• synonyms


  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.
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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


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for dapperly

Historical Examples

  • The Cuban looked at him and smiled, showing two rows of white teeth under his small, dapperly curled mustache.

    The Girl Aviators' Motor Butterfly

    Margaret Burnham

British Dictionary definitions for dapperly


  1. neat and spruce in dress and bearing; trim
  2. small and nimble
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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 dapperly



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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper