verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- 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.
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Origin of taper1
historical usage of taper
A taper is a candle that narrows at one end. The corresponding verb sense “to narrow gradually toward one end” appeared in the very early 17th century; the related figurative sense “to gradually decrease or diminish” dates from the mid-19th century.
OTHER WORDS FROM taperta·per·er, nounta·per·ing·ly, adverbun·ta·pered, adjectiveun·ta·per·ing, adjective
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH tapertaper tapir
Words nearby taper
Definition for taper (2 of 2)
Example sentences from the Web for taper
After that time, it is my hope that things will taper off a bit.Alex Haley’s 1965 Playboy Interview with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.|Alex Haley|January 19, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Markets would have to defend against the possibility of a strong report reigniting October taper expectations.
This is the dreaded “taper” that has lately given stock markets nausea.Bernanke Hints at Fed Exit, but Don’t Expect Big Name to Succeed Him|Daniel Gross|June 6, 2013|DAILY BEAST
The massive earth walls are three stories high and taper toward the top.
All lesser interests had dwindled and grown poor; her life seemed flickering out like a taper in the breeze.Country Neighbors|Alice Brown
In one chamber there was a girl who took a love-letter from her pillow and read it in tears, by the light of a taper.Japanese Fairy Tales|Grace James
They gradually become narrower fore and aft, and taper upwards.The Kingdom of the Yellow Robe|Ernest Young
They taper to a point and have edges that are smooth all round.Flowers Shown to the Children|C. E. Smith
He lighted the taper of a tiny lamp that burnt before an image of the Mother of Sorrows in a niche.Under the Witches' Moon|Nathan Gallizier