verb (used with object), tapped, tap·ping.
- ready to be drawn and served, as liquor from a cask.
- furnished with a tap or cock, as a barrel containing liquor.
- Informal. ready for immediate use; available: There are numerous other projects on tap.
Origin of tap2
verb taps, tapping or tapped
Word Origin for tap
- an issue of a government security released slowly onto the market when its market price reaches a predetermined level
- (as modifier)tap stock; tap issue
- informal ready for immediate use
- (of drinks) on draught
verb taps, tapping or tapped (tr)
- to connect a tap to (a telephone or telegraph wire)
- to listen in secret to (a telephone message, etc) by means of a tap
Word Origin for tap
"strike lightly," c.1200, from Old French taper "tap, rap, strike," from a Gallo-Romance or Germanic source ultimately imitative of the sound of rapping. Meaning "to designate for some duty or for membership" is recorded from 1952, from notion of a tap on the shoulder. Related: Tapped; tapping.
"stopper, faucet," Old English tæppa, from Proto-Germanic *tappon (cf. Middle Dutch tappe, Dutch tap, Old High German zapfo, German zapfen). Originally a tapering cylindrical peg (hence taproot). Phrase on tap "ready for use" is recorded from late 15c.
"to supply with a tap," Old English tæppian, from source of tap (n.1). Meaning "to draw liquor with a tap" is from mid-15c. Extended sense of "make use of" is first recorded 1570s. Meaning "to listen in secretly" (1869), originally with reference to telegraph wires. Tapped out "broke" is 1940s slang, perhaps from the notion of having tapped all one's acquaintances for loans already (cf. British slang on the tap "begging, making requests for loans," 1932).
"light blow or stroke," late 14c., from tap (v.1). Tap dancer first recorded 1927, from tap (n.) in the sense of "metal plate over the heel of a shoe" (1680s).
"device to listen in secretly on telephone calls," 1923, from tap (v.2) in the "listen secretly" sense.
Available for immediate use, ready, as in We have two more trumpeters on tap for the parade. This metaphoric expression alludes to a beverage such as beer that is ready to be drawn from a cask. [Mid-1800s]
see on tap.