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

  • n. Slang A destructive device, especially one that destroys by means of electric current or radiation: a bug zapper.
  • n. Slang A remote-control device for switching a television set on and off and for changing channels.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A remote control for a television.
  • n. A thing that zaps by passing a large voltage, e.g. a bug zapper.
  • n. By extension, any thing capable of extermination.

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

  • n. an electrical device that can injure or kill by means of electric currents


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

to zap + -er.



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  • "Zappers alter the electronic sales records in a cash register. To satisfy tax collectors, the tally of food orders, for example, must match the register’s final cash total. To hide the removal of cash from the till, a crooked business owner has to erase the record of food orders equal to the amount of cash taken; otherwise, the imbalance is obvious to any auditor."

    The New York Times, With Software, Till Tampering Is Hard to Find, by Roy Furchgott, August 29, 2008

    September 1, 2008