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tap (one) for (something)
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!
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.
To push something into something else by hitting it lightly. A noun or pronoun can be used between "tap" and "in." I tapped the ball in the hole. Give me your hammer for a second. I need to tap in this nail.
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. 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.
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.
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.