[ zap ]
See synonyms for zap on
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.

  1. to cook or heat in a microwave oven: This coffee is almost cold—could you zap it for 30 seconds?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  1. a forceful and sudden blow, hit, or attack: This game character can kill minions and goblins with a zap even after he dies.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 Phrases
  1. zap up, 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.

Origin of zap

An Americanism dating back to 1940–45; imitative

Other words from zap

  • zap·per, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use zap in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for zap


/ (zæp) slang /

verbzaps, zapping or zapped
  1. (tr) to attack, kill, or destroy, as with a sudden bombardment

  2. (intr) to move quickly; rush

  1. (tr) computing

    • to clear from the screen

    • to erase

  2. (intr) television to change channels rapidly by remote control

  1. energy, vigour, or pep

  1. an exclamation used to express sudden or swift action

Origin of 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