Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A freebooting soldier of 17th-century Ireland.
  • noun A bandit or robber.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An armed Irish plunderer; in general, a vagabond.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A wild Irish plunderer, esp. one of the 17th century; -- so called from his carrying a half-pike, called a rapary.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a bandit, brigand

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Irish Gaelic rapaire, variant of ropaire, cutpurse, from ropaid, he stabs.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

from Irish rapaire, variant of ropaire ("cutpurse").

Examples

Comments

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  • An Irish pikeman or irregular soldier, of the kind prominent during the war of 1688-92; hence, an Irish bandit, robber, or freebooter.

    Sure, call them names, but they're famed in song and story... See?

    Of one such man I'd like to speak

    A rapparee by name and deed

    His family dispossessed and slaughtered

    They put a price upon his head

    His name is known in song and story

    His deeds are legends still

    And murdered for blood money

    Was young Ned of the hill

    --"Young Ned of the Hill," the Pogues, c. 1989 Terry Woods & Ron Kavana

    February 7, 2007