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Origin of sapper

First recorded in 1620–30; sap2 + -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sapper

Historical Examples of sapper

British Dictionary definitions for sapper


  1. a soldier who digs trenches
  2. (in the British Army) a private of the Royal Engineers


  1. real name Herman Cyril McNeile . 1888–1937, British novelist, author of the popular thriller Bull-dog Drummond (1920) and its sequels
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 sapper

1620s, in a military context, "soldier employed in building fortifications," agent noun from sap (v.1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper