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



    BrE BrE//tæp//
    ; NAmE NAmE//tæp//
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  1. 1  (especially British English) (usually North American English faucet) [countable] a device for controlling the flow of water from a pipe into a bath/ bathtub or sink bath taps the hot/cold tap (= the tap that hot/cold water comes out of) Turn the tap on/off. Don't leave the tap running. the sound of a dripping tap I put my head under the tap and let the cool water run over me. see also tap water
  2. 2[countable] a device for controlling the flow of liquid or gas from a pipe or container a gas tap beer taps
  3. 3  [countable] a light hit with your hand or fingers a tap at/on the door He felt a tap on his shoulder and turned round.
  4. 4[countable] an act of fitting a device to a telephone so that somebody’s telephone calls can be listened to secretly a phone tap
  5. 5[uncountable] = tap-dancing
  6. 6 [countable] (phonetics) a speech sound which is produced by striking the tongue quickly and lightly against the part of the mouth behind the upper front teeth. The ‘t’ in later in American English and the ‘r’ in very in some British accents are examples of taps. synonym flap See related entries: Phonetics
  7. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 2 and noun sense 4 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). noun sense 3 and noun sense 5 Middle English: from Old French taper, or of imitative origin; compare with the verb clap and rap.Extra examples She heard a tap at the door. Someone has left the tap running. The pub has two sorts of beer on tap. There was a little tap at the door. Turn the tap clockwise. You have to run the tap a long time before the hot water comes. the sound of a dripping tapIdioms
    1. 1available to be used at any time We have this sort of information on tap.
    2. 2beer that is on tap is in a barrel with a tap on it
    3. 3(North American English) something that is on tap is being discussed or prepared and will happen soon
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: tap