rap·​port | \ ra-ˈpȯr, rə-\

Definition of rapport

: a friendly, harmonious relationship especially : a relationship characterized by agreement, mutual understanding, or empathy that makes communication possible or easy

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Did You Know?

Report comes from the French verb reporter and rapport comes from the French rapporter. Both verbs mean "to bring back" and can be traced back to the Latin verb portare, meaning "to carry." Rapporter also has the additional sense of "to report," which influenced the original English meaning of rapport ("an act or instance of reporting"). That sense of rapport dropped out of regular use by the end of the 19th century.

Examples of rapport in a Sentence

Carter had some conventional assets. Although he was a southerner, he had an easy rapport with blacks and the early support of some key black leaders in his home state … — Jack W. Germond, Fat Man in a Middle Seat, 2002 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But while personal rapport can certainly be an asset in international diplomacy, getting along for the sake of getting along doesn’t necessarily advance America’s strategic interests. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Mattis’s resignation was a scathing indictment of Trump’s foreign policy," 21 Dec. 2018 But the now-former secretary failed to persuade Trump to see things his way on each of those issues, despite his good rapport with the president. Alex Ward, Vox, "James Mattis, the last “adult” in the Trump administration, resigns as defense secretary," 20 Dec. 2018 Meanwhile, Russia and Turkey have come a long way in restoring their rapport since the Turkish military shot down a Russian military jet in 2015 along the Turkish-Syrian border. Fox News, "In familiar dance, Turkey warms to Russia as US ties unravel," 27 Aug. 2018 After sitting out last season, Giles has ascended to the top of pecking order for the Tigers, with the hope that his rapport with Ohio State graduate transfer Joe Burrow adds a slice of explosiveness to LSU’s often predictable offense. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "College football's best wide receivers for 2018," 10 July 2018 Even given changes to the industry over the past 10 to 15 years, AAA managed to harness its rapport among customers looking for travel advice that was more personal than that offered by online booking behemoths, Hennessey said. Rachel Siegel, chicagotribune.com, "'The Internet doesn't call you back:' AAA's case for more human travel agents," 6 July 2018 As usual, his unerring partnering prowess and reliability as a soloist earned him pride of place, but his rapport with his swan queen needed development. Lewis Segal, latimes.com, "Los Angeles Ballet dips its toes into a cold, calm 'Swan Lake'," 4 Mar. 2018 Sater and Trump developed a rapport during that time, Sater said during sworn testimony in an unrelated libel case. Alex Ward, Vox, "Felix Sater, the spy, criminal, and mafia-linked business executive tied to Trump, explained," 6 Dec. 2018 But the conservative south German and the centrist chancellor never developed a warm rapport, according to people who know both. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, "How Angela Merkel Foiled a Backroom Coup in One Late Display of Clout," 4 Nov. 2018

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

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First Known Use of rapport

1660, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for rapport

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

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Statistics for rapport

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rapport

The first known use of rapport was in 1660

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More Definitions for rapport



English Language Learners Definition of rapport

: a friendly relationship


rap·​port | \ ra-ˈpȯr \

Kids Definition of rapport

: a friendly relationship


rap·​port | \ ra-ˈpȯ(ə)r, rə- \

Medical Definition of rapport

: harmonious accord or relation that fosters cooperation, communication, or trust rapport between a patient and psychotherapist

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More from Merriam-Webster on rapport

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rapport

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for rapport

Spanish Central: Translation of rapport

Nglish: Translation of rapport for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of rapport for Arabic Speakers

Comments on rapport

What made you want to look up rapport? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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