Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
tap (one) for (something)
1. To select someone for some particular opportunity, especially to take up a specific role, position, or purpose. Often used in passive constructions. The decorated general has been tapped by the president for the position of Secretary of State. I can't believe the boss tapped me for the big promotion!
2. To ask one for something, especially money. He tapped his parents for $50 to cover the cost of the ticket. Every week, Janet taps me for a couple dollars. It has really started adding up!
tap (one) into (something)
1. To connect one to some network or community. One of my co-workers tapped me into the local grunge music scene after she heard that I like The Smashing Pumpkins. Her newfound celebrity tapped her into a new social sphere of wealth and power.
2. To connect one to some emotional, intellectual, or spiritual area of thought or life. The author's words really tapped me into a part of my subconscious I didn't even know existed. The conference aims to tap people into their artistic sides that may have been neglected over the years.
tap (one) to (do something)
To select someone to perform or undertake some specific action. Often used in passive constructions. The decorated attorney has been tapped by the president to lead the investigation. I can't believe the boss tapped me to run the new office in London!
tap (someone or something) with (something)
To use some item or instrument to strike someone or something very swiftly and lightly. He tapped the nail with his hammer so as not to damage the wall. The police officer tapped the man with his baton and asked what he was up to.
tap at (something)
To strike something lightly, swiftly, and repeatedly. You're never going to drive the stake into the ground tapping at it with your hammer like that. I could have sworn I heard someone tapping at the window, but there was no one there when I got up to check.
To drive or pack something down by repeatedly striking it lightly and swiftly. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tap" and "down." Just tap the piece down gently. You could break the whole machine if you hit it too hard. He tapped down the tobacco into his pipe and lit it with a match.
1. To force something into something else by tapping it with light blows. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tap" and "in." You want the peg to fit snugly, so just tap it in with your hammer. The carpenter set about tapping in shims to make the new wall level.
2. To strike a ball without great effort or difficulty to put it in the desired place, such as the net or hole. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tap" and "in." The golfer got the ball within a foot of the hole from the fairway, then tapped it in for a birdie. The forward drew the goalie out of the box and then passed to her teammate, who tapped in the ball for an easy goal.
3. To gain access to some area or system by tapping an electronic card, fob, or similar item on a designated wireless reader. Please remember to tap in before you start your shift, or your hours will not be counted correctly. If you load your travel card up with credit, then you can tap in at any station without having to worry about having the correct amount of change for a ticket.
4. To enter some information very quickly on a keyboard or keypad. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tap" and "in." Just open up the app and tap in your PIN number. The website will ask you to tap some personal details in before your account is created.
tap into (something)
To access some large, abundant, or powerful resource. The man was found guilty for illegally tapping into the city's electrical grid without paying. The new film taps into the nostalgia of fans who grew up with the franchise when they were kids.
tap on (something)
1. To strike something lightly and swiftly. You're never going to drive the stake into the ground tapping on it with your hammer like that. I could have sworn I heard someone tapping at the window, but there was no one there when I got up to check. The singer tapped on the microphone to see if it was one.
2. To strike someone or something lightly and swiftly on a particular spot or part. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "tap" and "on." I turned around when someone tapped me on my shoulder. He always taps soda cans on their lids before opening them.
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.
tap the admiral
To drink directly (and secretly) from a cask, as if by a straw and gimlet. The phrase refers to British admiral Horatio Nelson, whose corpse was transported to England in a liquor-filled cask that is said to have arrived empty of liquor. Someone must have tapped the admiral because we are out of liquor already!
1. To attempt to persuade a professional athlete to transfer to a different team, especially without the permission or knowledge of the player's existing team. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tap" and "up." The manager for Chelsea is being scrutinized by UEFA officials over allegations of tapping up the talented forward while he was still under contract with Arsenal. They are one of the few leagues who haven't banned clubs from tapping players up without going through the formal transfer process.
2. To offer someone a position in one's company; to recruit someone. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tap" and "up." We're always looking to tap up the best and brightest computer engineers to help make our app stand out above the competition. The law firm recently tapped me up, offering me a job that pays nearly twice my current one.
3. To ask someone to provide one with something as a favor. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tap" and "up." Usually followed by "for." Stop tapping me up for money. You already owe me $500! Why don't you tap up your brother for a ride to the city? If you ever need help with this, don't hesitate to tap me up.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
tap something down
to pound something down with light blows. Please tap that nail down so no one gets hurt on it. Tap down the tack, if you would.
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.
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.