a layer of leather, metal, or the like in a shoe heel; a lift.
a small portion of liquor remaining in a glass after drinking or in a bottle after decanting.
dregs, sediment, or residue.

Origin of heeltap

First recorded in 1680–90; heel1 + tap1, tap2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for heel-tap

Historical Examples of heel-tap

  • I think we are somewhere in the Atlantic; but your finding that heel-tap does puzzle me.

  • My summons came when we had shared the heel-tap of the bottle.

  • “A great loss,” he would say, with a sad shake of his head, as he turned off the heel-tap.

    Dealings with the Dead, Volume I (of 2)

    A Sexton of the Old School

  • Little Fay nodded, for her heart was full again, and the heel-tap of a sob would have been behind her words.


    R. D. Blackmore

  • Zack was teeming with mirth—abetted, no doubt, by a heel-tap or two from the Colonel's retiring goblet.

    Sunlight Patch

    Credo Fitch Harris

British Dictionary definitions for heel-tap



Also called: lift a layer of leather, etc, in the heel of a shoe
a small amount of alcoholic drink left at the bottom of a glass after drinking
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for heel-tap

also heeltap, 1680s, "one of the bits of leather that are stacked up to make a shoe heel" (see heel (n.1)); meaning "bit of liquor left in a glass or bottle" first recorded 1780s; the exact connection is uncertain unless it be "the last or final part."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper