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See more synonyms for sapper on Thesaurus.com
  1. a soldier employed in the construction of fortifications, trenches, or tunnels that approach or undermine enemy positions.
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Origin of sapper

First recorded in 1620–30; sap2 + -er1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for sapper

olive, blue-green, prospector, fir, sap, jade, sage, moss, pine, forest, sea, grass, peacock, apple, spinach, willow, verdigris, malachite, beryl, chartreuse

Examples from the Web for sapper

Historical Examples of sapper

  • "There was a sapper of that name whom we met at Simla once, my dear," replied the Colonel.

    The Hero

    William Somerset Maugham

  • Yes, every sin is a miner and sapper for a larger army in the rear.

  • But the sapper was free; 'free' was my last conscious thought.

    The Riddle of the Sands

    Erskine Childers

  • Her heart had entered on a course of heavy thumping, like a sapper in the mine.

  • Nothing was sacred from that mimic any more than from a sapper.

British Dictionary definitions for sapper


  1. a soldier who digs trenches
  2. (in the British Army) a private of the Royal Engineers
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  1. real name Herman Cyril McNeile . 1888–1937, British novelist, author of the popular thriller Bull-dog Drummond (1920) and its sequels
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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).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper