American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The watery fluid that circulates through a plant, carrying food and other substances to the various tissues.
- n. The fluid contents of a plant cell vacuole.
- n. An essential bodily fluid.
- n. Health and energy; vitality.
- n. Slang A gullible person; a dupe.
- n. A leather-covered hand weapon; a blackjack.
- v. To drain of sap.
- v. To hit or knock out with a sap.
- n. A covered trench or tunnel dug to a point near or within an enemy position.
- v. To undermine the foundations of (a fortification).
- v. To deplete or weaken gradually.
- v. To dig a sap.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The juice or fluid which circulates in all plants, being as indispensable to vegetable life as is the blood to animal life. It is the first product of the digestion of plant-food, and contains the elements of vegetable growth in a dissolved condition. The absorption of nutriment from the soil is effected by the minute root-hairs and papillæ, the absorbed nutriment being mainly composed of carbonic acid and nitrogenous compounds dissolved in water. This ascending sap, or as it is termed crude sap, is apparently transmitted through the long cells in the vascular tissue of the stem and branches to the leaves, passing from cell to cell by the process known as endosmose. In the leaves is effected the process of digestion or assimilation, with the following results: the chemical decomposition of the oxygenated matter of the sap, the absorption of carbon dioxid (carbonic acid), and the liberation of pure oxygen at the ordinary atmospheric temperature; a counter-operation by which oxygen is absorbed from the air, and carbon dioxid exhaled; the transformation of the remaining crude sap into organic substances which enter into the composition of the plant: this change is effected in the chlorophyl-cells of the leaves under the influence of light, and the assimilated sap, or as it is termed elaborated sap, descends through the branches and stem to the growing parts of the plant requiring the same, there to be used up, after undergoing a series of changes included under the name metastasis, or to form deposits of reserve material lodged in various parts for future use. The ascent of the sap is one of the most wonderful phenomena of spring, and apparently depends not so much on the state of the weather—for it begins in the depth of winter—as on the plant having had its sufficient term of rest, and being, therefore, constrained by its very nature to renewed activity.
- n. Hence The juice or fluid the presence of which in anything is characteristic of a healthy, fresh, or vigorous condition; blood.
- n. The alburnum of a tree; the exterior part of the wood, next to the bark; sap-wood.
- n. Same as saphead.
- To act like a sap; play the part of a ninny or a soft fellow.
- n. A tool for digging; a mattock.
- n. [⟨ sap, verb] Milit., a narrow ditch or trench by which approach is made to a fortress or besieged place when within range of fire. The trench is formed by trained men (sappers), who place gabions as a cover (filled with the earth taken from the trench) along the intended line of parapet—the earth excavated, after the gabions have been filled, being thrown toward the fortress, to form a parapet capable of resisting artillery. The single sap has only a single parapet; the double has one on each side. A sap is usually made by four men working together.
- To undermine; render unstable by digging into or eating away the foundations, or, figuratively, by some analogous insidious or invisible process; impair the stability of, by insidious means: as, to sap a wall; to sap a person's constitution, or the morals of a community.
- Milit., to approach or pierce with saps or trenches.
- To dig or use saps or trenches; hence, to impair stability by insidious means.
- n. In archery, the light-colored portion of a bowstaff composed of the sap-wood. This portion forms the back of a self-bow.
- n. A quarryman's name for rock which is partially decayed and which exhibits this quality by iron stains and other discolorations. It is usually thrown away.
- n. uncountable The juice of plants of any kind, especially the ascending and descending juices or circulating fluid essential to nutrition.
- n. uncountable The sap-wood, or alburnum, of a tree.
- n. slang, countable A simpleton; a saphead; a milksop; a naive person.
- n. countable, US, slang A short wooden club; a leather-covered hand weapon; a blackjack.
- v. transitive, slang To strike with a sap (with a blackjack).
- n. military A narrow ditch or trench made from the foremost parallel toward the glacis or covert way of a besieged place by digging under cover of gabions, etc.
- v. transitive To subvert by digging or wearing away; to mine; to undermine; to destroy the foundation of.
- v. transitive, military To pierce with saps.
- v. To make unstable or infirm; to unsettle; to weaken.
- v. transitive To gradually weaken.
- v. intransitive To proceed by mining, or by secretly undermining; to execute saps — 12
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. The juice of plants of any kind, especially the ascending and descending juices or circulating fluid essential to nutrition.
- n. The sapwood, or alburnum, of a tree.
- n. Slang A simpleton; a saphead; a milksop.
- v. To subvert by digging or wearing away; to mine; to undermine; to destroy the foundation of.
- v. (Mil.) To pierce with saps.
- v. To make unstable or infirm; to unsettle; to weaken.
- v. To proceed by mining, or by secretly undermining; to execute saps.
- n. (Mil.) A narrow ditch or trench made from the foremost parallel toward the glacis or covert way of a besieged place by digging under cover of gabions, etc.
- n. a watery solution of sugars, salts, and minerals that circulates through the vascular system of a plant
- n. a piece of metal covered by leather with a flexible handle; used for hitting people
- n. a person who lacks good judgment
- v. excavate the earth beneath
- v. deplete.
- From French saper (compare Spanish zapar and Italian zappare) from sape ("sort of scythe"), from Late Latin sappa ("sort of mattock"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English sæp.Obsolete French sappe or Italian zappa, hoe, from Old French and Old Italian, both from Late Latin sappa. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“A little in this way -- but these similes are very imperfect, and will not bear close application -- the sap rises in a tree, stealing up branch by branch; and it is then called _ascending sap_.”
“You can also, though take pine sap from a pine tree, and that will burn for a while.”
“Then they showed us how the Maple sap is turned into syrup (lots of boiling), and they let us taste maple syrup, maple sugar, and maple sap -- the last, one child apply described as tasting a bit like a wet stick.”
“Let's hope Mr. C makes it off that island; otherwise, there's a very good chance the poor sap is there forever.”
“I really surprised the poor sap is still alive ... “reached into his sweatshirt, retrieved a mobile phone, and proceeded to place acall.””
“Dad helps the uncles pour sap from the tree buckets into gathering buckets and then into a giant barrel on the sled.”
“But, my father (83 yrs) has fond memories of tasting the sap from the buckets on the way to and from school when he was growing up in Vermont.”
“But them sickenin ', sap-headed stiffs, with the grit of rabbits and the silk of mangy ky-yi's, a-cheerin' me -- ME!”
“Note: The sap is poisonous, anis used to coat arrowheads in the plant's native range of Africa and the Arabian peninsula.”
“Then the spring comes, when her sap is rising, and she is preparing to blossom like the cherry trees that line the city streets.”
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