- the juice or vital circulating fluid of a plant, especially of a woody plant.
- any vital body fluid.
- energy; vitality.
- Slang. a fool; dupe.
- Metallurgy. soft metal at the core of a bar of blister steel.
- to drain the sap from.
Origin of sap1
- Fortification. a deep, narrow trench constructed so as to form an approach to a besieged place or an enemy's position.
- to approach (a besieged place or an enemy position) by means of deep, narrow trenches protected by gabions or parapets.
- to dig such trenches in (ground).
- to undermine; weaken or destroy insidiously.
- Fortification. to dig a sap.
Origin of sap2
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sap
Anybody with any sap running will probably be out of step with the general parade, at least early on.Daniel Woodrell: How I Write
September 4, 2013
Like a picador, he takes his time to sap the strength of his foes before clubbing them unconscious.Vitali Klitschko Contemplates Bowing Out of the Ring and Entering Ukrainian Politics
March 26, 2013
An increase in the dividend tax rate is likely to sap the value of stocks whose main appeal is the dividends they throw off.
Put another way, the termination of these benefits will sap $30 billion from the buying power of lower-income American consumers.
AQAP wants to drag America into what it calls another “bleeding war” like Afghanistan and Iraq to sap American resources and will.Al Qaeda’s ‘Final Trap’ in Yemen: Costly Demise Planned for U.S.
May 27, 2012
Methinks, Alleyne, it is this learning which you have taught her that has taken all the life and sap from her.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
I think he was glad when we set out for my own village in the Moon of the Sap Running.The Trail Book
Each century had renewed the city's glory as with the sap of immortal youth.The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
Women have yet this lesson to learn: the capacity for sense-experience is the sap of life.The Truth About Woman
C. Gasquoine Hartley
But commonly, graft at that time of the Winter, when sap beginneth to arise.A New Orchard And Garden
- a solution of mineral salts, sugars, etc, that circulates in a plant
- any vital body fluid
- energy; vigour
- slang a gullible or foolish person
- another name for sapwood
- to drain of sap
- a deep and narrow trench used to approach or undermine an enemy position, esp in siege warfare
- to undermine (a fortification, etc) by digging saps
- (tr) to weaken
- South African Police
- Standard Assessment Procedure, the recognized performance indicator for measuring energy efficiency in buildings
Word Origin and History for sap
"liquid in a plant," Old English sæpm from Proto-Germanic *sapam (cf. Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, Dutch sap, Old High German saf, German Saft "juice"), from PIE *sab- "juice, fluid" (cf. Latin sapere "to taste"), from root *sab- "juice, fluid" (cf. Sanskrit sabar- "sap, milk, nectar," Irish sug, Russian soku "sap," Lithuanian sakas "tree-gum"). As a verb meaning "To drain the sap from," 1725.
"simpleton," 1815, originally especially in Scottish and English schoolboy slang, probably from earlier sapskull (1735), saphead (1798), from sap as a shortened form of sapwood "soft wood between the inner bark and the heartwood" (late 14c.), from sap (n.1) + wood (n.); so called because it conducts the sap; cf. sappy.
"dig a trench toward the enemy's position," 1590s, from Middle French saper, from sappe "spade," from Late Latin sappa "spade" (cf. Italian zappa, Spanish zapa "spade"). Extended sense "weaken or destroy insidiously" is from 1755, probably influenced by the verb form of sap (n.1), on the notion of "draining the vital sap from." Related: Sapped; sapping.
"hit with a sap," 1926, from sap (n.3). Related: Sapped; sapping.
- The watery fluid that circulates through a plant that has vascular tissues. Sap moving up the xylem carries water and minerals, while sap moving down the phloem carries water and food.
- See cell sap.