American English

Definition of rap noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a quick sharp hit or knock There was a sharp rap on the door.
  2. 2[uncountable] a type of popular music with a fast strong rhythm and words that are spoken fast, not sung a rap song/artist
  3. 3[countable] a rap song
  4. 4[countable] (informal) a criminal conviction (= the fact of being found guilty of a crime)
  5. 5[singular] (informal) an unfair judgment on something or someone He denounced the criticisms as “just one bum rap after another.” Wolves get a bad rap, says a woman who owns three.
  6. Idioms
    beat the rap (slang)
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    to escape without being punished
    (give somebody/get) a rap on/over/across the knuckles (informal)
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    (to give somebody/receive) gentle criticism for something We got a rap over the knuckles for being late.
    take the rap (for somebody/something) (informal)
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    to be blamed or punished, especially for something you have not done synonym take the blame She was prepared to take the rap for the shoplifting, though it had been her sister's idea.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: rap