sap·​per ˈsa-pər How to pronounce sapper (audio)
: a military specialist in field fortification work (such as sapping)
: a military demolitions specialist

Examples of sapper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Such a job would normally fall to sappers, but Perun had at his disposal an electric land drone with all-terrain tires and a rocket launcher, as well as an F.P.V. controller and goggles. Luke Mogelson, The New Yorker, 8 Apr. 2024 With the sappers making rapid progress, Stott retreated to find a place to observe the demolition. Myke Cole and Michael Livingston, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Feb. 2024 Both men were sappers, military engineers who specialized in the repair of fortifications, roads and bridges—or, in this case, destroying them. Myke Cole and Michael Livingston, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Feb. 2024 In a painstakingly slow process that has come to define the speed of the Ukrainian counteroffensive, small groups of sappers on the front lines are crawling across minefields - sometimes literally on their stomachs - to detonate Russia’s defenses and clear a path for troops to advance. Isabelle Khurshudyan and Kamila Hrabchuk, Anchorage Daily News, 16 July 2023 Live grenades lay in wait, to be neutralized by sappers. Isabel Kershner Sergey Ponomarev, New York Times, 10 Oct. 2023 The company has also devised a personal shield to protect sappers from shrapnel. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 18 Aug. 2023 At another session on mines, another sapper who gives the name Oleksandr tests boot attachments made in Ukraine that elevate a de-miner several inches off the ground, to protect against cluster munitions. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Aug. 2023 The military sapper points toward a hand-size, green Russian anti-personnel mine with a black rubber pressure plate. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 Aug. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sapper was in 1626

Dictionary Entries Near sapper

Cite this Entry

“Sapper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2024.

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