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.
Origin of taper1
Related formsta·per·er, nounta·per·ing·ly, adverbun·ta·pered, adjectiveun·ta·per·ing, adjective
Can be confusedtaper tapir
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.
Definition for taper (2 of 2)
Examples 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