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1. To remove something from a container by tapping it against one's hand or some other surface. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tap" and "out." She tapped a bit of powdered sugar out of the bag. Make sure to tap out the ashes before you load the pipe with fresh tobacco.
2. To empty a container by tapping it against one's hand or some other surface. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tap" and "out." He began tapping the cup out over the garden to get all the worms out and into the soil. He sat tapping out his pipe as he stared into the fire.
3. To create something by making tapping noises. He tapped out a beat for me to play the tune to on my guitar. I realized that he was tapping out a message in Morse code.
4. In a combat sport, such as wrestling, judo, or mixed martial arts, to indicate one's submission to one's opponent by tapping on the mat. Moving like lightning, the fighter got her opponent in a chokehold in the first couple minutes of the match, causing her to tap out almost immediately. Many people suspected that he had thrown the match judging by how quickly he tapped out.
5. To deplete the resources of someone, something, or oneself. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tap" and "out." Often used in passive constructions. The freak snow storm quickly tapped out the city's meager supply of salt used to keep the roads free of ice. That unlucky streak at the blackjack table tapped me out.
Completely exhausted or depleted (of some resource). A: "Do you want to place another bet?" B: "Nah, I'm tapped out." Do we have any more ink cartridges? This one's tapped out.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
tap something out
1. Lit. to clean something, as the ashes out of a pipe, by tapping. He took the pipe out of his mouth and tapped the ashes out. He tapped out the soil from the flower pot.
2. Fig. to send a message in Morse code, as on a telegraph. The telegraph operator tapped a message out and waited for a reply. The operator tapped out a message.
3. Fig. to thump the rhythm of a piece of music [on something]. Tap the rhythm out until you get it right. Let's tap out the rhythm together.
1. Sl. to lose one's money in gambling or in the securities markets. I'm gonna tap out in about three more rolls—just watch. I really tapped out on that gold-mining stock.
2. Sl. to die; to expire. My dog tapped out after being hit by a car. Mary was so tired that she thought she was going to tap out.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To produce something with a succession of light taps: She tapped out a rhythm with her pencil. The captain tapped out a distress signal in Morse code. I tapped the letter out on my computer.
2. To submit in a fight, wrestling match, or other contest by tapping the ground with the hand: Unable to free himself from the choke hold, the wrestler tapped out.
3. Baseball To hit the ball weakly so that one is put out at first base: The batter tapped out, and the inning was over. The hitter tapped out with a ground ball to third base.
4. To deplete some resource or the resources of someone or something: The hurricane tapped out the city's emergency funds. The medical expenses tapped us out. The housing market is tapped out now that so many new houses have been built.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. in. to lose one’s money gambling or in the securities markets. (see also tapped.) I’m gonna tap out in about three more rolls—just watch. I really tapped out on that gold-mining stock.
2. in. to die; to expire. Mary was so tired that she thought she was going to tap out.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.