• (RP) IPA: /ˈteɪpə/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈteɪpɚ/

taper (plural tapers)

  1. A slender wax candle; a small lighted wax candle
    • ~1603, William Shakespeare, Othello, Act I, scene I, line 157:
      strike on the tinder, ho!/ Give me a taper.
    • 1913, Paul Laurence Dunbar, The Change
      Love used to carry a bow, you know,
      But now he carries a taper;
      It is either a length of wax aglow,
      Or a twist of lighted paper.
  2. (by extension) a small light.
  3. A tapering form; gradual diminution of thickness and/or cross section in an elongated object
    the taper of a spire
    The legs of the table had a slight taper to them.
    • 2005, Michael Ellis, Apollo Rises (page 15)
      Her hair hangs over her ears and flows to a taper at the back of her neck where it is held in place with a wide and circular black clasp.
  4. A thin stick used for lighting candles, either a wax-coated wick or a slow-burning wooden rod.
Translations Translations Verb

taper (tapers, present participle tapering; past and past participle tapered)

  1. (transitive) To make thinner or narrower at one end.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, chapter 3
      Though true cylinders without — within, the villanous green goggling glasses deceitfully tapered downwards to a cheating bottom.
  2. (intransitive) To diminish gradually.
Synonyms Translations Translations Adjective


  1. Tapered; narrowing to a point.

taper (plural tapers)

  1. (weaving) One who operates a tape machine.
  2. Someone who works with tape or tapes.

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