Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To destroy or kill with a burst of gunfire, flame, or electric current.
  • transitive v. To kill or destroy as if by shooting.
  • transitive v. To strike suddenly and forcefully as if with a projectile or weapon: "His . . . narrative runs marvelously on and on, zapping the reader with often surprising and . . . painful glimpses” ( Publishers Weekly).
  • transitive v. To expose to radiation; irradiate: "perfect for those who can't bring themselves to zap food in a microwave” ( John F. Mariani).
  • transitive v. To attack (an enemy) with heavy firepower; strafe or bombard.
  • transitive v. To use a remote control device to switch (channels on a television) or to turn off (a television set).
  • intransitive v. To move swiftly; zoom.
  • n. Something that imparts excitement or great interest.
  • interj. Used to imitate a sound made by a gun when fired.
  • interj. Used to indicate a sudden occurrence.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sound made by a sudden release of electricity or some similar energy.
  • n. An electrical shock.
  • v. To make a zapping sound.
  • v. To use a remote control to repeatedly change channels on a television.
  • v. To strike (something or someone) with electricity or energy, as by shooting.
  • v. To damage (especially electronics) with electrostatic discharge.
  • v. To heat (something) in a microwave oven.
  • v. To delete or discard (electronic media).
  • v. To further energize or charge (magnetic material).
  • interj. Representing the sound or action of a zap.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. to shoot, destroy, or inactivate.
  • transitive v. to bomb with an atomic bomb.
  • transitive v. to cook or heat in a microwave oven.
  • transitive v. to subject to radiation, a laser beam, a strong electric current, or other potentially destructive treatment.
  • transitive v. to skip over (e. g. a commercial or dull interval in a television program) by using the fast-forward button on a VCR remove control.
  • transitive v. to add interest, color, or attractiveness to; to liven; -- usually used with up.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cook or heat in a microwave oven
  • n. a sudden event that imparts energy or excitement, usually with a dramatic impact
  • v. strike at with firepower or bombs
  • v. strike suddenly and with force
  • v. kill with or as if with a burst of gunfire or electric current or as if by shooting

Etymologies

Imitative.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
onomatopoeic (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And when such a zap is administered to an unsuspecting, coin-bearing beverage-seeker, a funny thing happens -- dozens of teeny plastic light-up ray guns in the box simultaneously fire a deafening cacophony of BEEYOOO BEEYOOO PATOW PATOW BEEYOOO!

    Voice Post:

  • An incontrovertible supply of bang and zap is important.

    Archive 2007-08-01

  • Their data does not shed much light on the early code, consisting of prebiotically available amino acids-the kind generated in Stanley Miller's famous "zap" - experiment.

    PhysOrg.com - latest science and technology news stories

  • We also should recognize SF as the source of zap, which is used as noun, verb, and interjection to indicate ` sudden power '(n.), to ` kill in a burst' (v.), or the ` sound effect for sudden destruction '

    VERBATIM: The Language Quarterly Vol XI No 4

  • Me thinks all that weightlessness he experienced long ago put a permanent 'zap' on his cortex ...

    Bill Nelson Continues To Block NASA Administrator Nominees - NASA Watch

  • We would just "zap" ourselves to and from so there would be no need for a plane ride!

    Birthday Post: Mummsie

  • An electronic device designed to "zap" away migraine pain before it starts may be the next form of relief for millions of people who suffer from the debilitating disease.

    Science

  • About 10 years ago, I had that "zap" treatment of my nasal turbinates to improve airflow through my nose.

    I am so miserable.

  • I recognized the need for a brain "zap" in regards to my art.

    My inbox this morning

  • There was a kind of zap! as the leaves were disturbed, and Stile felt the presence of magic.

    Juxtaposition

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  • This word brings back memories of ACT UP.

    November 24, 2011