1

rapier

play
noun ra·pi·er \ˈrā-pē-ər\

Definition of rapier

  1. :  a straight 2-edged sword with a narrow pointed blade

rapier was our Word of the Day on 09/29/2014. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of rapier from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rapier'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of rapier

Middle French (espee) rapiere

Other Weapons and Explosives Terms


2

rapier

adjective ra·pi·er

Definition of rapier

  1. :  extremely sharp or keen a rapier wit

Did You Know?

A rapier is a straight, two-edged sword with a narrow pointed blade, designed especially for thrusting. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, "the long rapier was beautifully balanced, excellent in attack, and superb for keeping an opponent at a distance." The word itself, which we borrowed in the 16th century, is from Middle French rapiere. The first time that rapier was used as an adjective in its figurative "cutting" sense, it described a smile: "Who can bear a rapier smile? A kiss that dooms the soul to death?" ("The Lover's Lament" by Sumner Lincoln Fairfield, 1824). The adjective these days most commonly describes wit-an association that dates to the 1850s.

First Known Use of rapier

1824


RAPIER Defined for English Language Learners

rapier

play
noun

Definition of rapier for English Language Learners

  • : a straight sword that has a narrow blade with sharp edges

rapier

adjective

Definition of rapier for English Language Learners

  • : extremely sharp


RAPIER Defined for Kids

rapier

play
noun ra·pi·er \ˈrā-pē-ər\

Definition of rapier for Students

  1. :  a straight sword with a narrow blade having two sharp edges



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