- 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 for sap on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for sapped
Fighting words like those that propelled his team to the top of the industry, but it looks like that drive might have been sapped.Alibaba’s Dark Side: Censoring Customers
November 18, 2014
They can be sapped of war fever by the diplomatic courage and genius displayed by Kissinger and Nixon four decades ago.Winston Lord and Leslie H. Gelb: Nixon’s China Opening, 40 Years Later
Winston Lord, Leslie H. Gelb
February 20, 2012
Online distractions have sapped the will to compete, let alone the will to win.Why Brits Never Win Wimbledon
July 2, 2011
Nadal admitted his confidence was sapped by his time at home nursing a nasty tendonitis.Nadal's Head Game
September 3, 2009
He reeled like a drunkard, sapped of strength, and then the end came quickly.The Life of Cesare Borgia
The South Sea bubble has sapped the confidence in the government of all men of weight.The Lion's Skin
The relentless, menacing tone chilled him and sapped his self-control.Australia Revenged
It was as if his love had sapped the invisible supports of his strength.Within the Tides
Long contact with misfortune had sapped the natural resiliency of his character.Garrison's Finish
W. B. M. Ferguson
- 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 sapped
"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.