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sap 1

a. The watery fluid that circulates through a plant, carrying food and other substances to the various tissues.
b. See cell sap.
2. Health and energy; vitality: The constant bickering drained his sap away.
3. Slang A foolish or gullible person.
tr.v. sapped, sap·ping, saps
1. To drain (a tree, for example) of sap.
2. To deplete or weaken gradually: The noisy children sapped all my energy. The flu sapped him of his strength. See Synonyms at deplete.

[Middle English, from Old English sæp. V., sense 2, probably partly from sap (taken as "to weaken (resistance) as by draining of sap.").]

sap 2

A covered trench or tunnel dug to a point near or within an enemy position.
v. sapped, sap·ping, saps
To undermine the foundations of (a fortification).
To dig a sap.

[French sape, from saper, to sap, undermine, from Italian zappare, to dig with a mattock or hoe, sap, from zappa, mattock, hoe, from Old Italian, from Late Latin sappa, of unknown origin.]

sap 3

A leather-covered bludgeon with a short, flexible shaft or strap, used as a hand weapon.
tr.v. sapped, sap·ping, saps
To hit or knock out with a sap.

[Probably short for sapling, since the bludgeons were made from wood from saplings.]


abbreviation for
(Law) South African Police Service
References in classic literature ?
Yet after all Who is it that saps his strength save man alone?
They're a good lot o' boys, Miss Carr, a square lot--white men all of 'em; but they're a little soft and green, may be, from livin' in these yer pine woods along o' the other sap.
You must learn the trick; you must imitate the trademarks of poverty, misery, oppression, insult, and the other several and common inhumanities that sap the manliness out of a man and make him a loyal and proper and approved subject and a satisfaction to his masters, or the very infants will know you for better than your disguise, and we shall go to pieces at the first hut we stop at.
Yet even in this stage of withering a little incident happened, which showed that the sap of affection was not all gone.
For my heart was like a withered stick; the sap and strength had gone from my heart--it was drawn out in the fire of Chaka's hut, and lost in my sorrow for those whom I had loved.