rapier was our Word of the Day on 09/29/2014. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of rapier from the Web
The outdoor festival setting is ideal for this cheerful, rapier-twirling spectacle.
Apparently, this exactly the kind of of rapier wit that the president is looking for in his spokespeople.
To sharpen your rapier wit on your would-be guests.
The excavations, sponsored by the Croatoan Archaeological Society, have so far uncovered several artifacts that may have been made during Elizabethan times, including the handle of a rapier and bits of metal from clothing.
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
First Known Use: 1553See Words from the same year
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
RAPIER Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of rapier for English Language Learners
: extremely sharp
RAPIER Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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