1. An act of secretly listening to or recording a person's telephone or internet conversations, often as part of a police investigation.
2. A device that is connected to a communications circuit in a concealed fashion in order to enable a wiretap.
tr.v. wire·tapped, wire·tap·ping, wire·taps
1. To listen to or record in secret (a conversation carried on over a telephone line or other communications channel), often as part of a police investigation.
2. To wiretap the conversations on (a telephone line or other communications channel), often as part of a police investigation.
3. To wiretap the conversations of (a person) or the communications devices in (a place).
4. To connect a concealed listening or recording device to (a telephone line).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.