When the ends of a piece of rope thin out and become much thinner then the middle, this is an example of a time when the rope tapers.
When your interest in pottery begins to decline, this is an example of a time when your interest tapers off.
The storm finally tapered off.
The taper of a spire.
The legs of the table had a slight taper to them.
- to become smaller gradually toward one end
- to diminish or stop gradually
Other Word Forms
Idioms and Phrasal Verbs
Origin of taper
- Middle English from Old English tapor possibly ultimately from Latin papyrus papyrus (sometimes used for candlewicks) paper
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- From Middle English taper, from Old English tapor (“taper, candle, wick of a lamp"), of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Latin papyrus (“papyrus", used in Mediaeval times to mean "wick of a candle"), or of Celtic origin related to Irish tapar (“taper"), Welsh tampr (“a taper, torch"). Compare Sanskrit [script?] (tápati, “(it) warms, gives out heat; to be hot; to heat"). More at tepid.
- tape +"Ž -er