Definition of rap noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ræp//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ræp//
    Styles of music, Pieces of music
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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 which are spoken fast, not sung a rap song/artist Culture Rap music first became popular in the early 1980s and well-known performers include Snoop (Doggy) Dog, 50 cent, the Beastie Boys and Eminem. There are many styles of rap and it has had important influence on other types of popular music. Some bands combine aspects of jazz and rap music while others, such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers mix it with rock and funk. It is also important to the music of many nu metal bands. One style of the music, gangsta rap, is often criticized for its violent songs. see also hip hop See related entries: Styles of music
  3. 3 [countable] a rap song See related entries: Pieces of music
  4. 4[countable] (North American English, informal) a criminal conviction (= the fact of being found guilty of a crime) a police rap sheet (= a record of the crimes somebody has committed)
  5. 5[singular] (North American English, informal) an unfair judgement on something or somebody He denounced the criticisms as ‘just one bum rap after another.’ Wolves get a bad rap, says a woman who owns three.
  6. Word OriginMiddle English (originally in the senses ‘severe blow with a weapon’ and ‘deliver a heavy blow’): probably imitative and of Scandinavian origin; compare with Swedish rappa ‘beat, drub’, also with the verb clap and flap.Extra examples a rap on the knuckles one of the biggest artists on the rap scene He denounced the criticisms as ‘just one bum rap after another’. Wolves get a bad rap, says a woman who owns three.Idioms (North American English, slang) to escape without being punished
    (give somebody/get) a rap on/over/across the knuckles
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    (informal) (to give somebody/receive) strong criticism for something We got a rap over the knuckles for being late. She was rapped over the knuckles by her boss for criticizing the company in the press.
    take the rap (for somebody/something)
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    (informal) to be blamed or punished, especially for something you have not done synonym blame She was prepared to take the rap for the shoplifting, though it had been her sister's idea.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: rap