The noun reaper refers to a person who harvests crops. If your part-time job involves harvesting corn by hand, then you're a reaper. Reaper can also refer to a piece of farm equipment used to harvest crops, especially grains.

It's not a coincidence that reap looks a lot like the word ripe. When the crops are ripe — in Old English, "ready for reaping, fit for eating" — a reaper, either human or mechanical, can harvest them. Reap means "to cut grain with a hook or sickle." This might remind you of the Grim Reaper, the personification of death in art, movies, and stories, who is shown carrying a sickle and is said to be the harvester of souls.

Definitions of reaper
  1. noun
    someone who helps to gather the harvest
    synonyms: harvester
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    a person who harvests grapes for making wine
    type of:
    farm worker, farmhand, field hand, fieldhand
    a hired hand on a farm
  2. noun
    farm machine that gathers a food crop from the fields
    synonyms: harvester
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    binder, reaper binder
    a machine that cuts grain and binds it in sheaves
    harvester that heads and threshes and cleans grain while moving across the field
    a machine that cuts the heads off grain and moves them into a wagon
    type of:
    farm machine
    a machine used in farming
Word Family