[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. daphne,
  2. daphnephoria,
  3. daphnia,
  4. daphnis,
  5. daphnis and chloe,
  6. dapperly,
  7. dapple,
  8. dapple-gray,
  9. dapple-grey,
  10. dappled

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. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for dapperly


/ (ˈdæpə) /


neat and spruce in dress and bearing; trim
small and nimble
Derived Formsdapperly, adverbdapperness, noun

Word Origin for dapper

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper