taper

1 [tey-per]
verb (used without object)
1.
to become smaller or thinner toward one end.
2.
to grow gradually lean.
verb (used with object)
3.
to make gradually smaller toward one end.
4.
to reduce gradually.
noun
5.
gradual diminution of width or thickness in an elongated object.
6.
gradual decrease of force, capacity, etc.
7.
anything having a tapering form, as a spire or obelisk.
8.
a candle, especially a very slender one.
9.
a long wick coated with wax, tallow, or the like, as for use in lighting candles or gas.
Verb phrases
10.
taper off,
a.
to become gradually more slender toward one end.
b.
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:
before 900; Middle English: wax candle, Old English, variant of tapur, dissimilated variant of *papur paper

taperer, noun
taperingly, adverb
untapered, adjective
untapering, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged

taper

2 [tey-per]
noun
a person who records or edits magnetic tape, videotape, etc.

Origin:
tape + -er1

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tape (teɪp)
 
n
1.  a long thin strip, made of cotton, linen, etc, used for binding, fastening, etc
2.  any long narrow strip of cellulose, paper, metal, etc, having similar uses
3.  a string stretched across the track at the end of a race course
4.  slang chiefly (Brit) military another word for stripe
5.  magnetic tape ticker tape paper tape See tape recording
 
vb
6.  (also intr) Also: tape-record to record (speech, music, etc)
7.  to furnish with tapes
8.  to bind, measure, secure, or wrap with tape
9.  informal (Brit) (usually passive) to take stock of (a person or situation); sum up: he's got the job taped
 
[Old English tæppe; related to Old Frisian tapia to pull, Middle Dutch tapen to tear]
 
'tapelike
 
adj
 
'taper
 
n

taper (ˈteɪpə)
 
vb
1.  to become or cause to become narrower towards one end: the spire tapers to a point
2.  (often foll by off) to become or cause to become smaller or less significant
 
n
3.  a thin candle
4.  a thin wooden or waxed strip for transferring a flame; spill
5.  a narrowing
6.  engineering (in conical parts) the amount of variation in the diameter per unit of length
7.  any feeble source of light
 
[Old English tapor, probably from Latin papӯruspapyrus (from its use as a wick)]
 
'taperer
 
n
 
'tapering
 
adj
 
'taperingly
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

taper
O.E. tapur, taper "candle," not found outside Eng., possibly a dissimilated borrowing from L. papyrus (see 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 1589; sense of "gradually decrease in size, force, etc." first recorded 1610.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
We can promote music more effectively by making any one musician's share of the
  tax revenues taper off as copies increase.
She has been unable go off it despite repeated efforts to taper down her dose.
From time to time he wonders when business will taper off, but for now, he sees
  no signs of that.
Then they begin to taper off, diminishing in frequency over the next several
  days.
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