• Hilt and portion of blade of a swept-hilt rapier excavated at Jamestown of the 1600-1610 period
    Hilt and portion of blade of a swept-hilt rapier excavated at Jamestown of the 1600-1610 period
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n rapier a straight sword with a narrow blade and two edges
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Additional illustrations & photos:


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Rapier rā"pĭ*ẽr A straight sword, with a narrow and finely pointed blade, used only for thrusting.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n rapier A long, narrow, pointed, two-edged sword, used, especially in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with a guard for the hand, adapted for both cutting and thrusting, but used chiefly for thrusting. Rapier practice was usually with a dagger or hand-buckler held in the left hand to parry the thrust. See cut under sword.
    • n rapier In later English usage, a fencing-sword used only for thrusting.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Rapier rā′pi-ėr a light, highly tempered, edgeless, thrusting weapon, finely pointed, and about 3 feet in length, long the favourite weapon in duelling
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. rapière, perhaps for raspière, and ultimately of German origin, akin to E. rasp, v
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. rapière, prob. from Sp. raspaderaraspar, rapar, to rasp.


In literature:

Half frantic, I dashed forward, snatching as I did so a rapier from the wall, the only weapon handy.
"Uncanny Tales" by Various
If that were not enough to proclaim my rank a rapier dangled by my side.
"A Daughter of Raasay" by William MacLeod Raine
As he spoke, all drew their rapiers.
"Famous Privateersmen and Adventurers of the Sea" by Charles H. L. Johnston
Ruperts and rapiers are inseparably associated in my mind.
"Bird of Paradise" by Ada Leverson
This isn't the day of the rapier and the mask.
"In Her Own Right" by John Reed Scott
The bare point of a rapier touched him meaningly on the arm; he stood up and faced his enemy.
"The Doomsman" by Van Tassel Sutphen
So great with the rapier, so wise on the bias.
"The Lady of Loyalty House" by Justin Huntly McCarthy
A rapier depending from his belt completed his attire which was that of a soldier.
"In Doublet and Hose" by Lucy Foster Madison
The lantern and the rapier shall be our weapons.
"'Charge It'" by Irving Bacheller
And then his Rapier vp againe he tooke, Then on the mantle cast a grieuous looke.
"Seven Minor Epics of the English Renaissance (1596-1624)" by Dunstan Gale

In poetry:

He's ben and ben,
and ben to his bed,
And with a sharp rapier
he stabbed him dead.
"The Bonnie Earl Moray" by Andrew Lang
I saw you sedulous and keen,
I heard the burning words you spoke.
It seemed that you were hard and clean,
And rapier sharp your every stroke.
"To A Politician" by Edward Dyson
There hung the rapier blade he wore,
Bent in its flattened sheath;
The coat the shrieking woman tore
Caught in her clenching teeth;—­
"Agnes" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
When slender rapiers, proud with gems,
Sneered at the sun their haughty hues,
And Touchstone wit and apothegms
Laughed down the long, cool avenues.
"An Antique" by Madison Julius Cawein
'Cloaked shapes, a twanging of guitars,
A rush of feet, and rapiers clashing,
Then silence deep with breathless stars,
And overhead a white hand flashing.
"The Nightingale In The Study" by James Russell Lowell
As I read on, what changes steal
O'er me and through, from head to heel?
A rapier thrusts coat-skirt aside,
My rough Tweeds bloom to silken pride,--
Who was it laughed? Your hand, Dick Steele!
"On Receiving A Copy Of Mr. Austin's 'Old World Idylls'" by James Russell Lowell

In news:

Cynthia Nixon sliced and diced the New York Post with her rapier wit last week after the truth-challenged tabloid reported that the "Sex and the City" star had undergone breast-enhancement surgery.
President Ronald Reagan stands out for his distilled wisdom, rapier-sharp insights and rare bon mots.
Wielding wits rather than rapiers, the masked duelists—a "Mr. X" and a Mr.
Rapier 's post mortem begins as Hornby rides in.
Rapier 's chief executive Jonathan Stead.
The week after the administrators were called in, the CHI founding partner Johnny Hornby went to the salvation of his friend, Rapier 's chief executive, Jonathan Stead, with plans to relaunch the agency.
Jerry Rapier on Plan-B's "8".
His Rapier , a Peeler.
Since armor was no longer a consideration, and the rapier 's design allowed for a much wider range of movement, the new competition became one of vying philosophies of defense, or, as the term evolved, 'fence.
Finest News Source' turns its rapier wit to sports.
Its air defenses consist mostly of short-range Rapier and Stinger systems, and U.S.-made Hawk low- altitude missiles.
Robert Rapier presented five myths about gas prices a year ago in the Washington Post.
Dave Coley scored 17 points and Al Rapier tallied a double-double to lead Stony Brook over Albany (N.
Yell 'Day V Lately' by Rapier.
Rapier is behind the ad which features a new leading man in the search for a lost music track 'Pulse & Thunder' and shows him searching for the track online.