1. a sharp blow or smack, especially with the open hand or with something flat.
  2. a sound made by or as if by such a blow or smack: the slap of the waves against the dock.
  3. a sharply worded or sarcastic rebuke or comment.
verb (used with object), slapped, slap·ping.
  1. to strike sharply, especially with the open hand or with something flat.
  2. to bring (the hand, something flat, etc.) with a sharp blow against something.
  3. to dash or cast forcibly: He slapped the package against the wall.
  4. to put or place promptly and sometimes haphazardly (often followed by on): The officer slapped a ticket on the car. He slapped mustard on the sandwich.
  1. Informal. directly; straight; smack: The tug rammed slap into the side of the freighter.
Verb Phrases
  1. slap down,
    1. to subdue, especially by a blow or by force; suppress.
    2. to reject, oppose, or criticize sharply: to slap down dissenting voices.
  1. slap on the wrist, relatively mild criticism or censure: He got away with a slap on the wrist.

Origin of slap

First recorded in 1625–35, slap is from the Low German word slapp, slappe; of expressive orig.
Related formsslap·per, noun

Synonym study

1. See blow1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for slapper

Historical Examples of slapper

  • A Slapper, consisting of two sticks with a block slipped between at one end.

    The Boy Craftsman

    A. Neely Hall

British Dictionary definitions for slapper


  1. British slang a promiscuous woman


  1. a sharp blow or smack, as with the open hand, something flat, etc
  2. the sound made by or as if by such a blow
  3. a sharp rebuke; reprimand
  4. a bit of slap and tickle or slap and tickle British informal sexual play
  5. a slap in the face an insult or rebuff
  6. a slap on the back congratulation
  7. a slap on the wrist a light punishment or reprimand
verb slaps, slapping or slapped
  1. (tr) to strike (a person or thing) sharply, as with the open hand or something flat
  2. (tr) to bring down (the hand, something flat, etc) sharply
  3. (when intr, usually foll by against) to strike (something) with or as if with a slap
  4. (tr) informal, mainly British to apply in large quantities, haphazardly, etcshe slapped butter on the bread
  5. slap on the back to congratulate
adverb informal
  1. exactly; directlyslap on time
  2. forcibly or abruptlyto fall slap on the floor
Derived Formsslapper, noun

Word Origin for slap

C17: from Low German slapp, German Schlappe, of imitative origin
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 slapper

"large or impressive person or thing," 1781, agent noun from slap (v.). Cf. whopper.



late 15c., "strike with the open hand," from slap (n.). As an adverb, 1670s, "suddenly;" 1829, "directly." Related: Slapped; slapping.



mid-15c., probably of imitative origin, similar to Low German slappe, German Schlappe. Figurative meaning "insult, reprimand" is attested from 1736. Slap-happy (1936) originally meant "punch-drunk." Slap on the wrist "very mild punishment" dates from 1914.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper