I. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English sæp; akin to Old High German saf sap Date: before 12th century 1. a. the fluid part of a plant; specifically a watery solution that circulates through a plant's vascular system b. (1) a body fluid (as blood) essential to life, health, or vigor (2) bodily health and vigor 2. a foolish gullible person 3. [probably short for sapling] blackjack, bludgeonsapless adjectivesaplessness noun II. transitive verb (sapped; sapping) Date: 1725 1. to drain or deprive of sap 2. to knock out with a sap III. verb (sapped; sapping) Etymology: Middle French sapper, from Old Italian zappare, from zappa hoe Date: 1598 intransitive verb to proceed by digging a sap transitive verb 1. to subvert by digging or eroding the substratum or foundation ; undermine 2. a. to gradually diminish the supply or intensity of <
sapped her strength
b. to weaken or exhaust the energy or vitality of <
the illness sapped him of his stamina
3. to operate against or pierce by a sap Synonyms: see weaken IV. noun Etymology: French sape, from saper Date: 1642 the extension of a trench to a point beneath an enemy's fortifications

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

(of a plant), ,

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