tap - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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English definition of “tap”

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tap

verb uk   us   /tæp/ (-pp-)

tap verb (HIT)

B2 [I or T] to hit something gently, and often repeatedly, especially making short, sharp noises: The branches tapped against the window. I could hear him tapping his fingers on the desk. I was tapping my feet (= hitting the floor gently with my feet) to the music. Someone tapped me on the shoulder. [I or T] to touch the screen of a phone, tablet computer, etc. in order to give an instruction for something to happen : You can manage the repeat and shuffle options by tapping the screen once and swiping to the left. When I tapped on the update button, the screen went blank.

tap verb (GET)

[T] to get or make use of something: For more than a century, Eastern cities have expanded their water supplies by tapping ever more remote sources. There is a rich vein of literary talent here just waiting to be tapped by publishers.

tap verb (PHONE)

[T] to use a small device attached to a phone in order to listen secretly to what people are saying: He suspected that his phone had been tapped.

tap

noun uk   us   /tæp/

tap noun (DEVICE)

B1 [C] UK (US faucet) a device that controls the flow of liquid, especially water, from a pipe: the hot/cold tap Turn the tap on/off. [C] UK a device that controls the flow of gas from a pipeon tap used to describe beer that is served from a barrel through a tap available for use at any time: Working in a library as I do, I have all this information on tap.
More examples

tap noun (HIT)

B2 [C] a gentle knock or touch, or the noise made by knocking something gently: I gave her a tap on the shoulder and she turned around. There was a tap on the window - Dad was outside!

tap noun (DANCE)

[U] →  tap dancing : He teaches tap and ballroom.

tap noun (PHONE)

[C] a small piece of equipment that can be attached to a phone in order to listen secretly to someone's phone calls: He claims that he knew nothing of government phone taps on journalists during those years.

tap noun (SIGNAL)

taps [plural] US a musical signal played at military funerals and in the evening to tell soldiers that lights are to go off

tap noun (SPEECH SOUND)

[C] specialized phonetics a sound made by the tongue moving upwards and downwards very quickly and hitting the alveolar area
(Definition of tap from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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