taper (n.) O.E. tapur, taper "candle," not found outside English, possibly a dissimilated borrowing from L. papyrus (see PAPYRUS (Cf. papyrus)), which was used in M.L. and some Romance languages for "wick of a candle" (e.g. It. papijo "wick"), since these often were made from the pith of papyrus. Cf. also Ger. kerze "candle," from O.H.G. charza, from L. charta, from Gk. khartes "papyrus, roll made from papyrus, wick made from pith of papyrus." The verb meaning "to shoot up like a flame or spire" is attested from 1580s; sense of "gradually decrease in size, force, etc." first recorded c.1600. Related: Tapered; tapering.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • taper — 1. (ta pé) v. a. 1°   Donner une tape, des tapes. Tapez ce petit drôle. 2°   Taper les cheveux, les relever avec le peigne, les crêper ; locution vieillie ; on dit crêper. •   Dites à Montgobert qu on ne tape point les cheveux, et qu on ne tourne …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Taper — may refer to: * Fishing rod tapers, a measure of the flexibility of a fishing rod * In geometry, or in the casual description of a shaper or object, a gradual thinning or narrowing towards one end * Machine taper, in machinery and engineering *… …   Wikipedia

  • Taper — Ta per, n. [AS. tapur, tapor, taper; cf. Ir. tapar, W. tampr.] 1. A small wax candle; a small lighted wax candle; hence, a small light. [1913 Webster] Get me a taper in my study, Lucius. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. A tapering form; gradual diminution …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • taper — Taper. v. a. Frapper, donner un coup. Il l a bien tapé. je vous taperay. Le peuple dit aussi, Tapoter, & l un & l autre est bas. On dit, Taper les cheveux, pour dire, Les mesler & les relever avec le peigne d une certaine maniere qui les renfle & …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Taper — Ta per, a. [Supposed to be from taper, n., in allusion to its form.] Regularly narrowed toward the point; becoming small toward one end; conical; pyramidical; as, taper fingers. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • taper — [tā′pər] n. [ME < OE tapur, prob. by dissimilation < L papyrus (see PAPER): from use of papyrus pith as wick] 1. a wax candle, esp. a long, slender one 2. a long wick coated with wax, used for lighting candles, lamps, etc. 3. any feeble… …   English World dictionary

  • Taper — Ta per, v. t. To make or cause to taper. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • taper — / taper off [v] decrease to a point abate, bate, close, come to a point, die away, die out, diminish, drain, dwindle, fade, lessen, narrow, recede, reduce, rescind, subside, thin, thin out, wane, weaken, wind down; concepts 137,698,776 Ant. go up …   New thesaurus

  • taper — ► VERB 1) diminish or reduce in thickness towards one end. 2) (taper off) gradually lessen. ► NOUN ▪ a slender tapered candle, used for conveying a flame. ORIGIN Old English, formed, by alteration of p to t , from Latin papyrus papyrus plant ,… …   English terms dictionary

  • Taper — Ta per, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Tapered}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Tapering}.] To become gradually smaller toward one end; as, a sugar loaf tapers toward one end. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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