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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. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.