- 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.
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- (tr) to attack, kill, or destroy, as with a sudden bombardment
- (intr) to move quickly; rush
- (tr) computing
- 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
C20: of imitative origin
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