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.

Primary Meanings of sap

a watery solution of sugars, salts, and minerals that circulates through the vascular system of a plant
excavate the earth beneath
Full Definitions of sap

n a watery solution of sugars, salts, and minerals that circulates through the vascular system of a plant

hardened sugary exudation of various trees
Type of:
a homogeneous mixture of two or more substances; frequently (but not necessarily) a liquid solution

n a person who lacks good judgment

fool, muggins, saphead, tomfool
show 8 types...
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a pompous fool
buffoon, clown
a rude or vulgar fool
flibbertigibbet, foolish woman
a foolish, flighty, and overly talkative person
bozo, cuckoo, fathead, goof, goofball, goose, jackass, zany
a man who is a stupid incompetent fool
meshuggeneh, meshuggener
(Yiddish) a crazy fool
a learned fool
(Yiddish) a fool; an idiot
a silly and inept person; someone who is regarded as stupid
Type of:
simple, simpleton
a person lacking intelligence or common sense

n a piece of metal covered by leather with a flexible handle; used for hitting people

blackjack, cosh
Type of:
a club used as a weapon

v excavate the earth beneath

Type of:
cave, undermine
hollow out as if making a cave or opening

v deplete

exhaust, play out, run down, tire
play out
become spent or exhausted
Type of:
consume, deplete, eat, eat up, exhaust, run through, use up, wipe out
use up (resources or materials)

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