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[ree-per] /ˈri pər/
a machine for cutting standing grain; reaping machine.
a person who reaps.
Origin of reaper
before 1000; Middle English reper, Old English ripere. See reap, -er1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for reaper
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Now he was a ploughman (spring), now a fisherman (summer), now a reaper (autumn).

    The Book of Hallowe'en Ruth Edna Kelley
  • The harvest-time reminded the Bretons of the garnering by that reaper, Death.

    The Book of Hallowe'en Ruth Edna Kelley
  • This is cut with the reaper and binder just after the wheat plant has flowered.

    Wheat Growing in Australia Australia Department of External Affairs
  • A reaper is to have in time of corn-harvest 2d., the first week in August, and 3d.

  • He was fading fast, waning with the waning summer, and conscious that the reaper was at hand.

    Mugby Junction Charles Dickens
  • On the spot which the thorns usurped, the reaper gathers only straw and chaff.

    The Parables of Our Lord William Arnot
British Dictionary definitions for reaper


a person who reaps or a machine for reaping
the grim reaper, death
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 reaper

Old English ripere, agent noun from reap (v.). As the name of a personification of death, from 1839.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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