Borrowed from Middle French rapiere, from Middle French (espee) rapiere, from Old French rapiere, raspiere, from Spanish raspadera (“poker; raker; scraper”), from Spanish raspar (“to scrape”), of Germanic origin. More at rasp.
rapier (plural rapiers)
- A slender, straight, sharply pointed sword (double-edged, single-edged or edgeless).
- c. 1599–1602, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, (please specify the act number in uppercase Roman numerals, and the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals):, act IV scene 1
- […] In his lawless fit,
- Behind the arras hearing something stir,
- Whips out his rapier, cries ‘A rat, a rat!’
- And in this brainish apprehension kills
- The unseen good old man.
- 1911, G. K. Chesterton, “The Sins of Prince Saradine”, in 'The Innocence of Father Brown':
- The man beside him with the earrings and the big black case proceeded to unlock it. He took out of it two long Italian rapiers, with splendid steel hilts and blades, which he planted point downwards in the lawn.
- Extremely sharp.
- Cutting; employing keen wit.
- John is very quick on his feet during interviews by using his rapier responses.