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SAP. (i) Juice, the circulating fluid of plants (see PLANTS, Physiology). The word appears in Teutonic languages, cf. Ger. Saft, and may be connected ultimately with the root seen in Lat. sapere, taste, hence to know, cf. sapientia, wisdom, cf. Gr. ffo0os, wise. On the other hand it may, like Fr. stve, Span, saba, have come direct from Lat. sapa, must, new wine, itself also from the same root. The Gr. orris is represented in Lat. by sucus. (2) A military term for a trench dug by a besieging force for the purpose of approach to the point of attack when within range, hence " to sap," to undermine, dig away the foundations of a wall, etc. The word is derived through the Old Fr. from the Med. Lat. sapa, sappa, a spade, entrenching tool, Gr. aKairavri, ffKfarrfu>, to dig. (See FORTIFICATION AND SIEGE-CRAFT.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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