Definition of dapper in English:


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  • Neat and trim in dress and appearance (typically used of a man)

    ‘he looked very dapper in a dark silk suit’
    • ‘The brides reflect the styles of the day, with the stiff starched elegance of the grooms' dapper morning suits also forming a real contrast.’
    • ‘He was a dapper guy, and he always had a little feather in his hat.’
    • ‘To my left was a rather dapper man, distinguished in dress and demeanor.’
    • ‘He is thoroughly dapper: all straw boater and braces and a good line in patter.’
    • ‘If anyone can get you looking spruce and dapper, Maxine told me, it's Carol.’
    • ‘Look out for the dapper gent in a bowler hat tinkling the ivories in an East End boozer.’
    • ‘He grew into a dapper and debonair-seeming man who modelled himself on the film star Ronald Coleman.’
    • ‘A dapper American in white jacket and smart shirt and tie greeted me.’
    • ‘A dapper man in contrasting winter shades, beige scarf at a jaunty angle, he marches across the nosherie floor to greet me.’
    • ‘At the opposite end a dapper gentleman tips his hat and bows to this smiling little lady.’
    • ‘A short while later it was opened again and a very dapper gentleman in English tweed opened it up to me.’
    • ‘He sits on a folded towel grumbling and mumbling away and, in spite of it all, still looks neat and dapper most of the time.’
    • ‘He is dapper in blazer, cane, sharp hat and regimental tie, which he wears with a tie clip.’
    • ‘If I recall correctly, he was wearing a blazer and appeared a very dapper 73-year-old.’
    • ‘A long red ostrich plume sprouted back from the hat giving him a dapper appearance that befit the captain of a ship.’
    • ‘He is a small, dapper man (suit, tie, shiny shoes), and I have a feeling he is rather vain.’
    • ‘Physically, I'd expected a dapper man with a fine line in suits and irony.’
    • ‘In appearance he is slim and dapper, a man of medium height invariably dressed in expensive American suits that nevertheless contrive to look cheap.’
    • ‘The racegoers go all out when it comes to the style stakes with the boys in their dapper pinstripes and the girls with their elegant head pieces.’
    • ‘The small man, the dapper man with grey suit, grey tie and clean white shirt put out a hand to support me.’
    smart, spruce, trim, debonair, neat, tidy, neat and tidy, crisp, well dressed, besuited, well groomed, well turned out, smartly dressed, elegant, chic, dashing
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/ˈdapər/ /ˈdæpər/


Late Middle English probably from a Middle Low German or Middle Dutch word meaning ‘strong, stout’.