From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishtaptap1 /tæp/ ●●○ S3 noun 1 water/gas [countable]D especially British English a piece of equipment for controlling the flow of water, gas etc from a pipe or container syn faucet American English Tap water (=water that comes out of a tap) is usually heavily treated with chemicals. She went into the bathroom and turned on the taps.kitchen/bath/garden tap I washed my hands under the kitchen tap.cold/hot tap (=the tap that cold or hot water comes from)2 a light hit [countable]HIT an act of hitting something lightly, especially to get someone’s attentiontap at/on She felt a tap on her shoulder. There was a tap at the door.3 → on tap4 dancing [uncountable] (also tap dancing)APD dancing in which you wear special shoes with pieces of metal on the bottom which make a loud sharp sound on the floor5 telephone [countable]LISTEN an act of secretly listening to someone’s telephone, using electronic equipment The police had put a tap on his phone line.6 barrel [countable]D a specially shaped object used for letting liquid out of a barrel, especially beer7 → tapsCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 1: a piece of equipment for controlling the flow of water, gas etc from a pipe or containerverbsturn on a tapRun some cold water into the bath before turning on the hot tap.turn off a tapI forgot to turn the tap off.run a tap (=make water flow out of it)She stood at the sink, running the tap to get a glass of cold water.a tap is running (=water is flowing out of it)I think you must have left the tap running.a tap is dripping (=drops of water are coming out of it)If the tap is dripping, change the washer.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + tap the cold/hot tapShe scrubbed her hands under the cold tap.the kitchen/bath/garden tapThe water coming out of the kitchen tap had an odd smell.a mixer tap British English (=one through which cold and hot water can run together)He fitted a mixer tap to the bath.a running tapWash the cut under a running tap.a dripping tapI could hear a dripping tap.a leaking/leaky tap (=with drops of water coming from the end )The leaky tap had left a stain in the washbasin.tap + NOUNtap water (=water that comes out of a tap)In the test, people preferred tap water to bottled mineral waters.COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: an act of hitting something lightly, especially to get someone’s attentionadjectivesa gentle/light/soft tapThere was a gentle tap on the door.a sharp tapA few sharp taps with a hammer will force the nail through the surface.verbsgive something/somebody a tapShe gave the dog a gentle tap with her umbrella.
Examples from the Corpustap• The FBI had put a tap on Mitchell's phone line.• There was a tap on the window as Iris passed on her way to the front door of Hawthorn Cottage.• There was a tap at the door.• A tap on the door sounded above the wind.• What are they doing next door? I can't stand this constant tapping on the wall.• The bath looked as if it had been hollowed out of a single lump of the stuff, with monstrous gold dolphins for taps.• I am stopped mid-anecdote by an imperious tap on my shoulder.• I was startled by a light tap at the door.• For the second time, there was a tentative tap on the door.• A rubber hose-pipe snaked across the yard from the kitchen window, bringing hot water from the tap in the big sink.• She gave Mike a drink of water from the tap.cold/hot tap• Add cold tap water to cover the ingredients by 1 inch.• Pour hottest tap water into the larger baking pan to a depth of 1 inch.• She stretched to manipulate the hot tap with her toe.• Great idea: before grating orange or lemon peel, run the grater under the cold tap to prevent sticking.• But as she washed her breakfast cup and saucer and rinsed them meticulously under the cold tap, she was anxious.• She ran the water out of the basin and held her wrists under the cold tap until they were numb.• The cold tap dripped into the stone sink at long, regular intervals.tap at/on• I was just formulating how to say it when I felt a tap on my shoulder.• Rita felt a tap on her shoulder.• Suddenly there is a tap on my shoulder, and I jump in terror.• Nevertheless there was a tap at the door.• In the end, Honor gritted her teeth and tapped on the door.• Within walking distance, if you can, and one that can be tapped at weekends.• I flipped on the car radio, tapping on the steering wheel in time to the music.• Metal, not rubber, taps on shoes?• It was 5.06 when he was tapped on the shoulder and told that he was urgently needed on the phone.