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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Rap \Rap\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Rapped (r[a^]pt); p. pr. & vb. n. Rapping.] [Akin to Sw. rappa to strike, rapp stroke, Dan. rap, perhaps of imitative origin.] To strike with a quick, sharp blow; to knock; as, to rap on the door.


Rap \Rap\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Rapped (r[a^]pt), usually written Rapt; p. pr. & vb. n. Rapping.] [OE. rapen; akin to LG. & D. rapen to snatch, G. raffen, Sw. rappa; cf. Dan. rappe sig to make haste, and Icel. hrapa to fall, to rush, hurry. The word has been confused with L. rapere to seize. Cf. Rape robbery, Rapture, Raff, v., Ramp, v.]

  1. To snatch away; to seize and hurry off.

    And through the Greeks and Ilians they rapt The whirring chariot.

    From Oxford I was rapt by my nephew, Sir Edmund Bacon, to Redgrove.
    --Sir H. Wotton.

  2. To hasten. [Obs.]
    --Piers Plowman.

  3. To seize and bear away, as the mind or thoughts; to transport out of one's self; to affect with ecstasy or rapture; as, rapt into admiration.

    I'm rapt with joy to see my Marcia's tears.

    Rapt into future times, the bard begun.

  4. To exchange; to truck. [Obs. & Low]

  5. To engage in a discussion, converse.

  6. (ca. 1985) to perform a type of rhythmic talking, often with accompanying rhythm instruments. It is considered by some as a type of music; see rap music.

    To rap and ren, To rap and rend. [Perhaps fr. Icel. hrapa to hurry and r[ae]na plunder, fr. r[=a]n plunder, E. ran.] To seize and plunder; to snatch by violence.
    --Dryden. ``[Ye] waste all that ye may rape and renne.''

    All they could rap and rend and pilfer.

    To rap out, to utter with sudden violence, as an oath.

    A judge who rapped out a great oath.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1400, verbal noun from rap (v.1). Meaning "talking" is from 1969; meaning "rap music performance" is from 1979, from rap (v.2).


n. action of the verb ''to rap'' vb. (present participle of rap English)

  1. n. a reproach for some lapse or misdeed; "he took the blame for it"; "it was a bum rap" [syn: blame]

  2. a gentle blow [syn: strike, tap]

  3. the sound made by a gentle blow [syn: pat, tap]

  4. voluble conversation

  5. genre of African-American music of the 1980s and 1990s in which rhyming lyrics are chanted to a musical accompaniment; several forms of rap have emerged [syn: rap music, hip-hop]

  6. the act of hitting vigorously; "he gave the table a whack" [syn: knock, belt, whack, whang]

  7. [also: rapping, rapped]

  1. v. strike sharply; "rap him on the knuckles" [syn: knap]

  2. make light, repeated taps on a surface; "he was tapping his fingers on the table impatiently" [syn: tap, knock, pink]

  3. perform rap music

  4. talk volubly

  5. [also: rapping, rapped]


See rap


Rapping (or emceeing, MCing, spitting bars,''' '''or rhyming) is "spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics". The components of rapping include "content", "flow" ( rhythm and rhyme), and "delivery". Rapping is distinct from spoken-word poetry in that it is performed in time to a beat (external meter). Rapping is often associated with and a primary ingredient of hip-hop music, but the origins of the phenomenon can be said to predate hip-hop culture by centuries. It can also be found in alternative rock such as that of Cake, Gorillaz and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Rapping is also used in Kwaito music, a genre that originated in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is composed of hip-hop elements. Another form of rap that predates hip hop was Muhammad Ali's rhythmic poetry used to taunt his opponents in the 1960s and 1970s.

Rapping can be delivered over a beat or without accompaniment. Stylistically, rap occupies a gray area between speech, prose, poetry, and singing. The word (meaning originally "to hit") as used to describe quick speech or repartee predates the musical form. The word had been used in British English since the 16th century. It was part of the African-American dialect of English in the 1960s meaning "to converse", and very soon after that in its present usage as a term denoting the musical style. Today, the terms "rap" and "rapping" are so closely associated with hip-hop music that many use the terms interchangeably.

Usage examples of "rapping".

Rapping a pen against his desk blotter, Nestler weighed their comments.

Three more cars pulled up behind him, including a Tokamak, and he happened to glance at the rearview screen when Blaine climbed out, walking with a genuine bounce, approaching on the right and rapping on the passenger window with one fat knuckle, then stooping down and smiling through the glass, proving that he had made a remarkable recovery since being murdered.

The governess was always getting muddled with her astrolabe, and when she got specially muddled she would take it out of the Wart by rapping his knuckles.

Chief Brehon, rapping on the wooden table before him with his staff of office and calling for silence.

Matt Gregoire was rapping anxiously on the closed glass partition separating us.

Rapping his knife handle on the table for silence, the new Master of Porterhouse rose to his feet.

She also had a way of lunging predatorily into the classroom and rapping the knuckles of any girl who had been whispering, making faces at the teachers, passing notes, doodling, woolgathering, fidgeting, scratching, nose-picking, sighing, or slumping.

NSA team tested the land-based circuits and found that signals from teletypewriters that were rapping out decrypted, highly secret messages were leaking onto unencrypted voice channels.

Clothes hangers were tinkling, and all the glass in the windows rattled like someone rapping to get in.

Encountering chuckholes, cracks, and patches in the pavement, the tires stuttered as hard as rapping hammers, and Dylan worried about the consequences of a blowout at this lightning pace, but he pressed the Expedition to 96, taxing the shock absorbers, torturing the springs, onward to 97, with engine screaming and wind of their own manufacture shrieking at the windows, to 98, between bracketing big rigs, around a sleek Jaguar with a cruise-missile whoosh that elicited a disapproving blast of the sports car's horn, to 99.

A milling sea of multicolored humanity filled it to overflowing as always, shucking and jiving and hustling and rapping and breakdancing and just hanging out.

Hip-hop’s four legs delivered everything: music in DJ’ing, poetry in MC rapping, dance in the b-boy’s breakdancing and art in Jax’s own contribution, graffiti.

In the distance but clear, like the voices you heard in dreams, Eddie heard a rapid, rapping, ecstatic voice streetbopping its message: “SayGawd, brotha, that’s right, sayGawd on Second Avenue, sayGawd on Avenue B, sayGawd in the Bronx, I sayGawd, I sayGawd -bomb, I sayGawd!

In the distance but clear, like the voices you heard in dreams, Eddie heard a rapid, rapping, ecstatic voice streetbopping its message: “Say Gawd, brotha, that’s right, say Gawd on Second Avenue, say Gawd on Avenue B, say Gawd in the Bronx, I say Gawd, I say Gawd-bomb, I say Gawd!

In the distance but clear, like the voices you heard in dreams, Eddie heard a rapid, rapping, ecstatic voice streetbopping its message: "Say Gawd, brotha, that's right, say Gawd on Second Avenue, say Gawd on Avenue B, say Gawd in the Bronx, I say Gawd, I say Gawd-bomb, I say Gawd!