[ zap ]
/ zæp /

verb (used with object), zapped, zap·ping.

verb (used without object), zapped, zap·ping.

to move quickly, forcefully, or destructively: high-voltage currents zapping overhead.


Origin of zap

An Americanism dating back to 1940–45; imitative
Related formszap·per, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for zap

British Dictionary definitions for zap


/ (zæp) slang /

verb zaps, zapping or zapped

(tr) to attack, kill, or destroy, as with a sudden bombardment
(intr) to move quickly; rush
(tr) computing
  1. to clear from the screen
  2. to erase
(intr) television to change channels rapidly by remote control


energy, vigour, or pep


an exclamation used to express sudden or swift action

Word Origin for zap

C20: 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 zap


1929 as a sound, 1942 as a verb, comic strip word (especially from "Buck Rogers in the Twenty-Fifth Century"), of imitative origin. Meaning "to erase electronically" is 1982. Related: Zapped; zapping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper