American English

Definition of tap verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they tap
    he / she / it taps
    past simple tapped
    -ing form tapping
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  1. 1[intransitive, transitive] to hit someone or something quickly and lightly tap (away) (at something) Someone tapped at the door. He was busy tapping away at his computer. tap somebody/something Ralph tapped me on the shoulder.
  2. 2[transitive, intransitive] tap (something) if you tap your fingers, feet, etc. or they tap, you hit them gently against a table, the floor, etc., for example to the rhythm of music He kept tapping his fingers on the table. The music set everyone's feet tapping.
  3. 3[intransitive, transitive] to make use of a source of energy, knowledge, etc. that already exists tap something We need to tap the expertise of the people we already have. tap into something The movie seems to tap into a general sentimentality about animals.
  4. 4[transitive] tap something to fit a device to a telephone so that someone's calls can be listened to secretly He was convinced his phone was being tapped. see also wiretapping
  5. 5[transitive] tap something to cut into a tree in order to get liquid from it
  6. 6[transitive, usually passive] tap somebody to choose someone to do a particular job Richards has been tapped to replace the retiring chairperson.
  7. 7[transitive] tap something (phonetics) to produce a tap synonym flap
  8. Phrasal Verbstap somethingin/outtap somethingout
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: tap