View synonyms for zap


[ zap ]

verb (used with object)

, zapped, zap·ping.
  1. to bombard with electrical current, radiation, laser beams, etc.:

    The military has unsuccessfully tried using airborne lasers to zap missiles early in their flight.

  2. to attack, defeat, kill, or destroy with sudden speed and force:

    Late frost can zap tender fruit buds.

    Real magic is not about wizards zapping each other with spells.

  3. to cook or heat in a microwave oven:

    This coffee is almost cold—could you zap it for 30 seconds?

  4. to shoot or send rapidly:

    If you're in the neighborhood, zap me a text and come by!

    Some of his more complex arguments were not easy to zap into a sound bite.

  5. to skip over or delete (commercials on TV or radio) in recording or playing back a program:

    Digital recorders able to zap commercials made things harder for the advertising industry.

verb (used without object)

, zapped, zap·ping.
  1. to move quickly, forcefully, or destructively:

    Thoughts are like electric currents zapping through your mind.

    It used to be my childhood dream to zap around in a fast car like that.


  1. a jolt or charge of or as if of electricity:

    A wire shorted out and he got a zap from his microphone.

    These fresh-cut fries have a hint of zesty lime and a zap of tequila.

  2. an act or period of microwaving:

    We sell prepackaged foods that require only a zap in the microwave to make them table-ready.

  3. a forceful and sudden blow, hit, or attack:

    This game character can kill minions and goblins with a zap even after he dies.

  4. any method of political activism, usually of a disruptive nature:

    A gay rights group organized a zap of the restaurant to push for removal of its offensive sign.

  5. force, energy, or drive; zip:

    Their stew is a bit dull, but the steak chili soup packs much more zap and one heck of a lot of meat.

verb phrase

  1. to add a sudden infusion of energy, verve, color, attractiveness, or the like:

    This bright skirt is just the thing to zap up your spring wardrobe.


/ zæp /


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


  1. energy, vigour, or pep


  1. an exclamation used to express sudden or swift action

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Other Words From

  • zap·per noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of zap1

An Americanism dating back to 1940–45; imitative

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Word History and Origins

Origin of zap1

C20: of imitative origin

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Example Sentences

With a small electric zap used as an activation stimulus, the cells were able to divide as normal.

This isn’t relegated only to how much space you have for these kitchen appliances but has more to do with how much food you need to heat during a single zap session.

In 2020, we heard endless ideas for gadgets and gizmos to zap viruses and help keep people safe.

As the number of laser zaps increased, the mouse’s GPS place cell network “remapped,” in that he stopped licking as much in the previous goal zone.

Remarkably, mice given the electrical zaps showed less amounts of pro-inflammatory chemicals in their blood—dubbed cytokines—than those without the stimulation.

“Zap This” On August 8, 2009, Tom and Ray talked to a caller whose problem was more animal than automotive.

Carl Zimmer, Wired They could produce drugs that would zap the viruses behind common illnesses.

Forrester drew a careful bead on it, went zap again with the pointed finger, and blasted the rock into dust.

One little zap would do it, and Alvin Sherdlap would encumber the Earth no more.

Flix was with him, and Adams, who was heading the column, could hear the shouts of the Zappo Zap.

He sat now in what little shadow there was, watching the figure of the Zappo Zap.

They seized on the tent, the Zappo Zap laughing and with teeth glinting in the sun.