[ zap ]
/ zæp /
verb (used with object), zapped, zap·ping.
to kill or shoot.
to attack, defeat, or destroy with sudden speed and force.
to bombard with electrical current, radiation, laser beams, etc.
to strike or jolt suddenly and forcefully.
to cook in a microwave oven.
to skip over or delete (TV commercials), as by switching channels or pushing a fast-forward button on a playback device: We recorded the show on our VCR but zapped all the commercials.
to add a sudden infusion of energy, verve, color, attractiveness, or the like (often followed by up): just the thing to zap up your spring wardrobe.
verb (used without object), zapped, zap·ping.
to move quickly, forcefully, or destructively: high-voltage currents zapping overhead.
force, energy, or drive; zip.
a jolt or charge, as or as if of electricity.
a forceful and sudden blow, hit, or attack.
any method of political activism, usually of a disruptive nature.
Origin of zap
An Americanism dating back to 1940–45; imitative
Related formszap·per, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for zapper
/ (zæp) slang /
verb zaps, zapping or zapped
(tr) to attack, kill, or destroy, as with a sudden bombardment
(intr) to move quickly; rush
- to clear from the screen
- 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 zapper
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