rap·​port ra-ˈpȯr How to pronounce rapport (audio)
plural rapports
: a friendly, harmonious relationship
especially : a relationship characterized by agreement, mutual understanding, or empathy that makes communication possible or easy

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The word rapport bears a resemblance to a more common English word, report, which is no coincidence: both words come ultimately from the Latin verb portare, meaning "to carry," and both traveled through French words meaning "to bring back" on their way to English. Report has been in use since the 14th century, when it entered Middle English by way of Anglo-French. Rapport was first used in the mid-15th century as a synonym of report in its "account or statement" meaning, but that meaning had become obsolete by the mid-19th century. It wasn't until the early 20th century that English speakers borrowed rapport back from French in the meaning of "a friendly, harmonious relationship." We're happy to report that rapport has since flourished, and we trust this friendly word will stick around a while.

Examples of rapport in a Sentence

The name "horse whisperer" appears to be an ancient one from the British Isles, given to people whose rapport with horses seemed almost mystical. Paul Trachtman, Smithsonian, May 1998
… is said to have established an unusual rapport with the Afghan officers through demonstrating his respect for their traditions and way of life. Carey Schofield, The Russian Elite, 1993
Moreover, I shall … be arguing that the strength of even the more formal Southern writers stems from their knowledge of and rapport with the language spoken by the unlettered. Cleanth Brooks, The Language of the American South, 1985
He quickly developed a good rapport with the other teachers. She works hard to build rapport with her patients. There is a lack of rapport between the members of the group.
Recent Examples on the Web The assessment noted that British lawmakers from multiple political parties had been the targets of spear-phishing campaigns, when attackers try to build up rapport and trust with the aim of stealing sensitive information. Karla Adam, Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2024 His Beatles-like haircut, self-deprecating attitude and rapport with the new face of baseball made Mizuhara, a 39-year-old from Southern California, a celebrity in his own right. Connor Sheets, Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for rapport 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'rapport.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, from rapporter to bring back, refer, from Old French raporter to bring back, from re- + aporter to bring, from Latin apportare, from ad- ad- + portare to carry — more at fare

First Known Use

1923, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of rapport was in 1923


Dictionary Entries Near rapport

Cite this Entry

“Rapport.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rapport. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


rap·​port ra-ˈpō(ə)r How to pronounce rapport (audio)
: a friendly relationship

Medical Definition


rap·​port ra-ˈpȯ(ə)r, rə- How to pronounce rapport (audio)
: harmonious accord or relation that fosters cooperation, communication, or trust
rapport between a patient and psychotherapist

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