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From Middle Dutch klepper and Middle English clippen, from Old English clyppan, from Proto-Germanic *klupjaną.[1] [2]


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clipper (plural clippers)

  1. Anything that clips.
  2. (chiefly in the plural) A tool used for clipping something, such as hair, coins, or fingernails.
  3. Something that moves swiftly; especially:
    1. (nautical) Any of several forms of very fast sailing ships having a long, low hull and a sharply raked stem.
    2. (informal) An Alberta clipper.
  4. (electronics) A circuit which prevents the amplitude of a wave from exceeding a set value.
  5. (historical) A person who mutilates coins by fraudulently paring the edges.
    • c. 1598, William Shakespeare, Henry V, Act IV, Scene 1,[1]
      Indeed, the French may lay twenty French crowns to one, they will beat us; for they bear them on their shoulders: but it is no English treason to cut French crowns, and to-morrow the king himself will be a clipper.
    • 1781, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The School for Scandal, London: J. Bew, Act II, p. 21,[2]
      Many a wretch who has been drawn upon a hurdle, has done less mischief than those barterers of forged lies, coiners of scandal, and clippers of reputation.
    • 2010, James Morrow, The Last Witchfinder
      Surtouts billowing in an unseasonably fierce wind, the ursine Chelmsford magistrate and his equally bulky constable herded their bound prisoners – three murderers, three thieves, a coin clipper, two convicted witches – across the Common []
  6. (slang) Confidence trickster; conman
    • 1848', William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair, Chapter 16:
      "You have head enough for both of us, Beck," said he. "You're sure to get us out of the scrape. I never saw your equal, and I've met with some clippers in my time too."

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From English



clipper m (plural clippers)

  1. (nautical) heavy sailing ship
  2. (aviation) transatlantic airplane


  • Nouveau Petit Larousse illustré. Dictionnaire encyclopédique. Paris, Librairie Larousse, 1952, 146th edition

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