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Commas mark divisions in sentences. Periods end declarative sentences. Apostrophes show possession. Easy, right? Well, punctuation can get pretty tricky—fast. Think you got what it takes to be a punctuation expert? Take our quiz to prove it!
Question 1 of 10
Which of the options below is the best punctuation for the sentence? It__s your turn to pick the movie __ but your sister gets to pick the board game we _ re going to play.

Origin of taper

1
before 900; Middle English: wax candle, Old English, variant of tapur, dissimilated variant of *papur paper

historical usage of taper

English taper has no relatives in other languages. In Old English, tapur, tapor meant “candle, candlewick.” Tapur may possibly be a dissimilated form of Latin papȳrus “papyrus plant, papyrus, paper,” sometimes used as a candlewick. Alternatively, the Old English form could be of Celtic origin, akin to Irish tapar and Welsh tampr “a taper, a torch,” from a Proto-Indo-European root tep- “to be warm,” source of Latin tepidus “lukewarm” (English tepid ).
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 taper

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

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH taper

taper tapir
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for taper off

taper
/ (ˈteɪpə) /

verb

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

noun

Derived forms of taper

taperer, 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

Idioms and Phrases with taper off

taper off

1

Become thinner or narrower at one end, as in The road began to taper off until it was just a narrow path. [c. 1600]

2

Diminish or lessen gradually, end by degrees, as in The storm finally tapered off. [Mid-1800s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.