Other forms: tapped; tapping; taps

To tap is to lightly hit something, the way you tap your friend on the shoulder to get her attention or tap your foot against the floor when you're listening to music.

Your fingers tap the keyboard when you write an essay, and if you take tap dancing lessons, you'll spend time tapping your toes in tap shoes. Another kind of tap is a spigot that liquid or gas flows from, or the secret listening device a spy might use. As a verb, it can also mean "make use of," the way you tap into your sister's jar of change when you need an extra dollar or two.

Definitions of tap
  1. verb
    strike lightly
    “He tapped me on the shoulder”
    synonyms: tip
    see moresee less
    strike or tap firmly
    type of:
    deliver a sharp blow, as with the hand, fist, or weapon
  2. verb
    make light, repeated taps on a surface
    “he was tapping his fingers on the table impatiently”
    synonyms: knock, pink, rap
    see moresee less
    type of:
    go, sound
    make a certain noise or sound
  3. noun
    a gentle blow
    synonyms: rap, strike
    see moresee less
    type of:
    blow, bump
    an impact (as from a collision)
  4. noun
    a light touch or stroke
    synonyms: dab, pat
    see moresee less
    type of:
    touch, touching
    the act of putting two things together with no space between them
  5. noun
    the sound made by a gentle blow
    synonyms: pat, rap
    see moresee less
    a series of rapid tapping sounds
    type of:
    the sudden occurrence of an audible event
  6. verb
    walk with a tapping sound
    see moresee less
    type of:
    use one's feet to advance; advance by steps
  7. verb
    dance and make rhythmic clicking sounds by means of metal plates nailed to the sole of the dance shoes
    synonyms: tapdance
    see moresee less
    type of:
    dance, trip the light fantastic, trip the light fantastic toe
    move in a pattern; usually to musical accompaniment; do or perform a dance
  8. noun
    a small metal plate that attaches to the toe or heel of a shoe (as in tap dancing)
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a sheet of metal or wood or glass or plastic
  9. verb
    pierce in order to draw a liquid from
    tap a maple tree for its syrup”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    make a hole into
  10. verb
    furnish with a tap or spout, so as to be able to draw liquid from it
    see moresee less
    type of:
    furnish, provide, render, supply
    give something useful or necessary to
  11. verb
    draw (liquor) from a tap
    see moresee less
    type of:
    draw, take out
    take liquid out of a container or well
  12. verb
    draw from; make good use of
    synonyms: exploit
    see moresee less
    show 8 types...
    hide 8 types...
    maximise, maximize
    make the most of
    exploit the power of
    get from the earth by excavation
    extract (something such as stones) from or as if from a quarry
    exploit excessively
    commercialise, commercialize
    exploit for maximal profit, usually by sacrificing quality
    exploit as much as possible
    strip mine, surface mine, surface-mine
    extract (ore) from a strip-mine
    type of:
    apply, employ, use, utilise, utilize
    put into service; make work or employ for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose
  13. verb
    draw from or dip into to get something
    tap one's memory”
    tap a source of money”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    draw, draw off, take out, withdraw
    remove (a commodity) from (a supply source)
  14. verb
    make a solicitation or entreaty for something; request urgently or persistently
    synonyms: beg, solicit
    see moresee less
    show 4 types...
    hide 4 types...
    seek alms, as for religious purposes
    canvas, canvass
    solicit votes from potential voters in an electoral campaign
    buttonhole, lobby
    detain in conversation by or as if by holding on to the outer garments of; as for political or economic favors
    circularise, circularize
    canvass by using a questionnaire
    type of:
    bespeak, call for, quest, request
    express the need or desire for; ask for
  15. noun
    a faucet for drawing water from a pipe or cask
    synonyms: hydrant, water faucet, water tap
    see moresee less
    type of:
    faucet, spigot
    a regulator for controlling the flow of a liquid from a reservoir
    plumbing fixture
    a fixture for the distribution and use of water in a building
  16. noun
    a plug for a bunghole in a cask
    synonyms: spigot
    see moresee less
    type of:
    plug, stopper, stopple
    blockage consisting of an object designed to fill a hole tightly
  17. verb
    tap a telephone or telegraph wire to get information
    “The FBI was tapping the phone line of the suspected spy”
    synonyms: bug, intercept, wiretap
    see moresee less
    type of:
    eavesdrop, listen in
    listen without the speaker's knowledge
  18. noun
    the act of tapping a telephone or telegraph line to get information
    synonyms: wiretap
    see moresee less
    type of:
    investigating, investigation
    the work of inquiring into something thoroughly and systematically
  19. noun
    a tool for cutting female (internal) screw threads
    see moresee less
    type of:
    an implement used in the practice of a vocation
  20. verb
    cut a female screw thread with a tap
    see moresee less
    type of:
    separate with or as if with an instrument




Cite this entry
  • MLA
  • APA
  • Chicago

Copy citation
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘tap'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
Word Family

Look up tap for the last time

Close your vocabulary gaps with personalized learning that focuses on teaching the words you need to know.

VocabTrainer -'s Vocabulary Trainer