- to become smaller or thinner toward one end.
- to grow gradually lean.
- to make gradually smaller toward one end.
- to reduce gradually.
- gradual diminution of width or thickness in an elongated object.
- gradual decrease of force, capacity, etc.
- anything having a tapering form, as a spire or obelisk.
- a candle, especially a very slender one.
- a long wick coated with wax, tallow, or the like, as for use in lighting candles or gas.
- taper off,
- to become gradually more slender toward one end.
- 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
Examples from the Web for tapering
She would never have used the “T” word, “tapering,” because unemployment remains unconcionably high.Janet Yellen Won’t Change the Fed
October 9, 2013
In June, Bernanke had said that the tapering could start only once gains in the labor market seemed persistent and safe.Stock Market Soars on Fed’s Bond-Buying Announcement
September 18, 2013
If interest rates jump in response to Fed tapering, whoever chairs the Fed will slow or suspend it.Congress and China Pose Biggest Threats to U.S. Economic Expansion
September 5, 2013
The tapering of certain letters indicates the laudable trait of tact.For Presidential Hopefuls, the Handwriting Says It All
January 11, 2012
The stem is quite short, tapering downward, dark green, scaly.
In the plant on the right is shown the tapering stem from the base to the apex.
The stem is inflated, stuffed, rather long, tapering downward.
From this rises a tapering shaft of about twenty-eight feet.
Clusters small, slender, tapering, usually single-shouldered.Manual of American Grape-Growing
U. P. Hedrick
- to become or cause to become narrower towards one endthe spire tapers to a point
- (often foll by off) to become or cause to become smaller or less significant
- a thin candle
- a thin wooden or waxed strip for transferring a flame; spill
- a narrowing
- engineering (in conical parts) the amount of variation in the diameter per unit of length
- any feeble source of light
Word Origin and History for tapering
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."
"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.