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dapper

[dap-er]
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adjective
  1. neat; trim; smart: He looked very dapper in his new suit.
  2. lively and brisk: to walk with a dapper step.
  3. small and active.

Origin of dapper

1400–50; late Middle English daper < Middle Dutch dapper nimble, stalwart; cognate with German tapfer brave
Related formsdap·per·ly, adverbdap·per·ness, nounun·dap·per, adjective

Synonyms

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1. spruce, modish, jaunty, natty.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dapper

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He struck me as a dapper man, noticeably, but not offensively, self-satisfied.

  • They took in the dapper Britisher as if he had been a natural history specimen.

    The Highgrader

    William MacLeod Raine

  • Tarling was haggard and weary, in contrast to the dapper inspector of police.

  • The dapper little officer in khaki was Aguinaldo, and this is the story of how I saw him.

    Bamboo Tales

    Ira L. Reeves

  • On the contrary, he was smart and dapper, and looked like the light-weight horseman he is.

    1914</p>

    John French, Viscount of Ypres


British Dictionary definitions for dapper

dapper

adjective
  1. neat and spruce in dress and bearing; trim
  2. small and nimble
Derived Formsdapperly, adverbdapperness, noun

Word Origin

C15: from Middle Dutch: active, nimble
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for dapper

adj.

mid-15c., "elegant," from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German dapper "bold, strong, sturdy," later "quick, nimble," from Proto-Germanic *dapraz, perhaps with ironical shift of meaning (cf. Old High German tapfar "heavy," German tapfer "brave"), from PIE root *dheb- "dense, firm, compressed."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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