Definition of wiretap in US English:

wiretap

noun

  • 1An act of using a listening device to conduct surveillance, typically over a phone line.

    ‘illegal wiretaps of leading politicians’
    as modifier ‘secret wiretap recordings’
    • ‘In a wiretap channel, the eavesdropper is assumed to receive messages transmitted by the sender over a channel that is noisier than the legitimate receiver's channel.’
    • ‘The U.S. government is proposing to expand wiretap design laws broadly to Internet services, including voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) services and other peer-to- peer tools.’
    • ‘Telephone wiretaps and electronic surveillance are and were essential in most counterintelligence operations.’
    • ‘A 27-day telephone wiretap in Maryland averaged 358 intercepts per day.’
    • ‘Wiretaps were "essential to the success of the investigation."’
    1. 1.1 A listening device used to conduct surveillance, typically one connected to a phone line.
      ‘after putting a wiretap on the phone of the pizzeria, agents searched shipments bound for the warehouse’

verb

[with object]
  • Use a listening device to conduct surveillance on.

    ‘the government illegally wiretapped the lawyers’
    • ‘British law prohibits us wiretapping ourselves, but it says nothing about covert foreign nationals setting up shop.’
    • ‘Wiretapped recordings obtained pursuant to Title III are ordinarily exempt from disclosure under Exemption 3.’
    • ‘These individuals are concerned that the ability to route wiretapped calls to a central location would enable a single team of agents to monitor multiple conversations.’
    • ‘If any American citizen was to be wiretapped, the authorities had to go to the special FlSA court to get a warrant.’
    • ‘A very high number of private telephone communications are wiretapped under police investigations.’

Pronunciation

wiretap

/ˈwaɪ(ə)rˌtæp//ˈwī(ə)rˌtap/