- a person or thing that clips or cuts.
- Often clippers. (often used with a plural verb) a cutting tool, especially shears: hedge clippers.
- Usually clippers. (usually used with a plural verb) a mechanical or electric tool for cutting hair, fingernails, or the like: He told the barber, “No clippers on the sides, please.”
- Nautical. Also called clipper ship. a sailing ship built and rigged for speed, especially a type of three-masted ship with a fast hull form and a lofty rig, built in the U.S. from c1845, and in Great Britain from a later date, until c1870, and used in trades in which speed was more important than cargo capacity.
- Electronics. a device that gives output only for an input above or below a certain critical value.
- a person or thing that moves along swiftly.
Origin of clipper
Examples from the Web for clipper
Los Angeles Clipper Chris Paul has a pair of $325 Barena Venezias.NBA Players Are Wearing Sweatpants Again, but Now They Cost $550
November 11, 2013
He helped draft the Computer Security Act of 1987 and organized the campaign against the "Clipper" chip in 1994.A Deep Read of Obama's Executive Order on Cybersecurity
February 14, 2013
Then you graduated to clipper and finally to researcher—or fact-checker.Behind ‘The Good Girls Revolt’: The ‘Newsweek’ Lawsuit That Paved the Way for Women Writers
Jessica Bennett, Jesse Ellison
September 11, 2012
The Sophia was a clipper; and made the run out in a few days.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
You'll see this boy on the quarter deck of a clipper one of these days.The Depot Master
Joseph C. Lincoln
If I had an oar or somethin' to steer this clipper with, maybe we could git into shoal water.Cap'n Eri
Joseph Crosby Lincoln
Night was drawing near, and the clipper was slipping fast away from us.The Shellback's Progress
Alfred was all of one rainy Sunday reading that copy of the Clipper.Watch Yourself Go By
Al. G. Field
- any fast sailing ship
- a person or thing that cuts or clips
- something, such as a horse or sled, that moves quickly
- electronics another word for limiter
Word Origin and History for clipper
late 14c., "sheepshearer;" early 15c., "a barber;" c.1300 as a surname; agent noun from Middle English clippen "shorten" (see clip (v.1)). The type of fast sailing ship so called from 1823 (in Cooper's "The Pilot"), probably from clip (v.1) in sense of "to move or run rapidly," hence early 19c. sense "person or animal who looks capable of fast running." Perhaps originally simply "fast ship," regardless of type:
Well, you know, the Go-along-Gee was one o' your flash Irish cruisers -- the first o' your fir-built frigates -- and a clipper she was! Give her a foot o' the sheet, and she'd go like a witch--but somehow o'nother, she'd bag on a bowline to leeward. ["Naval Sketch-Book," by "An officer of rank," London, 1826]
The early association of the ships was with Baltimore, Maryland. Perhaps influenced by Middle Dutch klepper "swift horse," echoic (Clipper appears as the name of an English race horse in 1831). In late 18c., the word principally meant "one who cuts off the edges of coins" for the precious metal.