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taper1

[tey-per] /ˈteɪ pər/
verb (used without object)
1.
to become smaller or thinner toward one end.
2.
to grow gradually lean.
verb (used with object)
3.
to make gradually smaller toward one end.
4.
to reduce gradually.
noun
5.
gradual diminution of width or thickness in an elongated object.
6.
gradual decrease of force, capacity, etc.
7.
anything having a tapering form, as a spire or obelisk.
8.
a candle, especially a very slender one.
9.
a long wick coated with wax, tallow, or the like, as for use in lighting candles or gas.
Verb phrases
10.
taper off,
  1. to become gradually more slender toward one end.
  2. to cease by degrees; decrease; diminish:
    The storm is beginning to taper off now. I haven't stopped smoking entirely, but I'm tapering off to three cigarettes a day.
Origin of taper1
900
before 900; Middle English: wax candle, Old English, variant of tapur, dissimilated variant of *papur paper
Related forms
taperer, noun
taperingly, adverb
untapered, adjective
untapering, adjective
Can be confused
taper, tapir.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tapered
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The lips of this gasket are tapered, with the narrow edge up.

  • But where he tapered from broad shoulders to flat hips, they were straight up and down.

    Acid Bath Vaseleos Garson
  • The bow itself is tapered from the middle outwards just like any other bow.

    On Laboratory Arts Richard Threlfall
  • They were thick and leathery and tapered from base to apex like a triangle.

    An American Robinson Crusoe Samuel. B. Allison
  • But it was hard to cut a ladle for the long, tapered chamber.

  • The blade lies in a slot and is held tight by the tapered ferrule.

    Wood-Block Printing

    F. Morley Fletcher
  • If the legs are to be tapered or otherwise shaped, that should be done next.

    Handwork in Wood

    William Noyes
British Dictionary definitions for tapered

taper

/ˈteɪpə/
verb
1.
to become or cause to become narrower towards one end: the spire tapers to a point
2.
(often foll by off) to become or cause to become smaller or less significant
noun
3.
a thin candle
4.
a thin wooden or waxed strip for transferring a flame; spill
5.
a narrowing
6.
(engineering) (in conical parts) the amount of variation in the diameter per unit of length
7.
any feeble source of light
Derived Forms
taperer, noun
tapering, adjective
taperingly, adverb
Word Origin
Old English tapor, probably from Latin papӯruspapyrus (from its use as a wick)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tapered

taper

n.

Old English tapur, taper "candle," not found outside English, possibly a dissimilated borrowing from Latin papyrus (see papyrus), which was used in Medieval Latin and some Romance languages for "wick of a candle" (e.g. Italian papijo "wick"), because these often were made from the pith of papyrus. Cf. also German kerze "candle," from Old High German charza, from Latin charta, from Greek khartes "papyrus, roll made from papyrus, wick made from pith of papyrus."

taper

v.

"shoot up like a flame or spire," 1580s, from taper (n.). Sense of "gradually decrease in size, force, etc." first recorded c.1600. Related: Tapered; tapering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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10
11
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