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.
Definition for taper (2 of 2)
Example sentences from the Web for taper
Emigration, which hit epic levels in the 1980s and 1990s, seems to have tapered off.
The former OC star, 26, was channelling Hollywood chic in a tapered tuxedo and bright orange lipstick.
When it tapered off in 2005, stability and economic growth returned to the West Bank—to the tune of eight percent last year.
Tapered iron wedges on the well-known mechanical principle, for splitting out blocks and for other similar purposes.The Sailor's Word-Book|William Henry Smyth
But where he tapered from broad shoulders to flat hips, they were straight up and down.Acid Bath|Vaseleos Garson
His trousers were baggy as they tapered downward, and rather suggested a sailor's in the way they widened towards the feet.Forty Years of 'Spy'|Leslie Ward
The variation of diameter in tapered bolts is 3⁄8 of an inch per foot of length.An Introduction to Machine Drawing and Design|David Allan Low
Sometimes tree trunks were hollowed out and tapered at the ends to fit into the funnel-shaped end of another.Our Legal Heritage, 5th Ed.|S. A. Reilly