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90s Slang You Should Know


[rey-pee-er] /ˈreɪ pi ər/
a small sword, especially of the 18th century, having a narrow blade and used for thrusting.
a longer, heavier sword, especially of the 16th and 17th centuries, having a double-edged blade and used for slashing and thrusting.
Origin of rapier
1545-55; < Middle French (espee) rapiere literally, rasping (sword); see rape3
Related forms
rapiered, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for rapier
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His own inherited martial spirit had vaguely approved; he, too, in those earlier days, had felt the sunlight upon his rapier.

    The Zeppelin's Passenger E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • Skill with the rapier did not necessarily imply skill with the cudgel.

    The Lady of Loyalty House Justin Huntly McCarthy
  • He clapped his hand to his side for his rapier, but, being a prisoner, of course found it not.

    Peggy Owen at Yorktown Lucy Foster Madison
  • Come, take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to the court.

    The Merry Wives of Windsor William Shakespeare
  • Her rapier wit confused and amazed me; her sudden revelation of our kinship confounded me.

    The Little Red Foot Robert W. Chambers
  • Take your rapier, Jack; I vill tell you how I vill kill him.

    The Merry Wives of Windsor William Shakespeare
  • We gentlemen of Norfolk sometimes try conclusions with the cudgel before the rapier comes into play.

    The Chaplain of the Fleet Walter Besant and James Rice
  • The man with his face to me tossed his rapier impatiently into a corner.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
British Dictionary definitions for rapier


a long narrow two-edged sword with a guarded hilt, used as a thrusting weapon, popular in the 16th and 17th centuries
a smaller single-edged 18th-century sword, used principally in France
Derived Forms
rapier-like, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Old French espee rapiere, literally: rasping sword; see rasp1
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
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Word Origin and History for rapier

"light, sharp-pointed sword," 1550s, from Middle French rapière, from espee rapiere "long, pointed two-edged sword" (late 15c.), in which the adjective is of uncertain origin, perhaps from derisive use of raspiere "poker, scraper." Dutch, Danish rapier, German Rappier are from French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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