AskDefine | Define sapping

Dictionary Definition

sap

Noun

1 a watery solution of sugars, salts, and minerals that circulates through the vascular system of a plant
2 a person who lacks good judgment [syn: fool, saphead, muggins, tomfool]
3 a piece of metal covered by leather with a flexible handle; used for hitting people [syn: blackjack, cosh]

Verb

1 deplete; "exhaust one's savings"; "We quickly played out our strength" [syn: run down, exhaust, play out, tire]
2 excavate the earth beneath [also: sapping, sapped]sapping See sap

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Verb

sapping
  1. present participle of sap

Extensive Definition

For the tactic of tunneling under an enemy’s works see Mining (military).
Sapping is a term used in siege operations. Any trench excavated under defensive musket or artillery fire that was intended to advance a besieging army's position in relation to the works of an attacked fortification was referred to as a sap. Saps of approach were excavated by brigades of trained sappers or instructed troops of the line who advanced their sap under cover of a sap roller or mantlet by forming a parapet on the engaged side of the trench one gabion at a time and filling it with earth taken from the trench.

References

sapping in French: Sape
sapping in Russian: Сапа
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