Word of the Day: tap

 
 
Word Reference
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Word of the Day
 
November 23, 2015
 
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tap (noun, verb) sound LISTEN icon
 
 
 
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As a verb, tap means 'to strike something lightly and softly,' and also 'to enter words or numbers on a keyboard.' As a noun, tap is something that you close and open to let liquid or gas flow (it's often called faucet in the US in reference to liquids). Another verbal use of tap is 'to get liquid out of something.'
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Example sentences
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The sound of Rachel tapping her fingers against the table was so annoying!
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My keypad is broken and I can't tap in your phone number!
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Laurence switched on the tap and poured himself a pint of beer.
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People tap maple trees to get maple syrup.
 
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Multi-word forms
 

tap water (noun): This is water that comes straight from the tap. If you don't want to pay for mineral water in a restaurant, ask for tap water instead (as long as you are in a country where the tap water is drinkable, of course).

on tap (adjective): This describes drinks, especially beer, poured straight from the barrel with a tap and served in a glass instead of a bottle. It is also used figuratively to mean that a plentiful supply of something is readily available. "What kind of beer do you have on tap?" Or "The good thing about the Internet is that there is so much information on tap."

tap into (phrasal verb): This means 'to use something as a resource' and is often figurative. "Try to tap into your creativity when writing your short story."

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Additional information
 
We also use the verb tap when someone is selected for an important position. Example: "The board of directors tapped Julie to be the company's next vice-president."
 
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Did you know?
 
Tap dance got its name from the sound of the dancers' shoes tapping against the floor. Tap can mean either the dance itself or one of the pieces of metal attached to tap-dancing shoes.
 
Other forms
 
tapper (noun), tappable (adjective), tapless (adjective)
Origin
 
Tap, meaning 'strike something lightly,' dates back to before 1050 and comes from the Middle English word tappa and the old English word tæppa. Other meanings of the word emerged later, from the late 12th to early 13th centuries.
 
 
See full definition
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