- to become smaller or thinner toward one end.
- to grow gradually lean.
- to make gradually smaller toward one end.
- to reduce gradually.
- gradual diminution of width or thickness in an elongated object.
- gradual decrease of force, capacity, etc.
- anything having a tapering form, as a spire or obelisk.
- a candle, especially a very slender one.
- a long wick coated with wax, tallow, or the like, as for use in lighting candles or gas.
- taper off,
- 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
Examples from the Web for tapered
Emigration, which hit epic levels in the 1980s and 1990s, seems to have tapered off.The Israel Debate In South Africa
January 29, 2013
The former OC star, 26, was channelling Hollywood chic in a tapered tuxedo and bright orange lipstick.Odd Couple! James Middleton and Mischa Barton
August 9, 2012
When it tapered off in 2005, stability and economic growth returned to the West Bank—to the tune of eight percent last year.Will U.N. Push Lead to Uprising?
September 24, 2011
The lips of this gasket are tapered, with the narrow edge up.The Automobile Storage Battery
O. A. Witte
But where he tapered from broad shoulders to flat hips, they were straight up and down.Acid Bath
The bow itself is tapered from the middle outwards just like any other bow.On Laboratory Arts
They were thick and leathery and tapered from base to apex like a triangle.An American Robinson Crusoe
Samuel. B. Allison
But it was hard to cut a ladle for the long, tapered chamber.Artillery Through the Ages
- 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
Word Origin and History for tapered
Old English tapur, taper "candle," not found outside English, possibly a dissimilated borrowing from Latin papyrus (see papyrus), which was used in Medieval Latin and some Romance languages for "wick of a candle" (e.g. Italian papijo "wick"), because these often were made from the pith of papyrus. Cf. also German kerze "candle," from Old High German charza, from Latin charta, from Greek khartes "papyrus, roll made from papyrus, wick made from pith of papyrus."
"shoot up like a flame or spire," 1580s, from taper (n.). Sense of "gradually decrease in size, force, etc." first recorded c.1600. Related: Tapered; tapering.