Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[dap-er] /ˈdæp ər/
neat; trim; smart:
He looked very dapper in his new suit.
lively and brisk:
to walk with a dapper step.
small and active.
Origin of dapper
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English daper < Middle Dutch dapper nimble, stalwart; cognate with German tapfer brave
Related forms
dapperly, adverb
dapperness, noun
undapper, adjective
1. spruce, modish, jaunty, natty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
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 Daffodil Mystery

    Edgar Wallace
  • 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.


    John French, Viscount of Ypres
British Dictionary definitions for dapper


neat and spruce in dress and bearing; trim
small and nimble
Derived Forms
dapperly, adverb
dapperness, 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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for dapper

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for dapper

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for dapper

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for dapper