English

Definition of tap verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    tap

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//tæp//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//tæp//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they tap
    BrE BrE//tæp//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//tæp//
     
    he / she / it taps
    BrE BrE//tæps//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//tæps//
     
    past simple tapped
    BrE BrE//tæpt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//tæpt//
     
    past participle tapped
    BrE BrE//tæpt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//tæpt//
     
    -ing form tapping
    BrE BrE//ˈtæpɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtæpɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  [intransitive, transitive] to hit somebody/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. Tap the icon to open the app.
  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[transitive, intransitive] 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 (especially British English) to fit a device to a telephone so that somebody’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 (North American English) to choose somebody to do a particular job Richards has been tapped to replace the retiring chairperson.
  7. 7 [transitive] tap something (phonetics) to produce a tap (6) synonym flap
  8. Word Originverb senses 1 to 2 and verb sense 6 Middle English: from Old French taper, or of imitative origin; compare with the verb clap and rap. verb senses 3 to 5 Old English tæppa ‘peg for the vent-hole of a cask’, tæppian ‘provide (a cask) with a stopper’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch tap and German, Zapfen (nouns).Extra examples He tapped home his second goal from close range. He was tapped on the shoulder by a soldier. She tapped away at her keyboard. She tapped her fingers gently on the table. She tapped the ice with a stick. Ralph tapped me on the shoulder to get my attention. The music set everyone’s feet tapping. Phrasal Verbstap somebody for somethingtap in somethingtap somethingout
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: tap