Nearby words

  1. tape streamer,
  2. tape transport,
  3. tape-record,
  4. tapeman,
  5. tapenade,
  6. taper off,
  7. taper pin,
  8. taper relief,
  9. tapered roller bearing,
  10. taperstick

Origin of taper

before 900; Middle English: wax candle, Old English, variant of tapur, dissimilated variant of *papur paper

Related formsta·per·er, nounta·per·ing·ly, adverbun·ta·pered, adjectiveun·ta·per·ing, adjective

Can be confusedtaper tapir




a person who records or edits magnetic tape, videotape, etc.

Origin of taper

2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for taper

British Dictionary definitions for taper



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
Derived Formstaperer, nountapering, adjectivetaperingly, adverb

Word Origin for taper

Old English tapor, probably from Latin papӯrus papyrus (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

Word Origin and History for taper
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper