late 14c., "seize prey, take by force," from Anglo-Fr. raper, O.Fr. raper "to seize, abduct," a legal term, from L. rapere "seize, carry off by force, abduct" (see rapid
). L. rapere was used for "sexual violation," but only very rarely; the usual L. word being stuprum, lit.
"disgrace." Sense of "sexual violation or ravishing of a woman" first recorded in Eng. as a noun, 1481 (the noun sense of "taking anything -- including a woman -- away by force" is from c.1400). The verb in this sense is from 1577. Rapist is from 1883.
"kind of plant" (Brassica napus), c.1390, from O.Fr. rape, from L. rapa, rapum "turnip," from PIE *rap- (cf. Gk. hrapys "rape," O.C.S. repa, Lith. rope, M.Du. roeve, O.H.G. ruoba, Ger. Rübe "rape, turnip"). Usually grown for sheep, an oil is made from it.