a person or thing that taps or strikes lightly.
a telegraph key.

Origin of tapper

First recorded in 1800–10; tap1 + -er1




a person or thing that taps, as trees for the sap or juice, a blast furnace, cask, or other container for their contents, etc.
a person who cuts screw threads into the surface of a circular opening, as of a pipe, nut, etc.

Origin of tapper

before 1000; Old English tæppere (not recorded in ME); see tap2, -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tapper

Contemporary Examples of tapper

  • Answering Tapper's question, “Under what conditions would you agree to return to the U.S.?”

    The Daily Beast logo
    Edward Snowden: Not All Spying Is Bad

    Jacob Siegel

    January 24, 2014

  • When jokes started veering towards the Holocaust, Tapper was quick to wag his finger, as might seem appropriate.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Twitter Killed Media Criticism

    Ben Crair

    November 21, 2010

  • Says Tapper: “I certainly don't think that it's the job of any journalist to make the presidency work.”

    The Daily Beast logo
    Who's Afraid of Jake Tapper?

    Rachel Sklar

    February 10, 2009

Historical Examples of tapper

  • He almost had them believing in the Space Wave Tapper before he was through.

    Toy Shop

    Henry Maxwell Dempsey

  • Then, suddenly, came the sharp click of the “tapper” as it struck the “coherer.”

    Historic Inventions

    Rupert S. Holland

  • At first, all our attention is taken up by watching how the one tapper does his work.


    Edith A. Browne

  • He was asked what was his trade, and replied that he was a tapper.

    Essays of Travel

    Robert Louis Stevenson

  • Suddenly there sounded the sharp click of the tapper as it struck the coherer.

    The Story of Great Inventions

    Elmer Ellsworth Burns

British Dictionary definitions for tapper



a person who taps
a tool or instrument that taps
Northern English dialect an unstable and violent person
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