether guilty or not
[C14: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Swedish rappa to beat]

rap2 (ræp)
(used with a negative) the least amount (esp in the phrase not to care a rap)
[C18: probably from ropaire counterfeit coin formerly current in Ireland]

rap3 (ræp)
vb, —n
informal (Austral) wrap a variant spelling of wrap

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

"quick, light blow," mid-14c., native or borrowed from a Scandinavian source (cf. Dan. rap, Swed. rapp "light blow"); either way probably of imitative origin (cf. slap, clap). The verb is attested from late 14c. Slang noun meaning "rebuke, blame, responsibility" is from 1777; specific meaning "criminal
indictment" (cf. rap sheet, 1960) is from 1903. To rap (someone's) knuckles "give light punishment" is from 1749.

"talk informally," first recorded 1929, popularized c.1965 in Black English, possibly first in Caribbean English, from British slang meaning "say, utter" (1879), originally "to utter a sudden oath" (1540s), from rap (n.). Meaning "music with improvised words" first in New York City slang, 1979.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
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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Example sentences
He had everyone in the audience rapping with him, which was awesome to behold.
Rapping as a means to a financial end:this is the narrative of the era of
  corporate hip-hop.
Run a knife along edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a cutting board,
  rapping on bottom of pan until cake is released.
The chanting, intermittently rapping crowd had a case.
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