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rapier

[rey-pee-er]
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noun
  1. a small sword, especially of the 18th century, having a narrow blade and used for thrusting.
  2. a longer, heavier sword, especially of the 16th and 17th centuries, having a double-edged blade and used for slashing and thrusting.
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Origin of rapier

1545–55; < Middle French (espee) rapiere literally, rasping (sword); see rape3
Related formsra·pi·ered, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rapier

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • I placed my rapier on the table and waited for him to speak.

    The Suitors of Yvonne

    Raphael Sabatini

  • If your friend desire the sword, I have no objection,—I mean the rapier.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore

    Charles James Lever

  • The man with his face to me tossed his rapier impatiently into a corner.

    Romance

    Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

  • Strickland employed not the rapier of sarcasm but the bludgeon of invective.

    The Moon and Sixpence

    W. Somerset Maugham

  • If it were not for the Princess I would feed my rapier with him.

    The False Chevalier

    William Douw Lighthall


British Dictionary definitions for rapier

rapier

noun
  1. a long narrow two-edged sword with a guarded hilt, used as a thrusting weapon, popular in the 16th and 17th centuries
  2. a smaller single-edged 18th-century sword, used principally in France
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Derived Formsrapier-like, adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Old French espee rapiere, literally: rasping sword; see rasp 1
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 rapier

n.

"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper