sap

To sap something is to drain or deplete something over time. If you sap a maple tree, you drain the liquid inside it to make maple syrup. But if you sap a person of strength, you've rendered him defenseless.

Whether used as a noun or verb, sap is rarely a good thing. If your energy or will is sapped, it’s not meant lightly; it means you have been exhausted of all your reserve energy, you’re reduced to a shell. If someone calls you "a sap," it suggests you lack strength and character. And if you get sap — the sticky liquid inside a tree — on your hands, good luck getting it off in the middle of a forest without a bar of soap and running water. Yuck.

Definitions of sap
  1. noun
    a watery solution of sugars, salts, and minerals that circulates through the vascular system of a plant
    see moresee less
    types:
    manna
    hardened sugary exudation of various trees
    type of:
    solution
    a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances; frequently (but not necessarily) a liquid solution
  2. noun
    a person who lacks good judgment
    synonyms: fool, muggins, saphead, tomfool
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 7 types...
    hide 7 types...
    buffoon, clown
    a rude or vulgar fool
    flibbertigibbet, foolish woman
    a foolish, flighty, and overly talkative person
    bozo, cuckoo, fathead, goof, goofball, goose, zany
    a man who is a stupid incompetent fool
    meshuggeneh, meshuggener
    (Yiddish) a crazy fool
    morosoph
    a learned fool
    putz
    (Yiddish) a fool; an idiot
    wally
    a silly and inept person; someone who is regarded as stupid
    type of:
    simple, simpleton
    a person lacking intelligence or common sense
  3. noun
    a piece of metal covered by leather with a flexible handle; used for hitting people
    synonyms: blackjack, cosh
    see moresee less
    type of:
    bludgeon
    a club used as a weapon
  4. verb
    excavate the earth beneath
    see moresee less
    type of:
    cave, undermine
    hollow out as if making a cave or opening
  5. verb
    deplete
    synonyms: exhaust, play out, run down, tire
    play out
    become spent or exhausted
    see moresee less
    type of:
    consume, deplete, eat, eat up, exhaust, run through, use up, wipe out
    use up (resources or materials)
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week