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See also: Zap







zap (plural zaps)

  1. (colloquial) A sound made by a sudden release of electricity or some similar energy.
  2. (colloquial) An electric shock.
    You might feel a little zap touching a metal doorknob when the air is dry.
  3. A raucous public demonstration designed to embarrass a public figure or celebrity as a form of political activism.
    • 1998, Raymond A. Smith, Encyclopedia of AIDS
      Black AIDS activists were caught in the middle of a nearly yearlong series of zaps.
    • 2011, Michael Schiavi, Celluloid Activist: The Life and Times of Vito Russo (page 84)
      When a zap at Brooklyn's Board of Education opened no dialogue on discrimination suffered by gay teachers, GAA targeted the BOE offices on April 13.



zap (third-person singular simple present zaps, present participle zapping, simple past and past participle zapped)

  1. To make a zapping sound.
  2. To use a remote control to repeatedly change channels on a television.
  3. To strike (something or someone) with electricity or energy, as by shooting.
    They spent the whole movie zapping bad guys into oblivion.
  4. (US, military, slang, transitive) To kill; to eliminate.
    • 1966, U.S. News & World Report (volume 61, page 32)
      Says a U. S. officer: "We zapped the enemy, now we intend to stick around. []
  5. To damage (especially electronics) with electrostatic discharge.
    I think they zapped the processor.
  6. To heat (something) in a microwave oven.
    If it's not warm in the middle; zap it some more.
  7. To delete or discard (electronic media).
    They zapped a lot of files before realizing they had not backed up lately.
  8. To further energize or charge (magnetic material).
    They zapped my motor's magnets.





  1. Representing the sound or action of a zap.
    Then the computer went zap and I lost all my work.